Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Ducks Are Free!

I'm happy to report Operation Duck Freedom was a great success!  The hiking buddy and I headed over to Twinkie's fairly early with two pet carriers, old towels and old clothes. We turned the carriers on the long end and each took a towel and started cornering ducks. Mallory tried to attack me several times! I finally managed to catch her in my towel and drop her in the largest carrier. By that point we had five babies in the small carrier.

In another few minutes, we had them all! We washed out the duck pool one last time and loaded them in the jeep. Here's Mallory and part of her crew.
We drove them to Dirty Creek. I had been scouting around there for a  good spot for them and decided that, in spite of the Cooper's Hawk that favors the area, the pond with the tall grass would provide the safest nest and good hunting for the family. 
We hiked them in and opened both carrier doors at the same time. Mallory popped out first and then the babies all followed rather quickly. Here they are enjoying their first taste of freedom since their third day when they left my house.

 They immediately jumped in the creek. They started eating vegetation right away and even fishing!

After a snack, Mallory took off exploring and the babies all followed. 

They quickly discovered all the tall grasses that line the pond area. The secluded themselves in there. We hiked back to the Eastern edge and looked for them. Not finding them, we hid the carriers and went back to the drop off point where we spied them in the tall grasses. The disappeared in a quick second. We grew tired of waiting for them to return. 
When we got back to the carriers, we discovered they were at that end of the creek. But they quickly took off again as soon as they saw us. 

I'm so grateful they are not accustomed to humans and that they have food, shelter and a wide open space to learn to fly!


rottrover said...

They're HUGE!! And gorgeous! You all did a good thing!! It sounds like they are in a perfect place :-)

We promise not to chase them ~

-Gizmo, Bart and Ruby

Yoda, Brutus & Ellie said...

Yay!! So happy that they could be released back into the wild with no problems!!

Pugs & Kisses,

Yoda, Brutus & Ellie

Linda@VS said...

Great! You all did such a good job with Mallory and her babies! And that second-to-last photo is absolutely beautiful.

Anonymous said...

what a great project and with great results too! You should be proud of yourself.