Fittingly for Mother’s Day, this morning I watched two Super Mom’s defending their progeny. We’re familiar with the GHB Piping Plover Super Mom who, despite her handicap, defends her nest and chicks with the same do-or-die energy as does Dad. She did just that this morning, keeping the scruffy bachelor from getting to close to her nest.
Good Harbor Beach Piping Plover Super Mom
Later in the morning I unexpectedly ran into one of my best friends Claudia (and a Super Mom herself!) who was out on a walk. We were admiring the ducklings and the beautiful Mama duck when we noticed a male behaving in a mildly aggressive manner. Mama duck put herself between the male and her ducklings.
I said bye to my friend and began to head home when suddenly the male attacked the Mom, separating her from the ducklings. She fought like crazy to get back to her family but he kept attacking , flying her around in circles and down the beach. The attacks lasted about half an hour; all the while the ducklings were sadly adrift and very confused. A second male joined in the attack. I don’t know how she made It back because they were out of sight for a good amount of time, flying in and out of the dunes, but return she did. Mom gave a series of loud quacks and the ducklings quickly scooted to her side.
Soon after a male showed up and it must have been her mate because he planted himself between the family and the two aggressors. The attacking Mallards lost interest and drifted away. It was scary for a bit and I was imagining a call to Cape Ann’s Wildlife rescuers Jodi and Erin, wondering if they take in ducklings.
Note in the last clip when Mom gives one of the ducklings a gentle nudge on the head and then another of the ducklings stretches his budding winglets; they are so tiny!
Observing mini wildlife dramas, especially the fierce behavior of these valiant, yet highly vulnerable, Mom creatures is a reminder of all the women in our lives who are fierce protectors of their loved ones, and who have inspired us to reach for the stars. Rock On Super Moms!