This morning as I drove my daughter to school I saw a female Mallard duck sitting rather stunned in the middle of a very busy road. Judging by some stray feathers lying nearby I assumed that the poor thing had been clipped by a car. I knew that her survival sitting there was dubious and quickly put my car in ‘park’ with the emergency lights blinking. The stunned duck didn’t even look at me as I approached it, nor did she make any attempts to evade me as I picked her up.
Getting back in the car I placed her next to my daughter on the seat and told her to hold on to her if she tries to move. “What are we going to do now?” asked my daughter as I put the car back into gear and drove away from the scene. “We are going to get you to school” I replied.
As we drove to school the duck slowly regained her senses and realized that driving in a Toyota Highlander was a little out of the ordinary for her average day. At school Ms. Mallard decided to try and make a break for it. In my efforts to stop her (and mostly trying to prevent her from doing further damage to herself), I got a bitchslapped a few times by her frantically flapping efforts. But I was able to catch her and once held she calmed down.
I called the wild bird rehab expert I dealt with on numerous occasions to see if she or anyone else she knew would take this lovely girl, but the answer was negative. If the bird was able to move her wings normally (my face could attest to that), and there was no head trauma or open wounds, she recommended that I return the bird to the area where I found her. The duck had a minor injury on her right wing where some feathers had bent backwards and broken during the accident. But it was a mere superficial injury.
So, once my daughter was dropped off at school, I drove one-handed through late morning morning traffic while clutching a bewildered but calm wild duck to my chest. I don’t recommend it. The entire trip long I wondered if Ms. Mallard would make a frantic attempt to vanquish her captor and escape and how, if that were to happen, I would possibly explain that to my insurance company.
With the help of my best friend’s daughter and with her brothers and my son in tow we went to the creek near where I had found our damsel. Duck creek – aptly named as you can see- is a lovely lazy creek which winds itself through our town. A recreational trail runs alongside it, and it was near one of the access paths to this trail that we went to release our perky looking rescue. We saw a drake (male duck) and a female happily nesting in some soft grass. Our duck became rather excited when she saw them. We gently sat her on the ground and she immediately waddled off, happily quacking, towards the male duck and some nearby reeds. The male immediately followed her and …. well, let’s say that after scolding her for being gone and gallivanting off with strangers, they celebrated the reunion.
All is well that ends well. Quack.