Saturday, June 6, 2009

Wood Duck Rescue

Adorable Ducks
Since I do not live in a forested wetland a wooded swamp or marshland area ... it was quite a surprise to walk out my front door and see a Mama Wood Duck and nine babies waddling down my brick walk! My husband saw my head snap before he took notice. In unison we ran inside to get the camera. Our little visitors waddled into the neighbors backyard where several neighborhood alley cats took notice.

It must have been quite comical to watch us as we noticed the cats ... noticing the ducks ... then abruptly shooing those stealthy cats away. Luckily this little comedy allowed mama to safely lead her babies into our garage where we quickly closed the door and called for help.

A local birder told me the ducklings must have recently fledged. Wood Ducks nest in empty cavities in trees. Shortly after the eggs hatch mama leads the babies out of the cavity in search for water. As mama calls from below the nestlings just take a leap of faith sometimes jumping from heights of 50 feet above the ground. I really wish I knew which tree in our hood she nested in. Seeing a miracle like bouncing baby wood ducks would have made me bounce for sure.

After weighing the consequence of waiting hungry cats outside, and talking to a local birder about what to do, we decided to try and get them back to their own habitat. My Husband and oldest son went into the garage with a cat carrier and didn't come out until they had all of them in it. Mama was very protective, a good mother. She stayed with the babies looking wide eyed as they were approached. Can you imagine how scared she felt? As mama flapped and flopped the babies were put in the carrier. Mama then gave up quickly and joined her babies. We took them to a wooded swamp land area several miles from our home called Wilkinson's/Renwick Marsh and let them go there. We had goose bumps watching mama happily swim away with the ducklings following close behind. Mama and all nine babies are safe. This was a really exciting experience for us. We felt really good about being able to help them. Aren't they adorable!!!!!!!

To see more adorable duck photos from this duck resuce check out my gallery at


  1. That is so cool about the ducklings. Grace was looking at the pictures and was worried about the ducklings being lost. I read her the story and she said she knew you would take good care of them.
    Jeanette Johnson

  2. It was a very heart warming,rewarding experience watching them swim safely away with their mama. Tell Grace I said hello. I will send her a picture of the babies.