More ducklings may still be born, but it currently appears this brood is the last of the season at the Brighton millpond. I noticed their mom standing on a slight mound in the marsh at the north end on September 2nd. Her wings were lowered and spread so I knew she was keeping young ones warm in the rain, but they didn’t come out to be counted.
A few nights later, I saw her move through the water with little ones trailing her but it was too dark to count them. She showed up at the southern end of the pond when her kids were almost three weeks old. She’s stayed at the southern end although she’s scuffling with some resident ducks who let her know she’s in their territory. She holds her own in these minor battles.
The four ducklings are an assortment of colors and healthy. She, however, has been disheveled since I first photographed her (below left). I attributed it to the rain then, but now see (below right) she has no time to preen during these early weeks of rearing her brood. Mothering stresses hens. They often molt after the hatch which also taxes her physical resources. Too bad there isn’t a duck spa. She needs the rest and pampering.