Mallard Hen with Duckling at Bear River MBR

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Mallard hen with ducklingMallard hen with duckling – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I saw ducklings all over Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge yesterday when I was on the auto tour loop. Most of the ducklings I saw were Mallards and almost all of them were too far away to get decent images of but one hen was near the road with her resting ducklings in lovely light as she preened while they rested nearby.

The setting wasn’t all that great because of the concrete boat launch beneath them but I felt like the light and the background made up for that. Because I was close I wasn’t able to get a single image with all of the ducklings and the hen in the frame so I focused on the Mallard hen and with one duckling resting right behind her.

Mallards are large dabbling ducks with rounded, large bodies, wide bills and rounded heads. Males are more colorful than the females although at this time of the year they are in nonbreeding plumage and can look more like the females. Mallards lay 5 to 14 eggs which hatch in 26 to 30 days and most of the hens I saw with chicks yesterday had large broods.

Life is just ducky.



  1. Elephant's Child June 28, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Beautiful things. Thank you.

  2. Patty Chadwick June 28, 2016 at 8:54 am

    One reason I like ducks, is that they sound like they’re laughing…another is that they look like they’re always smiling and yet another is that they have such a funny way of walking…who doesn’t love ducks!!!

  3. Phil June 28, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Love mallards. Pleasant to look upon and good species to have around.

  4. Bob McPherson June 28, 2016 at 6:55 am

    Ducky indeed. Beautiful images Mia. Love the ducklings. Have names for some who hang out here.

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