Just ducky!

gardenbug(Canada zone 5)June 28, 2010

Something really cute happened in downtown Edmonton this week. Michael R. is an accounting clerk at the Bank and works there in asecond story office.

Several weeks ago, he watched a mother duck choose the concrete awning outside his window as the unlikely

place to build a nest above the sidewalk. The mallard laid ten eggs in a nest in the corner of the planter that is perched over 10 feet in the air. She dutifully kept the eggs warm for weeks, and Monday afternoon all of her ten ducklings hatched.

Michael worried all night how the momma duck was going to get those

babies safely off their perch in a busy, downtown, urban

environment to take to water, which typically happens in the first

48 hours of a duck hatching.

Tuesday morning, Michael watched the mother duck encourage her

babies to the edge of the perch with the intent to show them how to

jump off. Office work came to a standstill as everyone

gathered to watch.

The mother flew down below and started quacking to her babies

above. In disbelief Michael watched as the first fuzzy

newborn trustingly toddled to the edge and astonishingly lept

into thin air, crashing onto the cement below. Michael couldn't

stand to watch this risky effort nine more times! He dashed

out of his office and ran down the stairs to the sidewalk

where the first obedient duckling, near its mother,

was resting in a stupor after the near-fatal

fall. Michael stood out of sight under the awning-planter,

ready to help.

As the second one took the plunge, Michael jumped forward and

caught it with his bare hands before it hit the concrete. Safe

and sound, he set it down by its momma and the other

stunned sibling, still recovering from that painful

leap. (The momma must have sensed that Michael was

trying to help her babies.)

One by one the babies continued to jump. Each time Michael hid

under the awning just to reach out in the nick of time as the

duckling made its free fall. At the scene the busy

downtown sidewalk traffic came to a

standstill. Time after time, Michael was able to catch

the remaining eight and set them by their approving mother.

At this point Michael realized the duck family had only made part

of its dangerous journey. They had two full blocks to walk

across traffic, crosswalks, curbs and past pedestrians to get

to the closest open water, the River , site of the famed

"River Walk." The on looking office secretaries and

several Edmonton police officers

joined in. An empty copy-paper box was brought to

collect the babies.

They carefully corralled them, with the mother's approval, and

loaded them in the container. Michael held the box low enough for

the mom to see her brood. He then slowly navigated through the

downtown streets toward the River the mother waddled behind and kept her babies in sight,

all the way.

As they reached the river, the mother took over and passed him,

jumping in the river and quacking loudly.

At the water's edge, Michael tipped the box and helped shepherd

the babies toward the water and to the waiting mother after

their adventurous ride.

All ten darling ducklings safely made it into the water and paddled

up snugly to momma. Michael said the mom swam in circles, looking

back toward the beaming bank bookkeeper, and proudly quacked.

At last, all present and accounted for: "We're all

together again. We're here! We're here!"

And here's a family portrait before they head outward to

further adventures...

Like all of us in the big times of our life, they never could have

made it alone without lots of helping hands.

I think it gives the name of the famous "River Walk" a whole new


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cyn427 (zone 7)

What a wonderful tale! That first little duck deserves an easy life after that beginning. Thanks for the smiles.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 3:34PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

That one has been going around for a while. It happens to be true - but the place was Spokane - see the link below. I always check stories like that on the WWW. snopes.com urban legends site - sometimes there are quite interesting tales about how things started and spread. A useful site to be aware of....

Here is a link that might be useful: Snopes on the duck story

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 9:48PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I check the site only sometimes....This one I was unsure of, but didn't check. Why was I unsure? Because of the emotional blurb at the end which I deleted. So I'm glad there was some truth to it!!!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 10:14PM
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Off to bed knowing all baby ducks are safe with Mom and snopes is on the job!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 12:54AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

How cool is that? love this one

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 6:35AM
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Made me tear up a little, wherever it took place .

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 7:14AM
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Make Way For Ducklings!

If Tony Hayward put the "damage" in damage control, those duckling sure put the "cute" in how cut is that!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 2:33PM
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