I captured my first duckling shots of the year while visiting the wetlands the evening of May 15th. A few moments after I captured this image the ducks became alarmed and scattered while their mother performed the injured duck routine in an attempt to lure me away from her brood.
This evening I again went in search of the Wood Ducks and found this duckling foraging along the edge of a stand of reeds in the same area. Notice the maturity difference compared to the first photograph taken twelve days ago. Not only is the duckling considerably larger but it now has noticeable tail feathers.
Also I should note that I have not observed the hen during my last two encounters with the ducklings. Whether it is normal for the hen to spend time away from her brood at this stage of development or whether she has met with a calamity I do not know.