Tag Archives: Reptiles

Mallard hen with duckling

Sole survivor

By mid-July on the Rideau River this mallard hen has only one of her brood left. She will have started out with a brood of six to eight newly hatched ducklings in May-June, but ducklings fall prey to seagulls, snapping turtles and other predators very easily. Chances are the surviving duckling will not survive its first year of life. This is the reality in the natural world: 85% of the birds and animals born in spring do not last a year, but enough do last long enough to breed the following spring and perpetuate their species.

Photographed and posted by Geoffrey

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Egg shells are all that remain of the clutch recently laid by a turtle in the soft earth next to a pond by the Rideau River that were dug up and eaten by a predator, likely a hungry raccoon. Life in the natural world is typically short and comes to a sudden and grisly end.

Photographed and posted by Geoffrey