Mother (Duck) Gives Birth at Maple Grove Community Center
When a duck decided to make the patio outside the Senior Center her nesting spot this spring, staff decided to step in to offer a little help to the mother and her ducking.
Every spring, I’m one of those people who always enjoys the fuzzy animals popping up all over the place.
What can I say? Baby animals are cute.
When I decided to stop by the Maple Grove Community Center for photos at the Arbor Day Festival in May for photos, I happened to see a sign on the windows of the Senior Center announcing the mother duck’s presence - and protecting her nest. After peeking out the window, I could see mother sitting a flowerpot – patiently waiting for her young ones.
I wondered how they could possibly survive through the nesting process and make it off of the patio.
Here’s their story.
The baby bird birth tale started May 2 when Facility Coordinator Sam Ellingson noticed the duck nesting in one of the seven flowerpots located on the Senior Center patio at the Maple Grove Community Center.
“Staff were going to move the duck to the pond [West Arbor Lakes below the Senior Center] for a more suitable nesting environment, however staff learned from the DNR that it is unlawful to move a nesting duck,” Community Center Manager Lisa Jost said.
As a result, the patio became the mother duck’s new nesting place. The patio and adjoining room is usually busy with activities for children to seniors, “all of them with a general curiosity and interest from customers kept people checking out the nesting duck,” Jost said.
“Keeping the younger children away from her was the most difficult,” Jost said. “Seniors coming to programs from day to day were often where heard asking how the (nesting) duck was as well as other customers. Customers respected the signs and really did not bother the nesting duck.”
At last, the big day came and eight ducklings hatched May 24, 2012. The ducks were still in the flowerpot on the following day.
“Someone noticed the ducklings beginning to leaving the flower pot and get to the patio,” Jost said. “With the anticipation of the mother duck making the move to the pond area, Sam Ellingson with the assistance of her mother, placed a small dog carrying kennel that they set down near the flower pot.”
With some guidance, the ducklings were eventually guided into the crate followed by the mother duck near and quacking. The ducklings were brought to the lower level, released and the mother duck flew down to meet her ducklings.
Within an hour, the mother duck and her ducklings made it down to the West Arbor Lakes pond and began swimming.
And, where are they today? According to Jost, staff at the Community Center still continues to see the mother duck and ducklings on the pond since the release.
Score one point for nature -- with a little help.