One rescued, one dead

June 12, 2022 • 10:15 am

I was sitting in my office hoping for a peaceful Sunday when I got a call from a Team Duck member at the pond. Trouble! There was a mother with two newborn babies, one of which had already been brutally pecked by other adults and was near death, while the second one was swimming on his own in fear, chased by two hens (not Audrey). A student plucked the near-dead one from the pond, and I chased down and netted the other one when he went onto land. That one was in good shape. (They are very fast when they run!) There’s a small chance that the badly pecked one will live (he was almost motionless but still breathing), but the other was in good nick and will survive. We immediately took them both to the Rehab Lady.

It’s late in the season and I still have to rescue ducklings (this time I only had to put a foot in the pond). I want this to be over so we can concentrate on Audrey and her brood.  Finding tiny ducklings in the pond, only a day old, and having to save them before they’re slaughtered, well, it’s very stressful and makes me depressed for several days.

Here’s the one who came through okay. Note the white spot at the tip of its beak? That’s the “egg tooth”—a protuberance that they use to peck out of the egg and then shed within a day or so. That shows that this one is a newborn.

10 thoughts on “One rescued, one dead

  1. Good grief – is this the most traumatic duckling season yet? It is certainly worse than any I can recall. At least the ducklings stand a chance now that they’ve been rescued.

  2. Glad to hear the student got the injured one. I hope the duckling will be okay.
    What a way to start your day.

  3. Sorry about the duckling.

    Do you think this type of thing was business as usual at Botany Pond before you took a shine to Honey, started tending the ducks, and began paying close attention to the ducks’ comings and goings?

    Or do you think it’s due to extra duck traffic at the pond engendered by its becoming a hot spot for ducks to cage a free meal?

  4. Well, there was that brood that hatched in a closed-off patio of and were rescued and taken to rehab. They would have likely ended up at the pond too without PCC(E)’s intervention. I can’t imagine the melee (dare I say, ‘bloodbath’) that would have ensued at the pond.

  5. Stressful, yes. But the two were rescued, and even if the other one didn’t make, he was looked after and cared for before the end. Your actions gave them a chance.

  6. Sorry you are going through this. Definitely stressful and depressing. Hope your skin is okay. Dermatological issues add terribly to stress.

  7. So sorry for your loss, Jerry. It is sad to read this. I am sad for you as I know how much distress you feel and I am sad for the dead duckling. Take care of yourself mate.

  8. Sorry to hear of your loss.
    Here at the ranch, a bunch of sparrows left their nest in the rafters of my shop today, so all day I had little birds flopping around everywhere learning to fly. Meanwhile, their mom had sharp words for me every time I inadvertently came too close to them.
    At our northern property, my mom reports that “her” Canadian geese are nesting next to the river. My dad did a bunch of work on the river a few years ago, stocked it with fish, and has been feeding them every evening. The geese now show up every year to nest on the same stretch of river, and follow him around at feeding time.

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