I was a little surprised to find a tiny Mallard chick at Lake Morton on Sunday. He toppled into the water to follow Mom when I accidentally spooked her. He had a whole family of Mallards who seemed to be watching out for him. It’s unusual to see just one of this size – the clutches are usually pretty large, which is good given the low survival rate of the chicks. I guess late-season clutches are smaller.
I also saw lots of juvie Wood Ducks at the lake. In the wild, Wood Ducks are extremely skittish, but the ones at Lake Morton are used to people. Even so, they are the first to hit the water when a person approaches. So I made sure to get low and photograph from afar when I saw a group of these pretty birds.