Monday, 26 April 2010

Just Hatched!

This image shows a proud mother Call Duck with her newly hatched brood of golden ducklings- just 24 hours old - on a beautiful sunny April afternoon here at Seaview Wildlife Encounter. Call Ducks are known to be energetic and active; they are small (weighing approximately 0.68 kg /1.5 lb) and have plump bowl-shaped bodies; a wide, rounded head; a small, broad bill and short legs. They are vocal birds with a high pitched call. The Call Duck comes in a variety of colour combinations and produces an average of 25–75 eggs a year.

Just hatched - a tiny Mallard duckling in one of our incubators. I snapped this image before the new arrival was moved to a brooder - where he'll be kept warm and monitored closely for a couple of days before joining a larger group of orphaned ducklings. When eggs or youngs ducklings are discovered out in the Park the animal care team rescue them from predation by by rooks or seagulls. Where possible the mother duck is caught at the same time - so that she can be with her new brood - but often this isn't possible; so the keepers step in and adopt the youngsters until they're old enough to be released back into the freedom of the Park.

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