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    Posted July 30, 2014 by
    Cedar Grove, New Jersey
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Travel snapshots: Best bird-watching

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    A Year In The Life of A Mallard Family


    It was early April of last year, that I first noticed a beautiful pair of mallards visiting the bird feeders just outside my bedroom window.


    I live in a secluded, wooded area just outside New York City where many wild animals live and very often squirrels or deer raid my bird feeders and spill bird seed on the ground, so the ducks would happily come and feed on the spilled seeds.


    They started coming around every single day, so I started leaving a little extra bird seed on the ground for them. They were always very sweet and they were ALWAYS together.


    They built a big, cozy nest and set up residence near the stream that runs through my backyard.


    Everyday, they would come by my window to say hello, feed on the bird seed, then pass the day frolicking around my backyard or swimming and splashing happily in the stream.


    I started calling them Mr and Mrs Mallard because they acted like an old married couple.


    Then, one very special morning in May, Mrs Mallard brought us a very special surprise…six tiny, fuzzy, adorable, yellow ducklings! Mrs and Mrs Mallard had become parents.


    For the next five or six months, Mama Mallard brought her adorable ducklings over every day, morning and evening. Daddy Mallard would come over, too, but mostly he would stay back guarding their nest.


    It was such a joy watching the sweet mallard family thrive and grow. Mama Mallard protected her ducklings and taught them to find food, swim and ultimately, to fly away and be independent.


    All photos by Lulis Leal

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