Here on the creek we get to see our mallards breed (Pal Nancy calls it “twitterpating”, which I think sums it up nicely) and then set forth with their brood a few weeks later. But it’s sad to see the numbers dwindle as the summer goes on – the mamas start with perhaps 5-6 babies but they’re soon down to 1,2 or maybe 3. I don’t know what takes these kids, although one year I rowed out and removed an oyster clamped on the foot (paw? paddle?) of a duckling – an oyster! Who knew?
Whatever, life, and death goes on, and the ducks seem to keep enough of themselves going to keep the water populated. It’s a fascinating thing to observe.