Friday, July 1, 2011

Baby Mallard Ducks

Beautiful and little family of mixed color, with three blond and two dark. I've seen similar mixes in previous years, and somehow, they all end up looking alike by the time they are teens. Fascinating!

We hope this family will fare well. The sixth one disappeared within 48 hours. It's been a tough season for babies, with only one family from May still surviving and thriving, the babies now as big as their mom. She's the tough mother duck who hovered over and defended her original seven, as well as adopted three orphaned/abandoned ducklings.

The greatest threats to ducklings seem to be hawks, snapping turtles, pollution, and fishermen who cut their lines loose and leave them in the water with hooks attached. Well meaning people pollute the water with processed white bread and anything else they find in their kitchens. If given a choice, kids would eat junk food for dinner every night. If give a choice, ducks will eat white bread. It doesn't mean it's healthy for the ducks or the water, and it fills their tummies so that they do not seek healthy food.

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