Mother of the Year Award…

… Goes to this Common Merganser and her 76 (yes 76!) youngsters. 

Female common mergansers only lay about 12 eggs at a time, so it’s safe to say that not all of the babies are the offspring of Mama Merganser. In fact, female ducks have been known to travel with a few extra babies in tow.

Ducks often lay their eggs in the nests of other ducks—sometimes, they will even deposit eggs with different duck species. 

Photographer Brent Cizek recently captured this incredible scene on Minnesota’s Lake Bemidji. 

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  1. Babs – Seattle August 2, 2018 10:31 pm

    Binkys for all!!

  2. Jean P. aka Crabtowne, Md August 1, 2018 7:32 pm

    WOW— has someone photoshopped in another 20 ducklings? When I first saw this the AP photo said only 56 ducklings— I can count close to 48, but then you get into the “blob” where they are several deep. No matter how many, it is an amazing photo and that hen is the BEST babysitter on the lake!

  3. Elsie Sealander August 1, 2018 11:51 am

    Love it !

  4. Marguerite M Turk August 1, 2018 10:31 am

    That is an incredible photo. Wonder how they decide who follows who .That poor mother!!!