They say it’s raining cats and dogs but raining ducks is not something you expect to see on a walk in the woods. A remote camera installation positioned by the Minnesota Fish and Wildlife Agency recently unveiled such an astonishing spectacle as a group of wood ducklings plummeted from the skies.
The woodland scene comes to life with a series of gentle thuds as the undergrowth shivers under the impact of the cascading ducklings. The ducks then quickly regroup and follow Mama Duck off into the undergrowth. The ducklings aren’t easy to spot at first, but they are unmistakable once you know where to look.
It's raining wood ducks! 🦆Wood ducks nest in hollow trees and when the eggs hatch, the ducklings must jump to join their mother on the journey to the pond. DNR wildlife biologists are researching what types of trees and cavities female wood ducks prefer, which wetlands they bring their broods to, and how successful hens are at nesting and rearing broods year-after-year. This information will be helpful for forest and wildlife management decision making across the forested region of Minnesota. The wood duck hen featured in this video is outfitted with telemetry equipment so we can find her and her ducklings for research purposes. Learn more about this waterfowl species: mndnr.gov/birds/woodduck.html
Posted by Minnesota Fish & Wildlife on Thursday, June 29, 2023
In a social media post, Minnesota Fish and Wildlife explained, “Wood ducks nest in hollow trees and when the eggs hatch, the ducklings must jump to join their mother on the journey to the pond.”
This daring leap, it was revealed, occurs as early as the first day of the ducklings’ existence, although some late-developing hatchlings may linger in their nests for several days.
Astoundingly, woodducks are known to nest at heights reaching 65 feet. The National Wildlife Federation reassures that the fall hardly affects the delicate ducklings due to their feather-light mass.
It’s amazing to think about these tiny creatures jumping down from such a height at just one day old. I do remember watching a nature documentary sequence that showcased these intrepid animals. Of course, that was shot in slow motion so we could fully appreciate the bounce as the baby ducks hit the floor! Cuteness overload!
Trail cameras are an increasingly popular and useful path of photography. Wildlife researchers use them to track and monitor habitats and species, many of whom are turning to AI to assist in species recognition and tracking.