We try to be responsible pet owners. We certainly don't want to contribute the the stray cat population here in our own neighborhood. So we had our kitty neutered last week. This meant he needed to be locked in the house for a few days to heal. He's very much an outdoor kitty. He's also a hunter.
While he was recuperating inside, a mother duck moved into our creek to brood and hatch her ducklings.
As nature would have it, when you release a predator back into the wild, he will chase down any and everything he can. Including helpless just born baby ducklings.
It was pretty traumatic. For the kids, for the mama duck, and especially for the ducklings. We were able to catch this little guy and bring him inside. We put him on a heating pad, and just loved on him.
According to GooseMother.com "Baby waterfowl are not like other birds. You have probably heard that you shouldn't handle a baby bird much. Forget it!! This baby wants and needs to be close to you as much as possible. It will run away when you reach for it, but that is only an instinctive survival move. Go ahead and pick it up, but snuggle it close to you quickly so it will feel safe."
The boys waited outside (quietly even) for a very long time trying to get the other duckling. The mother was no where to be found. Eventually we gave up and resigned ourselves to rescuing the one duckling.
And boy was he cute!
We went on with our normal routine, we even went to our normal Cub Scout meeting. When my friend, JacLynn, was leaving scouts the mother duck and the other surviving duckling happened to be crossing the street right in front of her.
She ran over to my house and together we released the baby duckling back to his family.
I'm glad our story has a happy ending. I don't have time to raise children, let alone a cat, bunny, AND a duckling! :-P
I wish I had taken pictures of the kids loving on the little baby duck. We identified our duck family as Muscovy.