Duck Crossing

My neighborhood quacks me up.

It would quack you up too if you wandered through.

If it wasn’t already the sweetest little corner of the world, now we have an official and highly entertaining duck crossing.

Every morning just after dawn, and every evening just before dusk a large family or two (and a maiden aunt everyone ignores) waddle across the road to nosh near my neighbor’s bird feeder.

When the ducklings were so little they looked like fragile little puffballs marching in a row, my neighbor Sharon stood guard for them, blocking traffic until the whole family landed safely on either side. They’re a little older now, sturdier on their feet and more mindful of their surroundings.

Sharon and her daughter Sami made a Duck Crossing sign to warn motorists, and now two families — one with 10 large ducklings and the other 12 — make the daily trek from the retention pond on one side of the road, to their yard on the other.

But Sharon still hustles out there when she spots them gearing up for the crossing. For the most part, motorists pause respectfully. Many of them, and the bicyclists and walkers who also stop for the show, pull out their cellphones to record all the cuteness.

I know ducks are a common sight. Nearly 50 million live in the United States, according to Ducks Unlimited.

I also know ducks grow up fast and fly off to bigger ponds.

But, I think the world needs a little good news every now and then and my news is that it feels really good to see a bunch of humans pause their busy lives to help a duck family find its way home.

Both cars paused and waited for this duck family to make its way from the retention pond across the street to my neighbor’s bird feeder.
I was shooting the sign, when this poor maiden mallard wandered past. She appears to be shunned by the rest of the team, which was sad and we felt a little sorry for her until we saw her take issue with one of the neighborhood squirrels. Girlfriend is fierce! (And possibly a little cranky, which may explain why the rest of the ducks steer clear).
Once they’ve had their fill (or made eye contact with a dog), they assemble for the march home. They’re getting almost as tall as their mother!
Then, off they go, mostly in a straight line and always with Mama Duck bringing up the rear. Those ducklings have plenty of predators so its good to see their biggest, we humans, helping them a little along the way.

One thought on “Duck Crossing

  1. I first saw this at Georgetown University. Funny.
    Your neighborhood is quite original (YOU are in there). And the ducks are literate which is rare.

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