March of the Ducklings

2 Eider

Eider crèche on the move (Ella Benninghaus)

4 Eider

Young duckling just 24 hours old (Ella Benninghaus)

3 Eider

Enjoying the sunshine (Ella Benninghaus)

1 Eider

Not such an ugly duckling (Ella Benninghaus)

Monday 27th May comments: Take a walk on the wild side on the Isle of May as our Eider families are on the move. Over 1,200 female Eiders nest on the island and the first birds were incubating from 17th April and since 5th May family parties have been hatching and moving.

Eider ducks will incubate for four weeks and once all the chicks have hatched (usually over a 24 hour period) the mums will take the ducklings to sea to the relative safety of the nearby coastline. On the Isle of May we often get females taking ducklings to the island loch first before moving out. Eider ducks are brilliant mothers as non-breeders, aunties or failed breeders will all help as they crèche in large numbers. So the ducklings don’t just have one mum helping out, they have many!

It’s a great time to visit the Isle of May as the story of the Eider mums and their chicks will continue over the next few weeks. So if you are visiting watch out as little feet are on the move…

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