“There are 10 ducklings with their mother walking west on K Street between 19th and 20th.”

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“Dear PoPville,

There are 10 ducklings with their mother walking west on K Street between 19th and 20th. Sighting occurred about 5 minutes ago. Put the alert out for duckling crossing escorts please!!!”

12 Comment

  • Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, Quack, (Rack, and Sack)?

  • I freakin’ love seeing this each spring. And it’s great seeing people volunteering to be duck crossing guards in the streets.

  • So is there anything animal control can do to safely relocate this unbelievably cute family to a safer setting where they might have less of chance of getting run over by a car, bike, stroller mom, or smartphone zombie?

    • Yes. Park Service will come and get them and relocate them. We had some at work a few years ago that nested and were born on a high up balcony of our building. Fearing the ducklings would walk off the balcony to their demise (or be eaten by a neighboring building’s hawk that had started to hang out nearby), they came and moved them to Rock Creek Park.

    • In the wild, you might lose half a clutch to snapping turtles and birds of prey and falling down spillways and such. Mallards are common, and can have 3 clutches of 12+ ducklings every year. I wouldn’t spend any resources on their protection at all. Just enjoy them when you see them, help them cross the street if the opportunity arises, and don’t worry about them.

      • Is there any data to show what the survival rate in the city is though? If we were losing more than half the ducklings to cars and other accidents, it would be worthwhile to move them to a location where they had a better chance at a more natural survival.

        • It doesn’t matter. Not very many of their 35-40 annual offspring have to survive to keep them off the endangered list.
          Resident water fowl cause a lot of problems. When they concentrate in one area (which happens when they get too comfortable and stop migrating), they pretty much destroy whatever vegetation and small aquatic life was already there.
          Basically, they’re a cute nuisance, like squirrels. Everyone likes to see squirrels standing on their hind legs holding a nut in their paws, but no one frets when they get squished by a car.
          (I love ducks. And squirrels. But expending resources on the survival of individual ducks and squirrels is asinine.)

    • City Wildlife will also come pick them up for transport to water. http://citywildlife.org/programs/duck-watch/

  • Yesterday the parks dept filled the fountain and pond in the park by my office. Today there was a mama duck and 9 teeny tiny ducklings in the pond! They are so cute.

  • Looks like hawk-swoopin’ time!

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