- This story is a little odd but very cute.
Animals in the wild are so cool to observe. The way they take care of their young, care for their pack (herd, battery, litter or what have you,) is just so different and interesting to us humans.
And sometimes, like us, animals ‘adopt’ or take other littles under their wings, if you will, to care for and protect them. This mama duck is no different.
When this duck took her babes on a swim on Lake Bemidji in Minnesota, an amateur wildlife photographer caught the sight, and shared it for the world to see. And the media cannot get enough of this waterfowl.
Why do you ask? Everyone has seen a mama duck taking her babies for a swim. So what’s so special about this swim across the lake?
Well, the sheer number of babies behind her. This mama escorted over 70 ducklings across the lake, 76 to be precise.
Brent Cizek was the photographer who took notice and captured the images of the swimming duck and ‘her’ ducklings.
Cizek said that he first spotted the ducks in late June. “It was mind blowing,” he said. “I didn’t know that a duck could care for that many chicks.”
But according to the National Audubon Society, this isn’t so uncommon. Ducks lay eggs in other nests, in addition to their own. And, if ducklings somehow get separated from their mothers, they will instinctively follow another hen. Apparently it doesn’t matter how many babies are already with that mama or not.
David Rave, a wildlife manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said the common merganser is one of a number of birds that does asort of day care system. This is known as a crèche.
Essentially, hens will leave their babies with an older female duck that has experience raising ducklings. This mama duck will most likely care for these babes for the next couple of weeks.
— Brent Cizek (@brentcizekphoto) July 26, 2018
In the meantime, Cizek continues to post pictures of this mama and all her babes. And they may even make it onto TV if his twitter post means anything.