Many mallard pairs raised their little ones within an a short radius of an extended stay hotel in Jacksonville, Florida. These first two pages show how the fuzzy little brown and yellow ones grew into their mature colors. Pages 3 and 4 show wing growth and the fifth page documents eclipse plumage changes which happen each year in the male mallards.
Page 1 of 5
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It all starts with the eggs. (These never hatched.)
Momma mallard with her little ones which are only a day or two old.
The first few days out of the shell Mom protects and keeps the little ones warm by covering them with her wings. There are 11 little ones in there getting settled for the night.
Mallards often sleep with their bill tucked under a wing. Apparently it's a natural sleeping position as this four day old duckling has its bill tucked behind its tiny wing.
Ducklings are bundles of energy when this size!
This duckling is about a week to 10 days old.
These ducklings are also about 10 days old. Mom left with Dad for a short while leaving these ones who had been huddled under her exposed to the elements. Vultures commonly fly over this area so that's probably what has their attention.
The ducklings continue to get bigger even as they remain brown and yellowish-beige.
All photos © S. M. Garver