“A Family Portrait”

Adam Hicken, A Family Portrait, digital photography, 2022

Through his time as a scout, and studying environmental science, Adam Hicken developed a deep fascination and appreciation for the natural world. Adam has found that if you take some  time to learn about any species, you will be amazed with what you find. Adam loves wildlife photography because it allows him to share how incredible nature can be and to showcase its beauty.

This “family portrait” of ducklings Adam was lucky enough to photograph huddled together last spring are wood ducks. They get this name because they make their nests in tree cavities as high as 15 metres off the ground. Once the nest is ready, the female wood duck will lay up to 15 eggs, then she and her mate will stay to keep the ducklings warm for a month until they hatch. About one day after all the eggs have hatched, the parents will fly out of the nest and  call for their babies to follow. The ducklings hatch with long claws that they will use to climb up to the nest opening, where they can see their parents patiently waiting below. These ducklings are too young to fly, so they must take a literal leap of faith, falling all the way to the forest floor or into a shallow swamp. Because the ducklings in this photograph are so small, the shot must have been taken only a few days after they hatched and made their daring jump. Upon landing, they will reunite with their parents and stay with them for safety and food until they are old enough to fly and begin their adult lives. 

Adam shares more of his wildlife photography on Instagram @flying.chicken.photos


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