Duck update: Hen and ducklings capturedDULUTH - The hen mallard and ducklings that took up residence in the former KDLH-TV parking lot in downtown Duluth have been captured by Duluth Animal Control and taken to a certified wildlife rehabilitator.
By: John Myers , Duluth News Tribune, Worthington Daily Globe
DULUTH - The hen mallard and ducklings that took up residence in the former KDLH-TV parking lot in downtown Duluth have been captured by Duluth Animal Control and taken to a certified wildlife rehabilitator.
The hen was scooped up in a net this morning without fanfare and the ducklings quickly captured. The duck family was transported in a small pet cage and all appeared to be fine, though the hen sounded a bit angry at her captors.
The ducklings, apparently the result of the hen’s second attempt to nest and nearly two months behind most hatchlings, may be too small to fly South for the winter so they will be cared for until they are old enough to fly on their own, said Carrie Lane, head of the city’s Animal Control unit.
Wildlife officials generally urge people to leave wild animals wherever they are found, including ducks and ducklings on urban nests. But because of this mallard’s precarious nesting spot just off Superior Street, Animal Control decided to step in., Lane said It’s likely the hen would have tried to lead the ducklings to the nearest water, the harbor near Bayfront Festival Park, which would have been a dangerous trip across busy roads.
Earlier this summer, a hen mallard laid eggs that hatched on the roof of the Orpheum Building at Second Avenue East and Superior Street. A Duluth family helped herd, encourage and lift the ducks over objects and across streets and railroad tracks down to Lake Superior.
Downtown ducklings hatch in perilous spot
DULUTH - Yet another hen mallard has picked an unlikely downtown spot to lay her eggs: in the former KDLH TV parking lot on Superior Street at Fifth Avenue West.
Scott Miller of the Downtown Councils’ Clean and Green team of ambassadors said he has been watching the duck for weeks. On Thursday, the mallard ducklings started to hatch.
The nest is in a narrow strip of overgrown dandelions at the base of a concrete wall. Clean and Green ambassadors have been bringing the hen bread crumbs and water.
Waterfowl experts say the hen probably will lead her ducklings to the nearest water, probably the harbor near Bayfront Festival Park, with 24 hours of the last one hatching. But that could mean a perilous waddle across four-lane roads, railroads tracks and Interstate 35.
Earlier this summer, a hen mallard laid eggs that hatched on the roof of the Orpheum Building at Second Avenue East and Superior Street. A Duluth family helped herd, encourage and lift the ducks over objects and across streets and tracks down to Lake Superior.
Wildlife rehabilitation and animal control experts usually caution against moving wild animals even if they appear in peril, noting that most survive on their own.
“We get probably 20 calls about ducks on the roads every year, and most of them make it just fine,” said Carrie Lane of Duluth’s Animal Control department. “The wildlife people generally tell us to leave them alone.”
However, because of the latest downtown duck’s precarious location, Lane said she’d check on the nest in the morning to see if the ducklings were all hatched and potentially could be moved — or if they’ve already made their way to water.