I’m going to more or less let the pictures speak for themselves today.
So the ducklings aren’t usually as visible during my walks as the young goslings are–probably because there aren’t nearly as many mallards as Canada geese at the lake. So I was pleasantly surprised to see this group swimming around the other morning.
This was about as close as I was willing to get to goslings (and parents) the other morning. I was able to walk down to the edge of the lake to see if turtles were out–but I wasn’t able to actually walk on the sidewalk. The geese had taken it over.
Well I know that these are ducklings and a parent. The only thing I’m not sure of is the exact species of duck. But it looked to have a good start at raising a good number of ducklings.
It will be interesting to see how many more broods the geese and ducks have since it seems that they started a little early this year.
So on my walk today around Boomer Lake, I noticed that it isn’t just the geese that have already hatched a brood this year–there is a small number of baby mallards on the lake now as well.
I came across this family starting to swim out into the lake, shortly after seeing a great blue heron catch it’s morning snack.
So some facts about how mallards nest and raise their young:
Usually the female will form a shallow depression/hole in moist areas (that are usually close to the water), and as she is doing that she is pulling vegetation towards her. So in other words—she makes a nest in a area that provides ample protection and material to line her nest.
She will lay anywhere from five to fifteen eggs (with the average being seven to ten), and the incubation time is anywhere from twenty-three to thirty days (so basically three to four weeks). The young are able to leave the nest within a day after hatching. They stay with their parents (mainly the mother), and are able to fly within fifty-two to sixty days after hatching. Mallards usually have just one brood a year (as it is basically three months from egg laying to the time the ducklings are able to fly), though if they have the first one early enough in the year—they might have a second one mid to late summer.
So I’ve decided that since I’m trying to get better at doing photography–I should also be sharing some of the pictures that are decent and good in addition to the ones that I think are great. The only ones that probably won’t be shown are the ones that are totally blurry and I can’t even tell what I was trying to take a picture of.
Today’s picture is of a couple of mallards that I saw at the lake, and they thought that I was getting to close so they decided to head towards the water. The first male was just launching himself up while the other was gaining speed when I snapped the picture. By the time I refocused on them–they were in the water, gloating that they got away from the photographer (me).
I do try to keep a good distance between me and the wildlife–but when you’re both in the same approximate area, someone is going to get nervous before the other can move away (and still hopefully get a good picture out of the deal).