This year three or four duck couples have been visiting and dining below our bird feeder. Sadly, one of the males was hit about three weeks ago. The widow sat for hours in our yard, and didn't even seem to be leaving to go to her nest. She finally began to disappear and show up occasionally to eat.
Early this morning, there were only three males out back. I knew that it was close to time for ducklings to arrive.
My husband and I were relaxing about an hour ago, watching TV and just enjoying Mother's Day. There was a knock at the door. A distraught man was there. One of the momma ducks had jumped right in front of his car. She was dead and the ducklings had run back up the berm and into our yard. He and his wife began to help us try to herd the 8 little ducklings into a box. Right! They were so fast, and "shouting" warnings to one another. Another of the duck couples was sitting under a tree and began to move away from the action. The ducklings tried to follow them, but they didn't seem interested in adopting a passel of babies. I'm sure she has a nest of her own out front in among the irises.
Ducklings were darting everywhere! Two headed back toward the road, two into the gigantic rhubarb stalks, two under the fence. The neighbors south of us got into the recovery and returned the two from their yard. It took a lot of energy, but we finally had all eight.
My husband closed the top of the box and headed to the canal. We felt their best chance was in the water, where all the ducks gather when their eggs have hatched. He could only access one side of the canal, and he could see another couple with about 8 of their own. He waited for them to calm down, then gently let our 8 into the water. They immediately heard the other momma and headed for her, but she wasn't sure and quacked at them. They stopped and waited. Then all floated under the bridge. By the time my husband got to the other side, she had accepted the additional 8! The duck couple was last seen swimming happily away with 16 ducklings!
|This is momma and ducklings from 2011. No pictures from today.|
My husband took care of burying the momma, which was so sad, but all of her ducklings survived this Mother's Day. I also survived it, and I'm praying by next spring the road construction is complete. I'm also hoping the ducks will chose a nesting area closer to the canal!
Wishing you all a very Happy Mother's Day!
© 10May2015 ajj