Is there anything on the planet more adorable than seeing a small row of baby ducklings following their mama around the water as they look for food? Well, as it turns out, there is. This “Super Mom” duck has taken the internet by storm with her unbelievably long line of newborn ducklings in tow behind her.
There’s a reason why most people love the springtime over any other season. Budding with new life, you can see all the fresh growth burst forth in color and watch all of the new baby animals learning how to thrive, and baby ducks are some of the first new life we see in the Spring.
Usually, though, any given mamma duck would boast between 5-10 ducklings, at most, paddling rapidly through the waters behind her. That is why this duck photographed with a grand total of 56 baby duckling swimming behind her has gone viral and earned her the name of “Super Mom” from impressed viewers the world over.
The beautifully crisp images were taken by Brent Cizek, an impassioned wildlife photographer who aims to capture the natural beauty encompassed in the animals around him.
Cizek is so enamored with the wildlife he encounters, in fact, that he even shelled out his savings last year to purchase a small boat that would allow him to get up close and personal with the inhabitants on and around lakes and rivers. This has allowed him to accomplish his goal of showing the world the wonder of wildlife in their natural habitat.
One day, though, while Cizek was trying to capture the charming wildlife of Minnesota’s many large lakes, he decided to take a ride on the rough waters of Lake Bemidji. While most boaters avoid wind-chopped waters either for fishing or photography, Cizek was dedicated to his cause and stayed out on the boat…and it really paid off for him!
“Well, it wasn’t the greatest idea as it was quite windy that day and the waves were tossing my boat around in any direction that it wanted to. I decided to carry on, knowing that it wasn’t likely that I would see anything, much less be able to take a photograph with the choppy water,” Cizek said.
Low and behold, though, Cizek must have been having a sixth sense about what he would see that day, even in his doubt, because not much longer after he made the choice to stick it out in the boat he looked out to see the Common Merganser duck on the lake with all of her babies.
While there’s no doubt it’s enchanting to watch baby ducks trailing behind their mom on the waters, this was no ordinary brood and Cizek knew it!
As he got closer and closer to the calm mother duck with her small army of ducklings, he knew he was stumbling onto a gift from nature.
“The closer that I got, the more my heart started racing as I had never witnessed something like this before. I knew that this was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity, so I immediately tried to fire off as many shots as I could, just hoping that one of the photos would turn out,” he excitedly recalls.
While at first Cizek had only counted 56 ducklings, on further inspection as he neared the brood he was shocked to find that this mom duck was mothering even more baby ducklings than he’d thought! He’s also become quite attached to them, already mourning the day they will take flight to warmer climes.
“I was able to then count 76 babies with her. So she had picked up more babies along the way. It’s been remarkable. It’s going to be a sad day when they continue their migration,” he says.
The amazing photo collection and video Cizek has since been able to capture has many wondering how on earth a single mother duck could come to be responsible for an unbelievable 76 baby ducklings. Fortunately, the National Audobon Society has an answer for them:
“The merganser in this picture probably picked up several dozen ducklings that got separated from their mothers. Adult ducks can’t tell which birds are theirs, and lost young birds that have already imprinted on their own mothers will instinctively start following another common merganser because she looks like mom.”
Even though the majority of the ducklings aren’t hers, this “Super Mom” duck hasn’t let that deter her from bringing them up right and devoting attention to each and every one of them. Hopefully, they will all grow up to become as amazing as she is.
To see more of this amazing mother duck, watch Cizek’s video below.
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