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Wild baby ducks!

Butterscotch's babies!

Butterscotch's babies!

I love baby ducks!

I just love ducklings and I thought I would create a whole lens devoted to them. Right now, this lens is mostly about wild ducklings, including wild-born hybrids. Most of the ducklings in this lens live at Lake Murray in San Diego, California.

The photo to the left is of Butterscotch, a full-blooded mallard and her dozen ducklings (10 are shown). She ended up only raising about four of them, though. She is one of three sisters that were raised the year before. In total, they had about 14 surviving ducklings despite swimming around under a heron's nest and the heron constantly stalking them.

Unfortunately, the results for 2012 weren't so good for the three sisters. One sister, Caramel, died that year before her eggs could hatch. And, the other sister, Peaches, lost her entire clutch to gulls this year. Butterscotch disappeared with her latest clutch of ducklings soon after they hatched, so it is unknown if any survived this year. But, it looks like gulls got her entire clutch as well. The three sisters are very close, but they all bred at different times and seemed so lost without each other. Peaches, especially, wanted to be with her sister and mother more than anything, but was torn between being with them and protecting her ducklings. The previous year, the gulls weren't so bad, so she may have been unprepared for their attacks.

In 2014, Butterscotch had an early set of ducklings. Two ducklings even got lost, but only one was caught and returned to her. Unfortunately, like a lot of ducklings this year, none of them survived past a week. This year was not a good year for ducklings, only a few survived to adulthood.

***All the photos on this lens were taken by me (and are copyrighted) with the exception of the Allposters photos which are for sale through the Allposters site. Please ask if you would like to use my photos before doing so.

First ducklings of 2016 Breeding Season!

OK, these weren't hatched in 2016, but they are the first ducklings after the last breeding season ended. These ducklings were actually hatched around Christmas, 2015. Unfortunately, they were all eaten by gulls before they were 10 days old.

OK, these weren't hatched in 2016, but they are the first ducklings after the last breeding season ended. These ducklings were actually hatched around Christmas, 2015. Unfortunately, they were all eaten by gulls before they were 10 days old.

My wild baby duck videos and sideshows!

Here are some videos and sideshows I've created on wild baby ducks. The first two is of Fish Food Mama, the next one is of Pepper's family (Pepper is the star of his own book!), then comes Neo, and, finally, Snowie's ducklings hatched in 2014.

Friendly ducklings!

Friendly ducklings!

Friendly ducklings!

Mallard ducklings (Fish Food Mama's babies from 2010).

Mallard ducklings (Fish Food Mama's babies from 2010).

Wild baby duck poll

The photo above is of a mother mallard and her three ducklings (Peaches, Caramel and Butterscotch). I like mallard ducklings. What kind of wild duckling do you like?

*I added Muscovy ducklings to the poll because they are considered to be truly wild to parts of Texas and Latin America.

Wild Baby Duck Poll!

mallard duckling

mallard duckling

Enjoying wild baby ducks:

Ducklings hatch covered with down and can usually leave the nest within a day. Most of the time, mothers will wait until they hatch all the eggs before moving the entire family off the nest. Families can initially be very large, as many as fourteen or fifteen ducklings depending on the species. After they leave the nest, they then forage and feed on their own with mom leading around to the best areas to find what they nutritionally need.

Ducklings face many hazards just in their first two weeks in life. Often, a large brood is hard for one mother to keep warm and many babies die from hypothermia within the first few days. Also, they require a certain amount and type of food all while they are trying to keep up with mom and hide from predators. Many ducklings fail to get adequate nutrition and these often die between the ages of two to six days. Then, there are predators such as herons, hawks, turtles and even large fish that like to feast on ducklings. In the end, a successful mother will end up with three or four ducklings reaching adulthood.

If you find a wild duckling on its own, step back and observe before rescuing it, unless it's in immediate danger. Ducklings will peep loudly and look for their mom for a long time. Most of the time, they find their parents or their parents come looking for them. If you must rescue a duckling, take it to a wildlife rehabber as it is illegal to possess wild baby ducks without certain paperwork and permits.

Duck mothers generally only care for their own babies and will attack strange babies.. However, sometimes when two families meet, some ducklings get mixed up and end up going off with the other family. If families do get mixed up, it will most likely happen when the babies are a few days old up to about a week old and usually between closely-related mothers who nested near each other. Some wild duck mothers do not hatch their own ducklings, but steal some from other mothers who have large broods, but this is rare. Most mothers prevent strange females from getting too close to their babies.

Baby wood ducks! - Cute!

wood ducklings

wood ducklings

Wood ducks are known to nest in trees and nest boxes. When their babies hatch, the mother leads them to jump out and follow her to the nearest body of water. However, they don't always need to nest in trees, but it's helpful for them to protect the eggs and young babies from predators. At Lake Murray, they tend to either nest on the ground or on low-hanging trees with thick branches. In 2011, two moms raised two broods at the lake.

Baby wood duckling getting ready to jump!

Baby Wood Duck


This baby wood duck is ready to jump! Wood ducks frequently nest in trees or wood duck nesting boxes. After the ducklings hatch, the mother leaves and calls to them. The ducklings then jump out of the nest which can be over 30 feet off the ground! Most ducklings survive these jumps with no issues and quickly follow mom away from the nest.

This poster is available on Allposters.com. Click on the link to order.

Baby wood duck ready to jump

Two brothers

Two brothers

Two brothers

Wild baby ducks' guestbook!

Shorebirdie (author) from San Diego, CA on September 28, 2016:

That's a good idea. Ducks, especially ducklings, hate to be alone. They feel safe when there's another duck nearby.

Niny Perez on March 30, 2016:

I Love Ducklings. Recently Bought Two Just A Few Day's Ago. I Wanted Them To Have A Companion So They Wouldn't Feel Lonely While I'm Away. I'm Hoping That They'll Imprint On Me.

Shorebirdie (author) from San Diego, CA on April 23, 2015:

Hi. Thanks for commenting. I hope it's not too late for that baby duck. I would try to scoop it out or catch it and take it to the nearest person licensed to handle wildlife. Also, I would put some kind of ramp or objects in the pool to help the baby ducks climb out as they can get very tired and drown.

tony on April 23, 2015:

we have 11 baby ducks in our pool one of them is just floating around it the other baby ducks don't get near her the mom is around but doesn't come around this baby looks like one of her leg might be hurt what can we do?

Shorebirdie (author) from San Diego, CA on September 23, 2014:

Thanks! I try to photograph all the baby ducks at this lake because they don't always last. At least they're "forever alive" in my photos.

Jim from Kansas on September 22, 2014:

I enjoyed this look at baby ducks. I see a few every year, and always enjoy them.

Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on September 04, 2014:

These baby duck pics are irresistible! We see geese in our area, but not so many wild ducks.

Shorebirdie (author) from San Diego, CA on May 03, 2014:

@RinchenChodron: Thanks! I don't have a Zazzle store, but I have a Cafepress store. They used to let me put a wiget on here, but something went wrong with it. I've already have one of the yellow ducklings from 2014 on a few items.

RinchenChodron on May 03, 2014:

Wow I love the colors and the swirls in the photo First ducklings of 2014! Do you have a Zazzle store? If not click to create one, it's a great source of income.

leparadissecret on December 26, 2013:

so cute

Meganhere on October 15, 2013:

I love ducks. Lovely lens. Thanks.

TheEnglishHouse on September 29, 2013:

I love ducks too, especially ducklings, they are so cute. My daughter is almost 2, she loves watching the duck video you included. Nice lens, thank you!

dbitterman on July 18, 2013:

Your duck lenses are delightful. Thank you.

Jogalog on April 24, 2013:

I'm going to show this lens to my daughter. She absolutely loves ducks at the moment.

Bartukas on April 15, 2013:

very cute lens and nice photos!

webscribbler on March 23, 2013:

14 and only 3 or 4 generally survive. Didn't know that. Sad really when you think about it. But, then again if they all survived they would probably just die later of starvation. Never thought about it before but after reading your Lenses, I guess it's plain hard to be a duck.

Peter Badham from England on March 21, 2013:

Me and my sons love ducklings. In Mallorca they live in the sea. I was horrified to see seagulls picking them up and dropping them from a height just to get the bread that people were feeding them with :(

LynetteBell from Christchurch, New Zealand on February 05, 2013:

Nice pictures

marsha32 on June 03, 2012:

They are so adorable! You are so fortunate that you got to take so many wonderful photos and watch them grow up.

trendydad on May 24, 2012:

great photos of baby ducks

Michey LM on May 23, 2012:

The baby ducks are cute, and I like how mother knows to keep them together and take care of all of them... Great lens.

anonymous on May 07, 2012:

So cute! I love baby ducks!

ElizabethJeanAl on April 28, 2012:

The baby ducks are so cute

Sniff It Out on April 24, 2012:

The baby ducks are so cute, I love the picture of the duck in the hole in the tree :-)

Blessed!

im1337mi on April 06, 2012:

Adorable, thanks for sharing!

Beverly Rodriguez from Albany New York on March 25, 2012:

Wonderful photos. Great topic for a lens.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on March 14, 2012:

Oh I just love your baby duck stuff. This lens made my heart warm up throughout my chest, do back flips, and something else that kind of looked like an Irish jig. I love baby ducks they are just oh so cute.

Terrie_Schultz on March 08, 2012:

Ducklings are adorable!

pawpaw911 on March 06, 2012:

Loved the photos.

myamya on February 26, 2012:

Very nice lens! Well done. Squidlikes!

squid-pinkchic18 on February 24, 2012:

When I was maybe 5 years old, my parents brought a dozen mallard ducks home for us to raise on our pond. They eventually grew up and flew away but I just love seeing these little baby duck photos - it brings back fun memories :)

anonymous on February 24, 2012:

very beautiful lens, thanks for sharing this.

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on February 23, 2012:

Cute, cute, cute! Who can resist these precious ducks and ducklings? Not I. :-) Very nicely presented. Thank you!

Teri Villars from Phoenix, Arizona on February 22, 2012:

Makes you want to just take some home, huh? Very pretty photos!! Nicely done! Squid Angel blessed!

Ruthi on February 22, 2012:

Your adorable wild baby ducks are now featured on my Pets and Animals Poetry lens.

TTMall on February 17, 2012:

Great Lens with great resources!

kimark421 on February 14, 2012:

This lens made me smile. Who doesn't love ducklings??

Great lens!

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on February 14, 2012:

These Baby Ducks are precious. I sure enjoyed this visit. Thank you.

cajkovska lm on February 13, 2012:

Cute... i like your photos

AJ from Australia on February 12, 2012:

Too cute. You write beautiful and informative lenses - thank you.

sousababy on February 11, 2012:

Ahhh, too cute!

vkumar05 on February 08, 2012:

Just Too Cute. Awesome Photos Great Lens.

Shorebirdie (author) from San Diego, CA on February 06, 2012:

@MargoPArrowsmith: Thanks! I already visited your lens.

MargoPArrowsmith on February 06, 2012:

Angel blessing for this. I think you would love my lens Why I Won't Eat Goose for Christmas

MobileAppMan on February 04, 2012:

My father surprised my sisters and I when I was 7 with 6 ducklings. I loved those silly birds. Great stuff.

flicker lm on February 02, 2012:

I enjoyed your lens! Great photos! Ducklings are so sweet.

DesignedbyLisa LM on February 01, 2012:

I love baby ducks! They are so cute!

julieannbrady on January 31, 2012:

I am absolutely wild about baby ducks! I just saw this incredible film of baby Canadian geese following a young girl in an airplane to learn how to migrate into the U.S. for the winter. Now, what what that film's name?

Andy-Po on January 31, 2012:

Cute. I love watching ducklings.

CherylsArt on January 31, 2012:

I love seeing ducks. The babies are so cute.

anonymous on January 30, 2012:

enjoyed seeing this, I love ducks and your video are great.

JoshK47 on January 30, 2012:

What cute li'l ducks! I love this lens! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

Ann from Yorkshire, England on January 28, 2012:

I'm a great fan of ducks, thanks for sharing this with us

ElizabethJeanAl on January 28, 2012:

The little ones are adorable.

kathysart on January 26, 2012:

So darling! Not too many things cuter than baby animals.. except maybe humans. Love these little ducklings!

SteveKaye on January 22, 2012:

It's good to find someone who likes birds. Thank you for making this lens.

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