Mallard Gives Birth To 24 Ducklings, Breaking Record In Process
A mallard has given birth to 24 ducklings in England, breaking the previous record of 22 in the process.
The mother laid her eggs in sub-zero temperatures at the beginning of March, when England was experiencing some of its worst ever weather. However this didn’t deter her pesky brood, and all 24 chicks were born healthy.
After 28 days of incubation they were finally born at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust’s reserve in Arundel, West Sussex.
They will become independent in around 50 to 60 days time, but experts have warned that there is a good chance they won’t make it to adulthood as they can’t fly so will be easy prey for pike and birds, such as heron.
The previous record for the largest ever collection of ducks was set in Oklahoma, after a female gave birth to 22. Previously, Brian Moore, a photographer from Hazelbury, Dorset, discovered 21 ducklings in his son’s back garden pond.
England’s dedication to this family of ducks comes several months after a duck survived being shot through the head by a crossbow in the country.
The RSPCA struggled to capture the animal, despite its injury, with a spokeswoman at the time noting, “We have made attempts to catch the duck – but it is still very mobile and active and therefore flies off when we get near it.”
She then added,”Obviously as the duck is still able to fly and is quite mobile it has been difficult for our officers to catch it but we are continuing to monitor it and hope to catch it eventually.”
The duck eventually survived the ordeal, after the arrow apparently went through its ear canal and missed vital organs. During this time a fleet of RSPCA officers and local fishermen monitored the bird’s condition. Unfortunately, no one has been caught or charged with the offence though.
What do you think of the Mallard and her offspring?