Merganser Photo Taken On Lake Bemidji Goes Viral
Bemidji is getting some national attention this week after a photo of a mother duck with more six dozen ducklings trailing behind her went viral. The picture was taken by local Bemidji photographer Brent Cisek.
Since then, the pic has shown up in places like The New York Times, USA Today and People magazine. A few news outlets down in the Twin Cities have also picked up the story. There are exactly 76 ducklings following the “mama” merganser, and the Bemidji Department of Natural Resources tells Lakeland News it’s actually not that uncommon to see.
David Rave, the wildlife supervisor for the MN DNR Bemidji Chapter says, “With common mergansers there’s a thing that they do where it’s called crèche-ing, and that’s where one female takes the ducklings from a whole bunch of different other females and she keeps all of those ducklings and she raises them, and so that’s what this picture is. It’s called a créche.
Lakeland News reached out to Cisek to ask what he thinks of the attention his photo is getting. He says, “All of the support has been really great. It’s been a little overwhelming at times trying to keep up with the media requests and other questions, but over all has been a really positive experience. I have learned so much about this species and it’s exciting to know that other people have learned something from it as well.”
Rave adds that the merganser is most likely the grandmother or great grandmother to all the ducklings. He also says it’s common for ducks like a golden eye, which can also be found in Bemidji, to participate in a créche as well.