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!!
Spent another morning with the mergansers. They are growing so fast. They continue to venture further out on their own, but as soon as Mama Merganser starts heading somewhere, they all quickly follow suite. Count is still at 70+. pic.twitter.com/MkIRc0wUnZ
— Brent Cizek (@brentcizekphoto) July 23, 2018