A Mother Duck’s Dilemma

Wednesday evening, four young male mallards swam back and forth in the water a few yards out from the dam.

 A female duck stood on the top flashboard clearly in distress – quacking and pacing.

On closer look, over the flashboards was the reason(s) for her concern.  There over the side in the culvert box were her ducklings – at least 9 of them.

The tiny babies couldn’t make it back up over the 3 feet or so of flashboards.  The only other alternative was to go downstream to Stevens Pond but they refused to follow their mother as she called from the edge of the 15 ft drop down at the end of the culvert box.  Back and forth they swam from the drop at the end of the culvert to the insurmountable wall of flashboards.

… A boater came by with a hopeful solution… dropping a long plank over the flashboards a ramp was made for all to walk up and hop back into the pond.    Did they make the journey?  With daylight waning, that remains an unknown. 

The boater returned the next morning to find only the plank – no signs of the older brothers, the mother,  or any of the duckings.

If anyone sees this family of mother and 9 babies, either on Manchaug Pond or on Stevens, please let us know.  She was photographed earlier in the week here swimming in the shade and safety of a Manchaug cove.