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Thread: Chick Rescue.

  1. #1

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    John Wright

    Chick Rescue.

    We've had a male and female mallard duck with us for two years,they've claimed our garden (back yard) pond.Mrs. Duck, as we call her, hasn't been here for a few days and we suspected she had chicks somewhere. This morning at 8.30 am I heard her quacking in distress,I found her sitting on the neighbour's garden shed at the end of our gardens,I looked over into the neighbour's garden to see 4 chicks running around the bushes-they can't get to the local stream and pond.I knocked on the neighbour's door - most people sleep in a bit on a Sunday but in dressing gowns they let me into their garden- they have two cats and I was concerned about that too but I think a mallard with chicks woud be very aggressive. When I got to the chicks they ran off behind the shed amongst wooden planks and all sorts so I enlisted the help of my wife, and my neighbours. We heard more chicks calling from the garden of the house that backs onto our neighbour's (an L shaped plan). We shepherded the ones to hand and the adult to the front of the house and to the very close stream around the corner.There's a wall that runs the full length of a footpath behind the other houses and Mrs. Duck, as we call her, was calling to the other chicks .I knocked up these people too and went in their back gardens - there were 7 more chicks !! They managed to find a gap to get through to another house - all in all our rescue involved 4 households and 7 people. I had a recycling waste box with me so as we caught each chick I placed them in it closing the lid. These chicks must be only a week old if that but they can run very fast and know how to get under a bush to avoid capture. One was very adept at this and was the last one to be caught but it took us 15 minutes to get it .I walked round the road to the stream where Mrs. Duck was with her other 4 in the stream .My wife & co. were keeping an eye on her to make sure where she was when I arrived with the rest of the chicks. She came out of the stream very quickly when I placed the box down as she could here them along with the rest of the neighbourhood I think So, off she went with her 11 chicks giving little grunts of what I assume was relief-I watched her take them downstream and in amongst the reeds ,she stopped to clean herself and I knew then that she was over the trauma. Sad thing was that I didn't have time to get my camera after I collected the other 7 because from the house where I collected them was a path to the stream,much closer to the others and saved an 8 minute walk and I couldn't leave the distressed duck a moment longer than necessary. What she'd done was to fly into the garden of one of these houses and lay her eggs but the chicks couldn't have got out on their own as the gardens are enclosed.

    The first photo was taken last year when the male and female were on our pond together.The others were taken this morning. Looking closely I wonder if it's the same female.

    Chick Rescue.


    With the first 4 chicks
    Chick Rescue.


    Safely in the stream with all 11 chicks-I was on a bridge looking down at them.
    Chick Rescue.

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Chick Rescue.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnC View Post
    I knocked on the neighbour's door - most people sleep in a bit on a Sunday but in dressing gowns they let me into their garden- they have two cats and I was concerned about that too but I think a mallard with chicks woud be very aggressive. When I got to the chicks they ran off behind the shed amongst wooden planks and all sorts so I enlisted the help of my wife, and my neighbours. We heard more chicks calling from the garden of the house that backs onto our neighbour's (an L shaped plan). We shepherded the ones to hand and the adult to the front of the house and to the very close stream around the corner.There's a wall that runs the full length of a footpath behind the other houses and Mrs. Duck, as we call her, was calling to the other chicks .I knocked up these people too and went in their back gardens - there were 7 more chicks !! They managed to find a gap to get through to another house - all in all our rescue involved 4 households and 7 people.
    Did anyone film this?

    Your care and concern are a lesson are to be admired. How may people in our world to day would care enough? Or am I just getting to cynical.

    But, honestly, it needed to be filmed. To have been an dispassionate observer would have been marvellous.

  3. #3
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Chick Rescue.

    Awesome story, John. I really like a series of shots with a good story behind it. Thank you very much for sharing.

  4. #4

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    Re: Chick Rescue.

    Thanks both. I'd hope most would have done this,Donald-the householders were happy to help-I think it's a case of someone getting them to pile in really. No time to think about videoing it though.The distress of the female put any thoughts of anything other than getting them all re-united asap out of our minds. I would have loved to have had a shot of the 7 with her - the other 4 remained in the stream when she came out to herd the other 7 back so we didn't see 11 out on the banks of the stream and the reeds in the steam made it difficult to get all 11 in the the frame. My wife keeps saying how pleased she is and said I did the right thing by not taking up 8 more minutes to pass by and call in at our house to get the camera which I had to drop off when I collected the large box to collect the rest of them.

  5. #5

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    Mary... or Lucy... either is fine with me. ;)

    Re: Chick Rescue.

    What a great adventure! And, the pictures to go with it are awesome.

  6. #6

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    Re: Chick Rescue.

    Thanks,Mary. I went looking for them later in the day,this time with the camera but they'd all left the location where I took the last photo.

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