We also have a lot of ducks and other birds around here, there's a park a few kilometers from my home where there are a lot of geese with little ones, and there are also swans at this time of year with young. Last week I saw two swans with five little grey young. You have to be careful with swans with young, don't come too close because they defend their young very vigorously.
They grow very quickly. Those on your photo indeed look like they're only a few days old.
We see them when I take Ruth to work; we have the opportunity to go past the "lake" in Albert Park. Most of them are mallards, but there are a few (mute) cygnets. There are about 5 cygnets, but each duck seems to lay about 15 eggs per clutch; they will probably lay again in a few weeks. The adult ducks and drakes like sitting on the grass on Park Vale Road. Unfortunately the ducklings gradually vanish; that is why the ducks lay so many eggs.
My theory is that ducklings grow by merging with other ducklings. It's the only explanation for the way that when they're really small there seem to be loads of them, but as they get bigger there are fewer. Well, maybe not the only explanation, but I prefer it to the alternative.
author & internet detective
Today is the third day I've seen them and they are still tiny. I think you are few day old estimate is accurate. I know with certainty they were less than six days old when I took the picture. (mama duck was on the nest before that).
Joined: Oct 13, 2005
I, yesterday wrote: . . . the ducklings gradually vanish . . .
Matthew Brown wrote:My theory is that ducklings grow by merging with other ducklings. It's the only explanation for the way that when they're really small there seem to be loads of them, but as they get bigger there are fewer. Well, maybe not the only explanation, but I prefer it to the alternative.
Sounds perfectly reasonable, it also explains how they grow so fast!
My grandparents, who were farmers, often had a flock of white ducklings at the end of the summer, to be fed and sold for Christmas. I remember one year we were there on holiday, and we made a trip away from the farm for a week. When we came back we were surprised at how much the ducklings had grown in a week. They looked like they became almost twice as large!
Joined: Oct 13, 2005
We acquired two grandsons during the colder parts of last Winter. It is surprising how quickly they grow, too