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mallards returned

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Mom 2em All, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. Mom 2em All

    Mom 2em All Songster

    Apr 20, 2008
    Southeast Michigan
    Last year, I rehab/rescued three baby mallards to adulthood and they left in the fall...returned , left, returned...repeatedly over a few weeks time, until one day they didnt come back. A few days ago, a pair of mallards returned to my yard. Several things make me believe they are the ones I raised- especially because the female went right to the inner run where I keep the food...and they get within two feet of me.
    (in hindsight, I wish i would have banded them).

    I have a question.

    The female is EXTREMELY interested in my ducklings (ducktweens?). They are approx. six weeks old, and joined right in with them while in the yard. This evening, I had my gosling outside- he is about two weeks old, and the female came right up to us, and tried to interact with my gosling. *he was terrified and ran for his life, and hid behind my foot*...

    Does her interest mean anything? I have adult ducks in the yard as well. She has been foraging and swimming with them, eating with them, etc. But she has a very increased interest in the young ones. Do you think perhaps she lost her babies?

  2. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    How wonderful it would be to have your babies back- it certainly sounds like they are very used to human contact. Her interaction with you and the babies could just be that she does have a memory of her time with you when she herself was young. I dont know how good a ducks memory may be- but I gave away a goose who recognised me and my car years later. Every time I drove near the farm she would come running over to the fence. It would be lovely to believe she remembers you and the wonderful care you provided her.
  3. xke4

    xke4 Songster

    Feb 3, 2007
    I work at a wildlife rehab centre and last year we had an adult female mallard fly in one day, waddle over to a group of orphaned young ones (about 8), and give a few quacks. Within minutes, the group of 8 had assembled behind the female. Another group tried to join them but the female drove them away then proceeded to lead her new family down to the pond. She brought them back to the clinic one more time a day or two later then waddled off and we never saw them again. We expect that she was a former graduate of the program as she was very comfortable around the volunteers and knew exactly where everything was.
  4. Mom 2em All

    Mom 2em All Songster

    Apr 20, 2008
    Southeast Michigan
    Quote:awwwwww. that is wonderful. I have no problem with her having some ducklings if she would like to help out.. pay it forward, per se. My gosling however, thinks she is the scariest thing he has ever seen. lol.
  5. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Songster

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    I'm glad they came back to you!

    We have a duckling stealing female at our lake, but she steals ducklings when they're a few days old. I think a lot of times these are females who attempted to brood their own, but failed for some reason. But, they still have the urge (or hormones) to care for ducklings, so they show an interest in others. I've also seen this happen with a killdeer pair who lost their nest. As long as she isn't biting or attacking them, they should be fine, especially since they're older ducklings.
  6. Mom 2em All

    Mom 2em All Songster

    Apr 20, 2008
    Southeast Michigan
    The mallards are still here. [​IMG]

    My muscovy just hatched out a bunch of babies- well, I dont think the mallard will be able to get close to her or hers- she tries to remove my hand when I try checking on them.

    Its very nice to see them interacting with my other ducks, though.

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