The group of ducklings living around the canal nearby home in Kissimmee, Florida, continue to grow and develop their adolescent colors. One in particular as shown in the photo here has turned out to be the duck leader of the pack. He is male, dominant, and larger than all the others.
Notice the dominant duckling’s inset photo taken 7 days earlier. The dark tail feathers are appearing, and then the current photo shows down feathers replaced with darker wing, face, and chest feathers. Though you cannot tell, the size difference is remarkable in just one week much like human (or puppy) teenagers.
OMD (Oh My Dog) did you notice the teenager spiked “hair” just like humans? View or download the duck photo closeup wallpaper (1200px wide) for details to compare him now to one week ago.
Sadly, only 5 of the 13 original baby ducks has survived. An unrelated duckling was rescued and brought to the Momma duck by strangers 10 days ago. It was found far away from any water by a couple on a walk who knew about this group living at the canal. Its coloration was about a week younger than the Momma duck’s family, so the duckling was shunned at first and just swam around alone and scared.
As a rescue dog dumped on the street I know that feeling of being abandoned. Imagine being a 4 month old puppy let out at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. That’s where I was found when captured and sent to doggy jail. I know that fear the poor duckling was feeling.
Fortunately, the Momma adopted that baby duck within 24 hours, and then the family had 6 ducklings again. It is common to see a line of babies following the Momma duck while waddling around or swimming in the canal. Now that he’s older, at times the duck leader of the pack charges ahead in and out of the water, and the family follows him instead of Momma.
Study the colors in the photo here and compare that look to previous pictures in posts on this blog over the last few weeks to see how the baby ducks have changed. This will be the first group that survived to be young adults in over 2 years, so it’s exciting to see how they’ll do with Momma being helped by that duck leader of the pack.
Footnote: I realize ducks don’t actually run in packs. These don’t bark either. However, the dominant duckling has learned Momma’s peep-peep and quack-quack vocalizations, and I do believe he’s sounded an alarm more than once.