by Carl Strang
Nesting birds early in this season had been experiencing nothing but tragedy at Mayslake Forest Preserve. I was somewhat relieved, therefore, to see the product of a successful nest on Monday.
Even this success was tempered by the fact that only one tiny duckling remained from what would have been a larger clutch of eggs, probably half a dozen at least.
The presence of the male is a reminder that our suburban ducks have a significant amount of domestic mallard in their genetic background. In fully wild mallards the male would be long gone, saving the well camouflaged female and duckling from the predators his brighter colors might attract.