We’ve heard of big families and moms who go the extra mile, but this mother duck is really blowing our minds.
Make way for ducklings – all 76 of them in this case
We know there’s no way one duck could lay this many eggs, so it’s likely she’s duck-sitting for the afternoon, but boy does she have her hands (or webbed feet, more accurately) full!
It’s normal to see 4 or 5 (or even up to 10) ducklings following their mom around in springtime, but one nature-lover caught sight of this scene and the video is going viral for obvious reasons.
Some duck species designate what’s called a “crèche” mother to tend to baby ducklings. That’s likely what wildlife photographer Brent Cizek stumbled across while visiting Minnesota’s Lake Bemidji last year.
Cizek has dubbed the common merganser duck species matron “Mama Merganser.”
In an interview with Jillian Mock of the Audubon Society, he says that he wasn’t expecting to see anything particularly exciting that day and didn’t even bring his best camera equipment. He was also out on a small boat when he filmed the footage and bad weather was headed his way, so the water was already choppy.
Still, Cizek managed to catch the ducks at play, as they popped up one by one in a way that looked like they were almost saying hello to the camera.
He also caught about half of the ducklings going out for a practice swim across the lake, first gathering themselves calmly while “mama” duck waited on shore…
…then all sprinting at once into a straight line, their little webbed feat nearly walking across the water.
Meanwhile, the rest played back on land, dipping their toes in the lake occasionally, but staying close to their guardian