This mama duck has 76 (!) ducklings in her care!

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Make way for 76 ducklings!

Amateur wildlife photographer Brent Cizek captured this cool shot of a mama Merganser duck on Lake Bemidji in Minnesota with 76 babies in tow!! She deserves the Mother of the Year award!!

Why does she have so many under her care?? The New York Times knows:

Some birds, including common mergansers and ostriches, raise their babies in a day care system that’s called a crèche, experts say.

In a crèche, females leave their ducklings in the care of one female — often an older female who is experienced at raising babies, said David Rave, an area wildlife manager who oversees the Bemidji region for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The females at Lake Bemidji, many of which are related, lay eggs that hatch around the same time, he said. Afterward, he said, the adult ducks go off to molt their feathers, leaving their broods in the care of a matriarchal female.

Let’s hear it for single moms!!


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  • Helen Gircko

    One mentor is unlikely to cope with 76 human children (especially on the water …) But this is really cool and cute foto, thank you, Pee-wee!

  • I loved this blog Paul, in dedication to the Mother Ducks as well as all strong beautiful Females of the animal kingdom. They are fierce & amazing. May I add, that you were awesome on last nights show to tell the truth, I watched it and enjoyed the show very much! May you have a wonderful day Paul! 💜💛♥️❤️🧡💚💙