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Posts Tagged ‘single mother duck’

Female Hooded Merganser ducks (Lophodytes cucullatus) raise their ducklings as single Moms, which must be pretty tough when you have so many offspring to look after. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the male Hooded Merganser duck abandons his mate once she begins incubating eggs and it’s not known if they reunite the following season.

Last year, when the level of water at my local marsh was pretty low and there seemed to be lots of snapping turtles, most of the ducklings did not survive. After a lot of construction at the marsh, water levels are higher and I am hoping that things will be a little easier on the duck families.

I don’t know how old these ducklings are, but they appear to be tiny—even adult Hooded Mergansers are pretty small. A family of Hooded Mergansers was spotted earlier this week and I suspect that this is the same one, so they may be a week or so old.

I was not able to get very close to the ducks and the conscientious Mama duck started swimming away as soon as she sensed my presence early yesterday morning. You can see details in the first two shots, which are cropped a fair amount, but I included a final shot, which shows more of the setting, because I love the beautiful ripples in the water.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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