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Bufflehead Ducklings: Just 1 Day Old!

We are excited to announce our brand new Bufflehead ducklings!

Buffleheads nest in tree cavities in the wild, and ours were given nest boxes meant to replicate these.  One of our two females moved in once her clutch of eggs was complete and incubated them for about 30 days.  She, like most Buffleheads, only took short breaks from incubating each day to feed, bathe, and defecate.

Like most species of ducks, the male Bufflehead plays no role in incubation or chick care.  Once the chicks hatched and were dry (they are wet when they first emerge from their eggs), their mother called them out of their nest and into the Kennecott Wetlands Exhibit where she currently looks after them, keeping them safe and warm.

Ducklings are not fed or shown food by their parents, so the ducklings are exploring everything in the exhibit to figure out what is and isn’t food.  Our Aviculturists are offering them a special kind of food made for the needs of ducklings and some small mealworms for them to eat. 

Bufflehead are a species of diving duck, which means that they mainly feed by diving under the water to get their food.  At only one day old and fresh out of the nest box the chicks were already watching their mother dive and trying to learn how to do it themselves.

This is the first time Tracy Aviary has had Bufflehead chicks on exhibit.  They grow fast, so come see them soon!

Update, June 20, 2015: Our little bufflead ducklings are spending some time behind-the-scenes for routine health checks so we can ensure they grow up to be happy, healthy, adorable little adults.  Stop back soon to see them again!