I hope you can see the detail in this picture. The mother duck is swimming with her babies - all 12 of them!
I first saw Mommy Duck and her ducklings as they were walking to the water. She was leading the parade with all her little ones waddling behind. I snapped a pic with my cell phone, but it didn't come out very well so I ran for my camera.
By the time I returned, they were all in the water with two Mexican whistler ducks on the bank, a heron, and a family of turtles in the water.
The funniest thing is that 11 of the ducklings are dun-colored like their mother and blend easily into the environment. The 12th duckling is straight out of Hans Christian Anderson. It's larger than the others and a very pale yellow. It doesn't blend at all, but stands out from the flock like a changeling. You can easily identify it in the picture.
I'm pretty sure it's not from the same DNA pool as the other 11. Was Mother Duck fooling around or did someone play a trick on her and insert an extra egg into her nest?
Regardless, she and the others accepted it. Guess that's unconditional love in the feathered kingdom.