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A Heart Warming Story with Questions

Last night I went to the pond to see what was there. I was photographing some young ducks when I met a couple watching them. They told me how they had seen a mother duck and her ducklings in a busy parking lot. I heard how they and /or other people tried to catch the mother duck, who panicked, and flew away, leaving her babies behind. Figuring that the mother had abandoned her young ones, the couple  gathered the ducklings in a box acquired from a nearby liquor store and brought them to the pond.They had consulted a veterinarian and were told that touching the ducks did not mean they would be rejected and there was a good chance they would be cared for by another mother duck so they brought the babies to this pond a few miles away. Well,it happened. Another duck has adopted them and they have a couple of older siblings and appear to be an integrated family. The people were coming to check on the ducklings to see if they were all right.It is a heart-warming story, about baby ducks being rescued by caring human beings and I was touched by their compassion.

I know the parking lot that they spoke of and it is far from water but close to the river valley. I thought about it further and wondered, where did the ducks come from? Did she hatch her eggs near an apartment complex where there was a fountain? Did they travel far to get to this parking lot/strip mall? If people hadn’t tried to catch the mother duck would the family still be together? So many questions.  Did this couple and probably others interfere too much? Could they have acted as traffic control so the ducks could have returned to where they had come from? Was the family looking for a new home? I wonder how the mother is doing?Are they going to be safe at the pond now that it is being cleared up for an upcoming triathalon? And finally, what would I have done?

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

10 responses

  1. Jane, the kind stranger should have likely left the duckling and mother alone, she was probably just moving them to another location, the ducklings can not fly yet so she would have to walk them. Keeping traffic away from them might have been the best idea. The ducklings appear to be Common Goldeneyes and quite often Goldeneyes make a nest in high rocky areas by freshwater ponds, rivers or lakes, so they could have come from the river.

    June 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    • Thanks for your imput, Mia. Part of my reason for writing this is to raise consciousness on the issue.Heaven help me if I say anything to people about feeding bread to the ducks, I just get sworn at and verbally berated for being a know-it-all or playing God.LOL.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm

  2. I had those same questions as I read the first paragraph.

    June 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    • Yes. I thought maybe she was moving them to a new location, too.Thanks for comment.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:36 pm

  3. The poor mama.

    June 28, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    • Yes I had some sadness for her.

      June 28, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      • They probably would have all been killed if not for help but it’s still saddish with a happy ending for the babies though!

        June 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm

  4. I also think the kind couple were misguided and should have let the mother move her ducklings.

    Although my home isn’t next to any water, mallards have nested in our suburban neighborhood. One year my husband and I were spreading mulch around our shrubs when we discovered a nest full of green mallard eggs under one of our shrubs. Although we stopped our gardening then, I think we caused the parents to abandon their nest. We had been doing yard work a long time before we discovered the eggs, and it could have been the case that the eggs had already gone cold.

    July 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm

  5. I appreciate you bringing to light the consciousness on this issue, Jane. When and if to rescue any wildlife is a tough decision, but most times we should let nature handle itself. Unfortunately, humans can cause much distress and will make the situation worse. Yes, we do hear about happy endings to rescues and a maybe a few were indeed necessary, but what we don’t hear about is all the unsuccessful attempts that did lose their chance to survive because nature was disrupted. Wildlife are much smarter than people give them credit! 🙂

    July 4, 2012 at 7:38 pm

  6. Nice series of photos~! Thanks for sharing!

    July 6, 2012 at 3:06 am

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