Mallard ducks

Asked May 25, 2018, 2:43 PM EDT

I live on a lake. I have bird feeders in my yard. Mom and dad(mallards)have been bringing the babies up to the feeders. Yesterday evening mom dad and remaining 2 babies jumped in the water, with in minutes 2 males (mallards) swooped in and took one of the babies. Fights insued for several minutes, mom and dad abanded the babies. They were trying to follow the 2 males whom are ignoring them around this morning. Mom and dad moved to the woods across the street. Babies came up to the feeders alone earlier. Why did mom leave them? My heart is broken...they just wandered up again looking for mom and dad.....

Gloucester County New Jersey

2 Responses

as soon as the parents feel the ducklings can live on their own, they will leave the young to fend for themselves. Also as a preservation method ducks will abandon a living site to take residence elsewhere and if time lay another clutch of eggs. Unattached males will seek a breeding duck, so you may see more fighting between the males and chasing of the females. Remember with wild flocks things do not always seem fair, and losses can occur. If a single individual lives to adulthood, then the mating pair have done their job. This is why a clutch (group) of eggs is laid and groups of ducklings are raised at one time.

Thanks, G.

Thank you! They were fine, until the fight. The babies are small, still all down feathers. Was a crazy scene to watch.