Photo shows mama duck with 76 ducklings

Photo shows mama duck with 76 ducklings
Courtesy of Brent Cizek
Photographer Brent Cizek of Bemidji, Minnesota, captured this photo on Lake Bemidji.

Some parents have their hands full with only one child, but a photographer in Bemidji, Minnesota, happened to catch a mother duck with 76 ducklings.

That’s right – 76.

Brent Cizek told CBC he “couldn’t have asked for a better photo opportunity” when he was at Lake Bemidji.

The images he captured of the duck and all those ducklings hit the internet and went viral and was featured in media around the world.

Before you think to yourself, “Wow! Mom of the Year!”, it’s important to add some context to the scene.

Cizek said he first saw the ducks in late June when there was one hen with at least 56 little ones. He returned a few weeks later and found a couple dozen more, according to CBC.

How is this possible?

David Rave of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources told the New York Times the photos Cizek captured likely depict a “creche” – a duckling daycare!

Rave said an older, more experienced duck mother will take care of other females’ babies, just usually not to the large number seen in the photos.

“I’ve seen creches up to 35 and 50 often, but 70 — that would be a very big creche,” Rave said.