We have lived here on our wooded lot for well over forty years. We have a pond in our back yard and nearly every spring some ducks arrive but they only stay a couple weeks. A variety of ducks will visit but mainly we get mallard ducks and wood ducks.
We have always hoped to see little ducklings here but we never had. Once a female mallard nested just south of our house but right before her eggs hatched a racoon got into them and destroyed them all.
We noticed that a mallard pair has a regular routine when they have a nest. Mr. Mallard will stay on the pond just about all the time. Mrs. Mallard will sit on the nest most of the time but leaves the nest in the evening to swim and cool off in the pond and then grab a bite to eat with her mate under the bird feeder. Then she will go back and sit on the nest. We have noticed this same behavior for several years but there were never any ducklings.
Until this year.
The mallards’ routine was the same this year and we suspected she had a nest somewhere in the woods. We were correct. When we got up Wednesday morning we saw 13 fluffy little ducklings eating corn.
Then they lined up and followed their mom into the water and swam across the pond. That must have been a huge journey for those little guys.
Funny though, the minute the ducklings appeared the male mallard disappeared! Dad is MIA but Mom is a very attentive and tends to her little ducklings very well.