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Family of loons adopts mallard duckling

TOMAHAWK, Wisc (WAOW)– A family of loons has welcomed a new member to the family: a mallard duckling.

This is rare for several reasons.

Experts say loons are the type of bird that dives down under the water for food and eats fish, while mallards feed off the top of the water and eat plants and bugs that live at the top.

Loons have also been known to attack and even kill mallards. One of the pairs of loons that the Loon Project is following hatched and lost one of its own chicks around the time a mallard duckling that got separated from its sibling and mother wandered into the loon’s path.

“It’s very peculiar to see a mallard duckling hanging around with moon chicks and it’s even more unusual to see a Mallard duckling survive. When we first saw the Loon pair I didn’t give it a week,” Walter Piper, a Biology professor at Chapman University, said. He also works with the Loon Project 

“Its made it to adulthood, its Loon parents aren’t going to harm it, mallards are such social animals that I would suspect that it would be sought out by other mallards and ultimately it will blend in with other mallards and perhaps go back to being a mallard,” Piper said.

Walter wrote a blog post about this story. You can find it here. 

Ben Zitouni

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