Banning, CA: Mallard Momma Shows Off

Posted on May 16, 2023 | No Comments

BANNING, Calif. (May 16, 2023) A mallard hen squawks at a raven perched on a nearby fence as she huddles with her chicks shortly after they hatched at Sun Lakes Country Club in Banning, CA. The community is home to abundant wildlife, including skunks, raccoons, bobcats, squirrels, rabbits, snakes and lizards. (Photo: ©2023 Greg Vojtko/All Rights Reserved)

The periwinkle shrubs in back yard have become a bit overgrown this past month. A mallard hen has been sitting on a clutch of eggs in them. I discovered her while raking debris when she busted out from her hidden nest some weeks back.

It’s been fascinating to watch her. Once or twice a day she’d take off to feed, covering her eggs to keep them warm in her absence. Upon her return, she would land on the patio, look around and then, like something out of an M. Night Shyamalan movie, disappear into the bushes.

The chicks hatched this morning, all ten of them. Once she and her brood make their way to the pond on the edge of the golf course down the street I can get back to my pruning. I hope no ravens manage to get any of them en route or once they reach the water.

Nuts and bolts: Canon 80D with a Canon EF-S 22-250mm f4.5-5.6 IS STM zoom lens.