A female mallard duck leads her ducklings across the pavement into a marsh along side the Montana Creek Road towards Skaters Cabin at the Mendenhall Glacier. Ducklings are fully capable of swimming as soon as they hatch and instinctively stay near the mother for warmth and protection and to learn about and remember their habitat as well as how and where to forage for food. Adult Mallards usually form pairs in October and November until the female lays eggs at the start of the nesting season in the beginning of Spring, from early March to late May. Males leave during incubation but mallards are monogamous and remate annually. Females lay 8-13 eggs in a single clutch.