The combined Brood1 and Brood2 have had a tough time in their first month of life. Of the original 13, only five are still alive. That’s actually impressive considering they’ve had no adult for protection or direction in finding food or safe places to rest at night. Their losses have taught them to stick close together which increases their chances of survival. You’ll see more about them as events happen in their lives.
They have some battle scars. Early in life, one of them was probably bitten on its head. I noticed its left eyestripe had a flaw when it was young (see foreground duck in this photo). As it’s lost its baby fuzz, an indentation in the structure of its skull is more evident. The injury doesn’t seem to impair the duck in any way.
Sometime between May 29 (above, left) and June 3 (above, right), one duckling had the webbing on its left foot shredded. It was probably an encounter with the claws on a snapping turtle. The webbing will never heal and will reduce the duck’s paddling speed, but he’ll learn to compensate. Otherwise, he’s as fit as his siblings and his adopted brother, the darker duckling, the sole survivor of four in Brood2. Note how that duck is starting to develop a white bib like its mother.