Mother Mallards are very protective of their young. Very dedicated. This Mallard was observed as she cautiously moved her ducklings downstream in a small creek in Carrollton, Texas. Their objective was to reach the open water of a large pond that the creek empties into just a few hundred yards/meters away.
I began taking pictures as the group neared a pedestrian bridge. During this time several people crossed the bridge, and their presence made female Mallard nervous about her approach. She would collect her ducklings around her and then cautiously move forward just a little, before halting again at the sight of another person walking by. The ducklings stayed by their mother’s side the whole time, all the while their little webbed-feet were working hard to resist downstream pull of the current. This process was repeated several times.
Of course, all of this caution was largely unnecessary, as the ducks went generally unnoticed by the passersby.
Finally, the fuzzy armada made it under the bridge and then past a small waterfall. Through it all the ducklings never once hesitated to follow their mother.
As the group moved further downstream vegetation began to offer them more concealment. I followed along the bank, trying hard not to make the mother duck feel uneasy. Despite my efforts I could tell that she did not appreciate my attention. As we neared the pond, I broke off my pursuit and let the family continue on in peace.
|Date||–||Mar 30, 2012|
|Time of Day||–||Afternoon|
|Type of Behavior||–||Care of Young|
|Main Article||–||Mallard||Observation Location|