Wednesday, May 23, 2007

make way for ducklings

here's a little tale that makes this 'mama duck' very proud. my daughter works at a museum which has a beautiful inner courtyard. this spring a mother duck decided this courtyard would be an ideal location for her and her babies. so she proceeded to make a nest, lay her eggs and in no time ten little ducklings were running about. how cute! however, the problem was that albeit beautiful this courtyard was not a good location for baby ducks. it had no source of water - no wading pool, no fountain, no little water garden to provide shelter and food. in fact it was a downright foul place for fowl. on sunday which was the next time emma had a chance to check on the ducklings after they were hatched, she discovered that the initial brood (is this what you call a collection of ducklings?) dwindled from ten ducklings to four ducklings. well, compassionate human that my wonderful daughter is, emma decided that this could not continue! she would have to take action- she left work sunday night knowing that the next day she would have to stage a rescue mission.

on monday morning emma called. she had a plan and was needing to make some tools to help catch the ducklings, she was wondering if I had any dowels and a staple gun. I had a staple gun, but didn't have any dowels and suggested she stop at the little hardware store between her house and my house. I had just been in and knew they had dowels. when em came by to pick up the staple gun, I suggested that perhaps a butterfly net would work to catch the ducklings she said that she too had thought of a net. I told her I had recently seen butterfly nets at joann fabrics; we called and found that not only did they have a few left they were now 50% off. so off she goes - she was soon outfitted with all the supplies and tools needed: butterfly net, materials needed to improvise a chute for the mama duck, and a cat carrier in which to house the family for their journey to their new home. an hour or so later emma called to report that she successfully wrangled the ducks and was heading to the nature center. earlier she had called the nature center and confirmed that they would provide sanctuary, and if necessary care, for a mother duck and her babies. she also reported that between when she left work the previous evening and then there had been an additional loss - there were only three live ducklings and also in her haste she left her house without her camera!

it turned out the nature center was delighted to take in the mama duck and her babies. they told emma that they would be tagging the ducklings. emma will have to keep an eye on the courtyard, who knows maybe in a few months a migrating mallard with a tag will pop in to check out its birthplace and say 'quack, quack' to emma the duck wrangler!

pictures: above -mama duck and her babies, picture taken by emma when all the babies were alive and well. em stated it was quite difficult getting a picture 'ducks can move pretty quickly when they want to'; below - the duck wrangler's boots
addendum: this story has been updated reflecting the correct number of ducklings, only nine ducklings are visible in the picture above - one little guy was quite adventurous and was off on his own.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Our wonderful nature lovers...way to go Emma!