Wildlife photographer Brent Cizek decided to visit north Minnesota lakes for some photos. He was hoping to capture some intimate scenes of animals in their natural habitat. But in the end, Brent had no idea how intimate he would get.
“Well, it wasn’t the greatest idea as it was quite windy that day and the waves were tossing my boat around in any direction that it wanted to,” Cizek told MNN. “I decided to carry on, knowing that it wasn’t likely that I would see anything, much less be able to take a photograph with the choppy water.”
After a ride with his tiny boat on the lake, he then steers it at the shoreline. In the next moment, he spotted what seemed to be a bevvy. When he edged nearer he could see there was a mother duck and few ducklings. Only that the few turned into few dozen.
“The closer that I got, the more my heart started racing as I had never witnessed something like this before,” the photographer explained. “As I got closer, the group decided to start swimming back out into the lake, and ‘Mama Merganser’ got out front and all of the chicks got in tow. I knew that this was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity, so I immediately tried to fire off as many shots as I could, just hoping that one of the photos would turn out.”
The super duck mama was being followed by a staggering 56 ducklings. “I found one image that was in focus and that I just loved,” he says. “I knew that it would do good on social media, so I posted the photo right away.” And it doesn’t take too long until his image went viral on social media.
However, at a closer look, it turned out there were even more. “I was able to then count 76 babies with her, so she had picked up more babies along the way,” he said. “It’s been remarkable. It’s going to be a sad day when they continue their migration.”
Most likely that wasn’t just a single brood, but a mixed family. But despite that, this duck is certainly the mom of the year!