Watch Out for Ducklings

We’re at the time of year when ducklings and goslings are hatching all over the city here.  Many of these birds nest in yards or along lanes a long way from water.

Yesterday while I was at work a Mallard Duck decided to take her newly hatched ducklings for a walk.  They must have come from either a yard down the lane behind the Y or the strip of grass behind our parking lot and they were headed across Fermor Avenue, which is a very busy street.   Our program director was just finishing her aquafit class when she saw them and she cam running out of the pool area to tell us about them.

Of course, I dropped what I was doing and we headed outside to help.  One of the members was just leaving and he came with us.  We stopped a couple of cars and someone got out of one car, so we had 4 of us to get them across the street.  They were 1/2 way already and up against the curb in the middle of the street.  Mom had no problem getting up the curb, but the babies would jump and fall back onto the street – so we gave them a helping hand (with mom hissing at us).  They gathered together on the grass in the middle and we waited until they were ready to move on.  I then stepped out ahead of them to stop the traffic going the other way.

At the next curb, we then had to help the little ones get up again, and again mom hissed at us, but was glad when they all ran to her.  The little family of 9 ducklings and mom then headed through the parking lot of the library and was heading down the lane.  The Y member followed after them to see if they could find a safe place.  He came back a little while later to say that they were safely in a nearby yard and the homeowner was aware and willing to keep an eye on them.  The 2 of them had thought of boxing the family and taking them to a nearby golf course where there was water – but mom quickly let them know that was not going to happen.

This reminded me of a similar incident years ago when I was driving and saw a man herding a mom and her ducklings to s spot where the ducklings could get up the curb themselves.  Again, traffic was stopped to ensure that the babies would be safe.  As I was driving away, I saw a commissionaire putting a parking ticket on a car that was in a no stopping area and I remember saying that I hoped the car didn’t belong to that man with the ducks.  About a week later a man came into the office where I worked then with a parking ticket and started to tell me the story about how he got the ticket while helping a family of ducks cross the road.  When he told me the location I knew it was the same man and the same duck and ducklings that I had seen that day.  I told him that he wouldn’t have to pay the ticket and thanked him for helping the little family out.

With 2 large rivers and several small streams and lakes in the city, we have great habitat for wildlife – but unfortunately, we also have lots and lots of traffic, which sometimes makes it difficult to keep them safe.  It is spring here and there are lots of babies everyone.  Please be careful.

I guess I’ll have to start taking my camera to work with me.  🙂

I wonder what is happening at Africam.  I think its time to check the cams before heading off to work.