Being a wildlife photographer really does have its perks! Brent Cizek found a fascinating sight in Lake Bemidji in Minnesota and ended up documenting it on multiple different occasions.
MAMA MERGANSER! I was able to track down the now famous Lake Bemidji Common Merganser that has an adopted brood of over 76 babies! I love the story that these photos tell.
Full gallery: https://t.co/wg8xioJBIG#audubonsociety #minnesota #bemidji #duck pic.twitter.com/c0Jycct4HX
— Brent Cizek (@brentcizekphoto) July 17, 2018
This mother duck has taken on the immense responsibility of caring for 76 ducklings! No, they are not all hers, but some of them are! These little babies have imprinted on her and follow her mostly everywhere.
This is a common practice among ducks, but not usually in this size. Experts say that ducks raise their young in ‘daycare’ systems called crÃ©che. This is when other duck mothers leave their eggs in nests of other moms if they believe the eggs will have a better chance at survival.
It’s a lot of responsibility, but this mom has got all her ducks in a row!
Spent another morning with the mergansers. They are growing so fast. They continue to venture further out on their own, but as soon as Mama Merganser starts heading somewhere, they all quickly follow suite. Count is still at 70+. pic.twitter.com/MkIRc0wUnZ
— Brent Cizek (@brentcizekphoto) July 23, 2018
Follow Cizek to see updates on the babies as he watches them grow up!