A mother duck was caught on cam leading the way for her 76 ducklings.
Another beautiful morning on Lake Bemidji.
— Brent Cizek (@brentcizekphoto) July 24, 2018
One picture, but a lot of ducks.
The picture that you can see above is not Photoshopped, it was taken by Brent Cizek, a nature photographer at the Lake Bemidji in northeastern Minnesota.
Brent said he was paddling around in a tiny plastic boat when he saw the remarkable procession.
As he was paddling around, Brent saw a lot of ducklings following a mother duck.
Brent took images of the duck and when he got home, he counted around 50 ducklings in the picture.
After getting really keen about the number of ducks the mother had, Brent made subsequent visits to the lake.
During his visits there, he saw as many as 76 little quackers paddling behind their mother duck.
Brent named the mother as Mama Merganser.
You might be wondering that how could one duck have over 76 ducklings?
Well, the answer to that is, those ducklings are not hers.
It is not unusual to see 20 to 30 ducklings following a mother, seeing 50 or more is rare, but 76 is something that you will only see once in a lifetime.
Richard Prum, an ornithologist, said that Mama Merganser did not hatch all those ducklings by herself. Female ducks are only capable of laying around a dozen eggs at once and can incubate up to 20.
Try to image the mother duck sitting on over 70 eggs, that’s a thing to look at.
An explanation for this is simple.
Mother ducks have an interesting habit of leaving a bunch of their eggs in the nests of other mother ducks.
The reason behind this is still not clear, however, many researchers believe that ducks to this to make sure that at least some of her offspring have a chance to hatch even if something tragic happens to her or her nest.