The above image by Lena Chow shows an adult Lesser Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna javanica) leading a brood of 12 ducklings with another adult supervising along the side of the neat row. First posted in her Facebook LINK it attracted some interesting comments.
Liling Tan believes that the brood consists of two families and not a very productive one as stated by Lena. According to literature, the normal clutch size is 7-12 eggs for these ducks. Referring to this LINK, Lena quoted: “Whistling-ducks comprise a group of species that are primarily of tropical and subtropical distribution. In common with the swans and true geese (which with them comprise the subfamily Anserinae), the included species have a reticulated tarsal surface pattern, lack sexual dimorphism in plumage…”
Weng L Lim speculates that the ducklings come “from different parents flock together, then follow the ‘lucky’ mother duck.” Joy Tang on the other hand commented: “I thought the fathers usually disappear… more likely 2 moms?”
“So apart from asking the ducks, is there already a known answer?” asked Lena, echoing Weng L Lim.
Ducks are generally gregarious birds, often seen in loose colonies that vary from a few dozens or more. They feed, roost and loaf together, either on land or on water. Pair formation and courtship display similarly take place in groups. But when it comes to nesting, most species do so in loose or solitary pairs. There is an obvious need to observe groupings of ducklings.
Lena Chow, Liling Tan, Weng L Lim & Joy Tang