One of the most common and well-know ducks, mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) ducklings are a frequent sight in urban parks as well as in more remote settings. No matter how many mallard babies I see and photograph, they always deserve another picture.
The mother mallard and her young brood were photographed on Lily Pond in Lassen Volcanic National Park (CA). Mama would herd her babies into the reeds when I moved and would stand watch over them. After a few minutes the young ducklings would scatter throughout the reeds and emerge back in the open in a wide fan around the mother. They were simply too curious and anxious to move about to stay among the sheltering vegetation. Eventually mama decided that perhaps I meant no harm and the little family was able to continue feeding.
The single older mallard duckling was with its mother and siblings on Manzanita Lake in the Park. This little guy climbed up onto the rock and fell asleep in the warm sunshine while his family dabbling in the nearby shallow water. The mother had a difficult time, with much calling, getting her duckling to rejoin the brood in order to move on down the lake shore. He already hears his own drummer.
Enjoy the cute baby pictures!