Teamwork rescues Mallard ducklings

It?s been a busy week for orphans – bird orphans, that is. The Tumbler Ridge Animal Control Officer, Rose Colledge, brought over a baby crow, which she named ?Puss?, because he has blue eyes like her Siamese cat. Barb Schuerkamp rescued a Pine Siskin chick with a damaged leg, and delivered him to my house over the weekend. Then on Tuesday morning, garbage day for Peace River Crescent residents, my neighbour Craig Friesen called to say that there were six or seven baby ducks on the grass near the walkway, next to our house. Before we could contain them the ducklings scattered in all directions into the underbrush. With the help of the Friesen family, we captured three of them, but had no luck finding the remaining four. I settled the three into my bathtub, and then dried them on a towel and offered them some rolled oats and water. Before long they were gobbling up water and oats and were content. Meanwhile Dakota and Jael Rochon and Dante Schembri entered the scene, and began a systematic search of the park with the aid once more of the Friesen girls. After more than an hour of fruitless hunting they gave up. I couldn?t get the remaining four ducklings off my mind, and I found myself pacing back and forth between the kitchen window and the front door – hoping to catch a glimpse of them, before they were attacked by a cat or run over. All of a sudden I spotted them – all four of them, speed walking down the sidewalk across the street. I threw on my shoes and galloped across the street, grabbing Friesens? fish net in the process. That family spotted me, and quickly joined in the chase. We caught them. There are now seven sweet little Mallard ducklings in my bathroom. Thanks to the garbage truck driver for scooting them off the road in the first place, to the Friesens, Rochons, and Schembris for all the time spent hunting for them. And thank you to Jerrilyn Schembri for the great photographs, and to her daughter Jade and son-in-law Daniel Steckley for offering their farm as a place for the ducks to grow up, and to their friend Chrissy, who is apparently offering the ducklings a chicken as a surrogate mom. It truly was an amazing example of successful teamwork; 15 people played a role in saving the orphaned ducklings.