What We Did at 7:00 AM-The Mighty Baby Mallard Duck Rescue

What we did at 7:00 AM-The Mighty Baby Mallard Duck Rescue

Few things bother us more that watching an animal trying to cross a busy road.

This morning was a gut-twister.

A Mommy Mallard with about 8, day old hatchlings tried to cross Rt. 33, a 4-lane highway during rush hour.

They ran across the road, then we watched in horror as the traffic started whizzing by.  They were so hard to see because they were soooo tiny.  The Mommy jumped up on the extra high curb, but the baby ducklings just couldn’t make the jump up.

Joe and I watched in the rear view mirrors in horror, as we made a left and they were now, four lanes away.  Joe made a mind-numbing bat turn, wheels squealing and I started to tear up…OK, we can see who is used to dealing with emergency situations here, right?  It’s not me.

Joe was able to cut across 4 lanes of traffic, put on his blue emergency light and put on his hazard lights.  He pulled behind the ducklings to block them from oncoming traffic.  I jumped out of the car and tried to herd the babies to a driveway opening about 12 feet down the road.

NOTE TO SELF-herding ducklings is like herding cats.  Ducking Wrangler is not a great career choice if you value your sanity.

About half of the babies walked to the driveway and half of them stayed at the “Gigantic” curb, close to the mommy duck that was quacking at them and us.  I must admit, I was a little afraid that she was going to get all ninja duck on my ass, and peck my eyeballs out.  She must have sensed we were there to help, because she didn’t peck our eyeballs out.

There were probably only about 8 ducklings, but seriously, at that point it seemed like 108 because there were maybe 4 that went up the driveway and the other 4 were still by the curb.  They were too quick for me to catch.  I was afraid they were going to run back into the oncoming traffic that was speeding by.

Lighting fast, Joe appeared out of no where-seriously.  I didn’t even hear him get out of the car.  He scooped up the remaining babies in his giant but gentle bear-like hands and popped them into the grass. Quick as a wink.

The group of ducklings that walked through the driveway opening was waddling back to Mommy duck and reuniting with their bro-ducks and sis-ducks.

Joe said, “Let’s go”, as the morning traffic was zooming by.  I managed to snap this picture before we merged back into traffic.


Rescued ducklings make a break for the river.

Rescued ducklings make a break for the river.

The new family was making their way to the Shark River.  GEEZ, duckies!  Please be careful in the Shark River! (Actually, the Shark River is a place where people find shark’s teeth…no shark sighting.)

As we pulled away, I really got teary-eyed.  I can’t tell you why though, maybe it was stress. Maybe it was PMS.  Maybe it was because I can’t believe Joe rescued people, shift after shift, day after day for over 30 years…and still does it as a volunteer.


Maybe because in the blink of an eye, everything can change.  Value what you treasure and give thanks for your blessings.

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