Image by @joelsartore | When you have babies as cute as these mallard ducklings, you definitely don’t want them to lose their way. Luckily, imprinting on their mother gives these little guys a boost when it comes to survival. When a duckling imprints on it’s mother they never want her to be out of their sight and will call out to her the moment she leaves their field of vision. Not only does imprinting help keep baby ducks in a row, but it also helps them learn survival behaviors by watching everything that mom does.
Immediately upon hatching, ducklings are able to follow their mother to the nearest source of water to feed. Though they are lined with down already, their feathers are not yet waterproof, so they depend on their mother for both waterproofing and warmth. After 50-60 days, ducklings become fully mature and ready to fly off on their own.
To see more images if these adorable ducklings, check out @joelsartore.
These ducklings were photographed at @wildlife_rescue_team_inc in Nebraska.
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