After sadly coming to the realization that Mabel would not have free reign of her yard and that my ever open back door would have to be shut for two months to keep the duckling safe, I started seeking the advice of "duck rescuers."
Whenever you see "duck rescuers" in this post, please feel free to substitute the word idiot or a$$hole. One or the other is appropriate in every single case.
If you have wild ducklings in yard, let me save you some trouble. Don't bother with "duck rescuers."
First of all, what the phone book / Internet doesn't tell you is most are DOMESTIC "duck rescuers."
One lady, Carol, told me right off the bat that she doesn't help wild ducks, only domestics but that she had phone numbers for the wild duck place. She then went right on to tell me the plight of the domestic duck that gets adopted at Easter and is homeless within a month and how she was taking on the LAUSD Board because teachers have no business hatching ducks in a classroom I mean it's one thing if you track the duck and make sure it finds a good home and has no more babies but they don't do that and often....
That's nice lady but I have a crisis in my backyard RIGHT NOW! Can I just the get phone number?
The next guy again only handles domestics. His advice? Open my gates and shoo the family out!
"But I live on a busy street!?!"
"Well, they won't be in your yard anymore now will they?"
Say it with me: "Duck rescuer."
#3 wanted money...Lots of money. Of which I have none. But he did explain the lack of wild duck rescues. Our Federal Government (see the problem???) regulates the licenses that allows someone to rescue a wild duck. It's difficult to get and difficult to keep.
O.K. Nicer "duck rescuer."
In the meantime, my hiking buddy recalled that a friend of ours (a/k/a Kat on this blog) who rescues all kinds of animals had a duck enclosure. She phoned and Kat didn't hesitate to take on Mallory and the babies!
I phone Kat and was a blithering crying mess describing Mabel and my love for these babies that had come into my life a mere 40 odd hours before.
Kat showed up with her beau, an engineer and our hiking buddy. Mallory and the kids were in the side yard for a stroll and hunt. We walked closer to corner the family. The engineer wrapped Mallory in a towel to protect her wings and grabbed her neck (gently). She squawked and fussed but he held her close and she calmed.
We placed her in a pet carrier as the babies scattered. All were crying and fussing. The engineer noticed that the babies came near Mallory's squawking and he would open the cage door a peep and some would enter the crate. The rest, us ladies had to chase down. I finally got to hold one and give him a kiss.
Finally, there were no ducklings to be seen or heard on the ground but we could only count nine in the cage. I gave Mallory some food for the first time...she was STARVING! We were able to count all eleven! My duck family was safe and going to a good home!
I've been to visit them. They are safe and warm and happy. They have food and heat lamps and a nest. Their pool is shallower but unchlorinated. And their tale is no longer mine. You can follow their adventures on Twinkie's blog!