‘Super mom’: Photographer captures images of mama duck with 76 baby ducklings


We’ve all seen momma ducks with 20 to 30 ducklings trailing behind her, but have you seen one with over 70 offspring in her care?
If you haven’t, meet “Mama Merganser,” the super duck mom caring for 76 ducklings!

One windy afternoon on July 16, 2018, wildlife photographer Brent Cizek headed for a scouting excursion on Lake Bemidji, Minnesota, with just one camera and one lens with him.

He had initially intended to capture a photo of a mallard he had seen the day before, but he didn’t expect to snap something far more special.

As he motored toward the boat slip, Brent spotted something in the river: a female Common Merganser surrounded by over 50 ducklings. As he watched, the little mergansers formed a line behind their mom and began swimming away.

A female common merganser surrounded by a brood of ducklings


The scene was too remarkable to pass up, so Brent got into action.

“I probably shot 50 pictures, and I was just praying that one was going to turn out sharp because the waves were so strong it was nearly impossible to even keep them in the frame,” he recalled at the time.

Making things more complicated was that he had to alternate between maneuvering his trolling motor and snapping photos with his camera. Luckily for him, just one picture turned out.Twitter

At home, Brent counted at least 50 ducklings in the photo. But during subsequent visits to the lake, he saw as many as 76 paddling behind Mama Merganser.

50 and 76 ducklings are definitely on the high-end, but large groups like this are actually pretty common, according to Kenn Kaufman, field editor for Audubon.

Female ducks have an interesting habit of leaving a few of their eggs in the nests of other ducks. They will have a nest of their own but will make their way over to another nest or two to lay a few eggs there.

Most of the time, mother ducks will drop off their eggs in the nests of other ducks of the same species, but sometimes they’re also known to lay their eggs in the nests of other duck species.

Young mergansers in the water


There’s no clear explanation behind this practice, but experts think it has to do with preservation. For example, in case a duck’s own nest is destroyed, she will still have more offspring being safely incubated in other nests.

Not putting all their eggs in one basket is sort of a reproductive insurance policy for these ducks.

This behavior doesn’t completely explain what Brent captured, though, because ducks can only successfully incubate a limited number of eggs. Female ducks lay about a dozen eggs and can only warm up to 20. Having more than that will be too much for them to handle.

Their theory is that this particular merganser picked up several dozen ducklings that strayed away from their mothers.

Adult ducks can’t identify which birds are theirs, and the ducklings that have already imprinted on their biological mothers will start to follow another Common Merganser who looks like mom.

Young mergansers in the water


Another plausible theory is that the ducklings are part of a crèche, wherein female birds entrust their newborns into the care of an older and wiser female.

This elder usually has broad experience in raising young and doesn’t mind taking a few hatchlings under her wing while their parents go off to do what adult birds typically do.

According to David Rave, an area wildlife manager overseeing the Bemidji region for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, several species of birds—including common mergansers—use this system.

This super duck mom will tend to these young birds for a couple more weeks before they are big enough to defend themselves.

They will eventually leave the group, and the females will one day potentially adopted a brood of ducklings of their own.

Luckily for this wildlife photographer, he was able to capture this remarkable scene for the rest of the world to see!

Here’s a compilation of raw videos that Brent Cizek took of Mama Merganser and her adorable ducklings.

Young mergansers going into the water


If you want to see more amazing photography follow Brent Cizek’s Instagram and Twitter. Please share this story with your friends and family.


“Searching for the Blue-throated Macaw: Cerrado Birding Walk in Barba Azul Nature Reserve, Bolivia”

Amazing strength and endurance of a ant…

Sweet dreams 🦉💤

A Family Portrait… Spanish Flu 1918

Lava falling into the sea in Hawaii

While visiting Inner Mongolia China. National Geographic’s Your Shot photographer Sharon Wan captured this moment of a herd of horses galloping across a dry field.

Nature at her best

Today is National Photo Day


National GeographicYour Shot photographer Aarzoo Khurana captured this interaction between a blackbird and a deer in Ranthambore National Park, India


Diver Spots A Pink Manta Ray So Rare He Thinks His Camera Is Broken

Lily Feinn

Kristian Laine was free diving near Lady Elliot Island in Australia, hoping to get a few good photos of the diverse sea creatures who call the Great Barrier Reef home.

He had no idea that he was about to get the luckiest shot a photographer could ask for.
Pink manta ray spotted off Lady Elliot Island
Kristian Laine

Laine spotted six male manta rays chasing a female, known as a manta train, so he held his breath and dove down. Looking through the viewfinder of his camera, he focused on something unusual. One of the mantas leading the chase wasn’t black or white — he was bright pink.

“I was looking through the viewfinder and locked eyes with it,” Laine told The Dodo. “Only when I fired my strobes to take a photo I noticed its pink color. I had no idea there were any pink mantas in the world so I was confused and thought my strobes were broken or doing something weird.”
Pink manta ray named Inspector Clouseau

Laine was pretty sure that his camera was malfunctioning, but he decided to follow the train and snap a few more shots of the special ray. And the rosy manta didn’t seem to mind the attention: “He was extremely calm,” Laine said. “I remember looking into its eyes and it was almost like he was smiling or at least very friendly.”

The whole interaction only lasted about a half hour but would change Laine’s life forever. “I felt a connection there,” he added.

When Laine returned to land, he came across a photo of the area’s most famous and reclusive inhabitant — a bubblegum pink manta named Inspector Clouseau.

“I rushed back to check in my camera,” Laine said. “My jaw dropped when I realized what I had just witnessed.

Pink manta ray spotted in Australia
Kristian Laine

Inspector Clouseau was first spotted in 2015, sparking debates as to what exactly gives him his rosy hue. A skin biopsy of the ray in 2016 ruled out any infection or irregularities in diet causing the color, National Geographic reported.

Scientists’ current theory is that the color is caused by a rare genetic mutation, such as erythrism, which causes an abnormal redness in an animal’s skin, fur or feathers, according to National Geographic. Or, in this case, a pinkness.

Pink manta ray pursuing a mate
Kristian Laine

The 11-foot manta seems to be doing just fine, despite standing out from the crowd. And if he’s successful in his courtship, we may see more pink mantas in the next few years.

But for now, Inspector Clouseau is wowing the world — one diver at a time. “It’s pretty humbling and I feel extremely lucky,” Laine said. “It was a pretty special day for me.”


Photographer captures beautiful images of polar bears playing in flower fields

When we think of polar bears, we automatically picture them in the Arctic, surrounded by snowy and icy landscapes. This image has been deeply ingrained in our minds that it’s hard to imagine these furry giants in any other environment.

Dennis Fast

The North experiences changing seasons, too. And as summer arrives, polar bears come out and start having their fun. Luckily, wildlife and nature photographer Dennis Fast captured these beautiful moments for the world to see. He was staying in the lodges operated by Churchill Wild in Manitoba, Canada, when he took the incredibly rare images.

In the pictures, the polar bears in Northern Canada’s Hudson Bay are seen rolling around the brightly colored fields of fireweed. When they’re not in the mood for play, the bears are content just lounging and napping in the pink fields, as if they, too, were savoring the warmth of the summer. Some of the most adorable shots feature one polar bear with his head poking out a sea of pink flowers!

Dennis Fast

It’s amazing to see the silly antics they get themselves into once the sun comes out. Their cute appearance almost makes us forget that they can attack humans when they’re approached the wrong way!

In an interview with Modern Met, Dennis shared why polar bears are his most beloved subjects.

“[I] t’s not just their color that makes them a favorite target of my camera,” he said. “They have a slow, ambling gait as they drift about looking for anything that moves. It looks like they don’t have a care in the world and that there is nothing they are afraid of. It’s not arrogance, exactly, but a quiet confidence that we often respect in humans, and that translates well to the polar bear.”

Dennis Fast

Once early autumn arrives, the polar bears will wait for the ice to reform in the bay so they can go back to their winter hunting grounds. In the meantime, they get the chance to enjoy the warmth of the sunshine and these blossoming fields!

Scroll through the gallery below to see more of this Canadian photographer’s rare shots of polar bears enjoying the summer.

Dennis Fast

Dennis Fast

Dennis Fast

Dennis Fast

Dennis Fast

Dennis Fast
Check out Dennis Fast’s books Princess: A Special Polar Bear, Touch the Arctic, Wapusk: White Bear of the North, and The Land Where the Sky Begins to see more of his brilliant work.


25 Jarring Photo Collages of People That Live Completely Different Lives


Uğur Gallenkuş is a digital artist from Istanbul, Turkey that has amassed a huge following on Instagram for his jarring photo collages of people that live completely different lives.

Much of his subject matter focuses on war zones, refugees, and poverty. In his work he is trying to start a conversation between two seemingly opposite scenes.

To see more striking collages from Gallenkus, check out his work



























Cat-human Relationships Captured on Camera: Winners Announced – Katzenworld

Over 1,500 amateur and professional photographers from around the world entered this year’s International Cat Care (iCatCare) photography competition held in collaboration with Your Cat Magazine, with the hope of featuring in the charity’s popular fundraising calendar.

With a theme of ‘Cat-Human Relationships’ the judges from iCatCare, Your Cat Magazine and Ceva were looking to celebrate the incredible bond between humans have with cats and the many different forms it can take.

From veterinarian staff dedicated to their feline patients to delightful cat-child connections and memorable street cat encounters, the entries submitted offered a unique window into some truly incredible relationships between humans and cats.

To see the photos and follow the contest continue here at Katzenworld…


How to Make a Christmas Cat Movie – Katzenworld


Christmas is the season to have some festive fun and try your hand at a Christmas cat movie. Nubia is already road-testing cat toys for Katzenworld, and I wonder if you know how easy it would be to film your own cat at Christmas? Let’s find out!

Don’t worry about being an ‘expert’ at making movies on your smartphone, just grab a coffee or a glass of wine and check out these cool tips for making your own Christmas cat movie.

via How to Make a Christmas Cat Movie – Katzenworld

Photography collective takes a stand against wildlife crime

Tom Seymour

Neil Aldridge’s image of a blindfolded young white rhino, which was sedated for transport to preserve it from poachers, features in the book. The price of rhino horn on the black market is more valuable by weight than gold, diamonds or cocaine, according to a study NEIL ALDRIDGE/photographersagainstwildlifecrime.com

At the beginning of the 20th century, half a million rhinos roamed Africa. Today, there are fewer than 5,000. In 2007, 13 rhinos were poached; since 2013, more than 1,000 have been killed each year. Overwhelmingly, their horns end up on the Chinese and Vietnamese market, where a burgeoning elite views rhino products as an elixir for all manner of ills, or as an ornamental trinket—the ultimate status symbol.

Rhinos are the most iconic of a host of endangered species driven to extinction by such rampant black markets. Pangolins, the only mammal with scales, are frequently found roasted and served in restaurants across East Asia. Black bears are farmed for their bile, which is extracted for use in traditional medicines, while shark fins and turtles are turned into soup. More than 6,000 tigers are held in captivity in China today—before their skeletons are soaked in rice wine and sold to the elite.

This has posed a challenge to some of the world’s most celebrated wildlife photographers. Should their practice and livelihood change as the animals they spend their careers capturing teeter on the brink of extinction?

“Magazines shy away from publishing such imagery. It doesn’t sell well”

Bigeye Thresher Shark Caught in Net by Brian Skerry (2012) © Brian Skerry

A new collective, Photographers Against Wildlife Crime, has formed to address this question and to confront the nation primarily connected to this horrific rise in poaching: China. Co-founded by the award-winning photographer Britta Jaschinski, the group includes some of the most renowned wildlife photographers in the world, including Adrian Steirn, Brent Stirton and Brian Skerry. It was formed in part due to wildlife crime’s lack of visibility in Western publications, Jaschinski says.

“Millions of animals are caught and harvested from the wild and sold in China as food, pets, tourist curios, trophies and for use in traditional Chinese medicine,” she says, adding that the issue doesn’t get the column inches it deserves. “The subject is so upsetting for a lot of people that magazines shy away from publishing such imagery,” Jaschinski adds. “It doesn’t sell well.”
Reaching the target audience

Together, Jaschinski and her colleagues crowdfunded and self-published a collection of their photographs alongside contemporary reporting on the issues behind wildlife crime. The book was initially published in English and quickly sold out. “But we realised we weren’t reaching the target audience that really mattered,” Jaschinski says.

Working in conjunction with a Chinese printer based in London, Jaschinski and her team have translated the book into Mandarin. After months of negotiating with the authorities, they are now in the process of distributing the book across the Chinese mainland.

The book is the first of its kind to be created specifically for a Chinese audience, and explicitly sets out to end the demand for wildlife products in China. It will be launched across the country in July and August, actively targeting the Chinese wildlife consumer market, the trading nucleus for one of the biggest black markets in the world.

Frozen pangolins by Paul Hilton © Paul Hilton

The illegal wildlife trade is the world’s fourth biggest criminal trade after drug smuggling, illegal firearms trade and human trafficking. The price of rhino horn on the black market, Jaschinski points out, is more valuable by weight than gold, diamonds or cocaine, according to a study by Science Advances. Rhino horn is estimated to fetch up to $60,000 per pound on the black market, and the illicit industry as a whole is estimated to be worth $20bn. Andrea Crosta, the director of the Elephant Action League, has called ivory the “white gold of jihad”, pointing out that al-Shabaab, an Islamic terrorist organisation, is funded directly by the illicit ivory and rhino horn trade in China.
Ban is barely enforced

In 2017, the Chinese authorities announced that all trade in ivory and its products would be made illegal. But the ban was barely enforced, Jaschinki says. The trade in rhino and tiger has been prohibited since 1993, but in October 2018, China alarmed conservationists by announcing that products from captive animals are authorised “for scientific, medical and cultural use”.

“I’ve worked on wildlife crime for 25 years—and I don’t distinguish between legal and illegal wildlife crime,” Jaschinski says. “China is becoming the economic leader of the world; I wanted to look at the horrendous treatment of animals and nature in the country, and especially at the link between poaching and trade in the country, and the mistreatment of animals in captivity in China.”

Bruno D’Amicis’s image of a Fennec fox pup offered for sale to a tourist after being caught in the desert in Tunisia. (Kebili Governorate, Tunisia, May 2012) © Bruno D’Amicis

While the images are often appalling, they have artistic merit, for each photographer involved has approached the subject from a different perspective, and by employing a different style. In the introduction to the book, Roz Kidman Cox, the chair of the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year jury, writes: “Some set out to highlight injustice through statement art, creating images that are unforgettable through their power—fury expressed beautifully. Others take dismembered beauty and reincarnate it in a haunting arrangement, turning evidence into art. Or they use the iconography of classical art to give their compositions human resonance, echoing a crucifixion, a deathbed repose or the spoils of war.”


See the best pictures from Bill Ingalls, NASA’s official photographer

If you love space, odds are you’ve admired the work of Bill Ingalls. He has been NASA’s senior contract photographer for 30 years, a job that has taken him across the world but not yet beyond it, to cover major moments in space exploration.

From posh events at the White House to spacecraft landings in frigid Kazakh steppe, his assignments have resulted in some of the agency’s most iconic images. He is one of only two photographers ever to receive the prestigious national space club press award.


Heartbreaking News! South African Cinematographer Carlos Carvalho Passes Away Following Tragic Incident With Giraffe – World Animal News

Heartbreaking News! South African Cinematographer Carlos Carvalho Passes Away Following Tragic Incident With Giraffe
By Lauren Lewis – May 7, 2018

WAN joins the countless people worldwide who are mourning the passing of award-winning South African cinematographer Carlos Carvalho.
Tragically, Carvalho was attacked by a giraffe while on assignment at the Glen Afric Country Lodge near Pretoria, the capital of South Africa.
“It is with a very sad heart that we have to announce the passing of Carlos Carvalho, one of our favorite DOP’s,” filming company CallaCrew announced on its Facebook page on Thursday, one day after the tragic incident. “Carlos was filming a feature at Glen Afric and had a fatal run-in with a giraffe on set.”
Carvalho had been flown by helicopter to Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, where he later succumbed to his head injuries.
The 47-year-old filmmaker was reportedly shooting close-ups of Gerald, the giraffe, when the animal was spooked by the boom swinger and swung his neck hitting Carvalho against his head.

“When Carlos was standing in front of the giraffe, the animal spread its legs, bent its neck and swung its head at Carlos,” Richard Brooker, whose family owns the lodge told Netwerk24. He further explained that Gerald will remain at the property. “He did nothing wrong.”
The British television series “Wild at Heart” was filmed at Glen Afric Country Lodge, which on its website shares that tourists can “get up close and personal to a number of our resident wildlife.
This incident raises the question of whether wild animals should be used for the purpose of filmed entertainment.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with Carlos’ family and friends during this very sad time, CallaCrew concluded. “He will be sorely missed.”
R.I.P. Carlos

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Photographer Captures Stunning Arctic Wildlife

Photographer Captures The Cutest Funniest Squirrel Photo Session

Russian nature photographer Vadim Trunov has had close encounters with squirrels before, but this is the first time we’ve seen his photos of squirrels playing or shooting photos of each other, squirrels that seem to be building snowmen or playing volleyball with nuts. 



Essential Tips to Help You Make a Perfect Selfie with Your Cat – Katzenworld

Source: Essential Tips to Help You Make a Perfect Selfie with Your Cat – Katzenworld

Moscow artist Yulia Taits captures beautiful images of albinos for beauty project

A photographer has taken pictures to showcase the ‘pure natural beauty’ of albinos.
Yulia Taits, 38, from Moscow, captured the images of models and says she did not need to use Photoshop for any of them.
The project was to illustrate the ‘beautiful tones’ of the albino models against light backgrounds – showing angelic and fairytale portraits.
Ms Tait, who now lives in Israel, said: ‘Their unique beauty hypnotizes me. This beauty is so pure and amazing for me, as if it was taken from fantasies and fairytale legends.
‘This series was an amazing experience for me because I could create this beautiful photography without Photoshop. What transpired was pure natural beauty.
‘I’m excited to prove that white is not just one color! It has many tints, shades and beautiful tones. While creating this photo project, I was fortunately blessed with meeting amazing people

Yulia Taits, 38, from Moscow, captured the images of models and says she did not need to use Photoshop for any of them. Pictured is model Adi holding a seashell to her ear

Model Zohar wear white butterflies around her neck and on her head as she poses for Yulia Taits’ beauty photoshoot.

The project was to illustrate the ‘beautiful tones’ of the albino models against light backgrounds – showing angelic and fairytale portraits. Pictured is model Shimon.

Ms Tait, who now lives in Israel, said: ‘Their unique beauty hypnotizes me. This beauty is so pure and amazing for me, as if it was taken from fantasies and fairytale legends.’ Pictured is model Sahar posing with a white Labrador

Jewish model Eydan holds a white paper arrangement as he poses cross-legged for Yulia Tait’s albino photoshoot

Ms Tait said: ‘This series was an amazing experience for me because I could create this beautiful photography without Photoshop. What transpired was pure natural beauty’
A lot of the pictures in the photoshoots appeared to look angelic. Pictured is Eliran posing with his white hair and beard

Model Ori gets tangled in white laces as part of the Yulia Taits’ albino beauty photoshoot. Ms Taits says she did not need Photoshop

Russian artist Yulia Taits, who lives in Israel, has taken pictures to showcase the ‘pure natural beauty’ of albinos.

The project was to illustrate the ‘beautiful tones’ of the albino models against light backgrounds – showing angelic and fairytale portraits

Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group
© Associated Newspapers Ltd

Gentle Observer

Photo of the Day
Picture of a humpback whale calf, Vava‘u, Tonga
December 10, 2016Gentle Observer

A young humpback meets the lucky photographer’s gaze in the waters around Vava‘u, Tonga. Mother humpback whales and their young swim close together, even touching one another often with their flippers in apparent gestures of affection. “We had been observing this young calf … for perhaps 10 minutes when [it] decided to leave [its] mum’s side and swim over,” Your Shot photographer Michael Smith says. “I could clearly see [its] beautiful eye staring right into my soul.”
Photograph By Michael Smith, National Geographic Your Shot
Copyright © 2015-2016 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved

Photos Show Dogs Trying SO Hard To Catch Treats


Dogs tend to go a little crazy when faced with the prospect of treats, and one photographer decided to try and capture that magical moment.
Photographer Christian Vieler began taking photos of dogs trying to catch treats a few years back, and the results have been pretty majestic.

Not all of the dogs are able to catch the treat Vieler throws at them the first time around …

… and in fact, it seems like very few are able to catch it on the first try.

Every dog that Vieler has photographed seems to have a different reaction to having a treat thrown at his face.

Some are incredibly enthusiastic …

… while others try WAY too hard to catch the airborne treat.

Some dogs don’t put much effort into the whole catching thing at all.

This guy seems a little nervous about catching his treat …
… while this guy is just downright skeptical.
No matter their reaction, though, every dog seems at least a little bit excited for the moment when they finally get to eat the treat …

… especially this guy, who casually hit the treat jackpot. He’s the ultimate good boy.

You can see more of these hilarious photos on Christian Vieler’s Facebook page.
Caitlin Jill Anders

Picture for the day

Photo post by @arlinreport.

Source: Picture for the day

The week in wildlife – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian



The week in wildlife – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian




Majestic Horses Turn This Wedding Photo Into A Masterpiece



Stephen Wilkes blends more than 1,000 photographs into each day-night cityscape – in pictures | Cities | The Guardian



The most colourful cities in the world – in pictures | Cities | The Guardian