I would have to say that, in terms of survivors, this year has been a great duckling season, except for July. I didn't see a single duckling hatched in late June or July survive, though a few might have in areas that I couldn't reach.
I think in my last post on July 7th, I mentioned this orphaned duckling and the mom who lost all of her ducklings. Well, the duckling finally bonded to this mama. I saw both of them for a few more days before they disappeared. I think the mama took him to a safer place. I am not sure if he made it adulthood, but if he did, he may be the only one to do so.
This mother duck had 13 ducklings to begin with. She hung around the boat docks and was doing really well with her ducklings and managed to keep most of them alive for at least two weeks.
Then, unfortunately, a coyote or dog attacked her and her ducklings, ripped off part of her face and damaged her eye. The eye is still there, but severely damaged. She then began to lose ducklings until, after almost three weeks, none were left.
I saw the mama duck for a couple of weeks after this and she was healing up very well and showed no signs of affliction except she had to compensate for not being able to see on that side. She was even flirting with the males. Unfortunately, I haven't seen her for almost a month now and don't know if she just moved off to a new area of passed away.
The adopted duckling with the older sibling grew up and are really tight best friends. The adopted one is a female and the other one is a male and go everywhere together.
Here is the female one, still friendly.
The other duckling that was raised separate by another female became independent really early and left her mom on her own.
A new mother duck with four ducklings showed up. She looked like one of Miss Una's relatives.
A fifth duckling from her brood was hatched later at someone's house, so the person at that house released him at the lake. However, she released him to wrong mother who attacked him. That mama had an independent duckling and the new duckling bonded to him and was glued to him for a long time.
Then, he began to follow any adult duck he could find, even the males. I had a feeling that he was part of the mom with four above, so I used his following the other ducks to an advantage. I pretended I was throwing food out to get all the ducks to follow me towards the other mother duck (who was actually coming up from the other end of the beach area).
The mother duck went up tot he duckling, who wasn't sure about her at first, and he seemed to brace for an attack. However, she began clucking at him and he blended in with the other ducklings. He seemed just fine when I left as seen in this photo. Unfortunately, the next day, I only saw four ducklings in that brood, again, but I think he was still with her.
Unfortunately, none of those ducklings survived. Here is the mom with her last one, whom, I am almost certain, is the one that was released. At least he lived his short life with a loving wild duck family.
There was one other duckling hatched in early July. He, too, was one of four who were doing very well until they started disappearing. This is his last photo taken in late July when he was almost a month old. Someone told me they saw a mama duck with a young duckling in an area that is difficult to get to, but I never saw him again and I thought I saw his mama alone. I am hoping that she just took him elsewhere.
As of the end of July, there were no young ducklings left, however there were a few older ones around that may have been either ones that were raised in other parts of the lake, or Project Wildlife releases.