The ducklings this spring showed up in this order:
- Mom(1) and Dad with 6, that are now only 3
- Mom(2) and Dad with 3, that are now 2
- Mom(3) with 10, that are now 9
- Mom(4) and Dad with 3, that are now 2
- Mom(5) with 11, all still here
- Mom(6) with 8, all still here
Babies of Mom2 and Mom4 were abandoned when they were about a week old. [Guess I was off the mark thinking Mom2 was going to be attentive.] They would hang around, at a distance, to the Mom3, but spend some nights huddled together here at the pond.
Curiously, the male ducks would always run Mom4 away, much to my dismay. Mom and Dad's compromise would be to stay at the front of the house while the little ones would make their own way to the pond and back
The good news for all the orphans is that Mom3 eventually took them in and they are one HUGE family!! So, of course, I make sure they all get special attention--even when they make their way to the back door to beg for food!
I'm very proud of Mom5 and Mom6 who have succeeded in keeping the whole family intact. They must have some great hiding spaces for sleeping because they have only ever spent a night or two on the side of the pond.
Needless to say, it gets a bit loud and splashy when all 35 ducklings show up. And, with them all quacking and diving and molting and finding their wings, it's quite good entertainment!
By Christmas, they will all be gone and it will be quiet, once more.