Family Fun: Baby Ducklings Near You

FAMILY FUN: Baby Ducklings Near You

Waterfowl chicks are hatching and they are adorable! Most ducks nest on the ground where they might build a

wood_duck_ducklings_fledging
Wood Duck Babies: Stan Tekila

nest out of wet vegetation, or burrow into a clump of grass. Wood ducks are an exception — they nest in natural tree cavities, or in wood duck boxes if no nest cavities are available. Many ducks use their own feathers to line the nest and keep it soft for their eggs.

When the chicks hatch they are covered in downy feathers and are immediately able to leave the nest, following their mama duck wherever she goes. In some species of waterfowl you might see the baby ducks piling on top of their mother’s back! It looks cute, but it also has a purpose. Before their adult feathers come in, baby ducks can get very cold, especially in water. To warm up they will hop a ride on mom’s back!

If Mallards nest in your neighborhood, you might see a mother Mallard shepherding her duckling brood at high mallard_and_ducklingsspeed and completely silently past houses and down the street to get them to the water or a safe haven. She does this so as to not attract any attention at all, which is a difficult thing to do with maybe a dozen tiny babies following you. Mama ducks can get stressed out by the presence of humans, and geese can get aggressive. So keep your distance and enjoy watching spring ducklings!

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