MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A mama duck in Minnesota has captured hearts across the nation after a Bemidji photographer snapped an image of her leading an astonishing 76 ducklings across a lake.

Amateur wildlife photographer Brent Cizek noticed the exceptional common merganser, which he now calls Mama Merganser, late last month during a photo session on Lake Bemidji.

While it’s not uncommon to see a troupe of 20 or so ducklings lining up behind a single hen, 76 of them is another story.

“It was mind blowing,” Cizek told The New York Times. “I didn’t know a duck could care for that many chicks.”

An earlier photo of the same bird was featured by the National Audubon Society, in a July 13 story that explained that ducks sometimes put their eggs in others’ nests and that separated duckling sometimes cling to ducks that look like their mothers.

Still, it’s not quite sure how Mama Merganser amassed such an impressive brood.

“Everybody keeps saying, ‘Mom of the Year,’” Cizek told the newspaper.

A typical common merganser usually has a small flock of about 10 ducklings. The species is found in all season near lakes in parts of northern Minnesota.

Comments (31)
  1. its a good thing ducks don’t nurse or that would be a challenge…

    1. Americans are morons who have grown so stupid that they can no longer even count.

  2. Jim Stanton says:

    As person, who left “LA”, after I retired, (Lived in LA, for 45 Years) and moved to “Beautiful Bemidji”, I now have another reason, to be happy with my choice, of a retirement, in Bemidji, MN. PS: There are worse things, than “Ice & Snow” and the 405 Freeway, is one of them!!!

  3. 76 ducklings?!? Was that mother duck swimming toward an old shoe?

  4. David Jenson says:

    I’m betting she picked up some orphans.

  5. roughman998 says:

    Photoshop is a wonderful thing…

    1. Thanks, I almost got sucked in too. Nice edit job.

  6. wood0813 says:

    If we could just get Yurus to pronounce Merganser correctly!

  7. ricardoqueso says:

    “Look at that motherduck-”
    “SHUT YO’ MOUTH!”
    “I’m just talkin’ ’bout ducklings.”
    “We can dig it!”

  8. (B.A. Bible/Biology)*

    HOW DOES DNA TURN A CELL INTO A DUCK, OR A SHEEP, OR A HUMAN?

    When you divide a cake, the cake never gets bigger. However, when we were just a single cell and that cell kept dividing we got bigger. New material had to come from somewhere. That new material came from food.

    Just like the sequence of various letters and words in human language communicate a message and direct workers to build and assemble something so, too, the sequence of various molecules in our DNA (the genetic code) directed the molecules from our mother’s food, that we received in the womb, to become new cells and eventually forming all the tissues and organs of our body. When you understand how your DNA works, you’ll also understand how egg yolks can become chickens. Read my popular Internet article: HOW DID MY DNA MAKE ME? Just google the title to access the article.

    This article will give you a good understanding of how DNA, as well as cloning and genetic engineering. You also learn that so-called “Junk DNA” isn’t junk at all. You will learn why it is not rational to believe that DNA code could have arisen by chance. Science points (not proves, but points) to an intelligent cause for DNA code.

    Nature cannot build DNA code from scratch. It requires already existing DNA code to direct and bring about more DNA code or a genetic engineer in the laboratory using intelligent design and highly sophisticated technology to bring DNA code into existence from scratch.. Furthermore, RNA/DNA and proteins cannot “survive” or function outside of a complete and living cell.

    “JUNK” DNA ISN’T JUNK. It’s we who were ignorant of its usefulness. Recent scientific research published in scientific journals such as Nature and RNA has revealed that the “non-coding” segments of DNA are essential in regulating gene expression (i.e. when, where, and how genes are expressed, so they’re not “junk”). There’s also scientific evidence showing that “Junk DNA” still codes for proteins through the cell’s use of a complex “read-through” mechanism.

    Visit my latest Internet site: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION (This site answers many arguments, both old and new, that have been used by evolutionists to support their theory)

    Author of the popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS

    *I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I’ve been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis “Who’s Who in The East.”

  9. Kinda reminds me of the baby boomer problem with children grand and great comeing home to roost after years of non productive living.

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