She’s a single mom with big responsibilities. Soon she’ll have eight or nine mouths to feed.
But now she’ll have dozens of uncles and aunts watching her bring up her brood of ducklings.
A mallard has nested in the parking lot of the Township maintenance yard and her drake ( male duck) is nowhere to be seen.
Staff think there may have been up to 10 eggs. There appear to be eight or nine now.
Crows were seen eating an egg on top of one staff members recently purchased truck, causing some damage.
Despite the parking lot being away from any bodies of water, the mother duck is settled in, getting her eggs ready to hatch.
And staff have been keeping a watchful eye on them.
“I brought in the duck decoy so there was a male, and guess what, the crows never came back,” said Mike Parenteau, one of the three managers who have lost their parking stalls due to where she chose to nest.
He’s been dubbed ‘Daddy Duck’ by coworkers and many staff have become proficient at Donald Duck voices.
They’ve put pylons out to keep vehicles out of those spots, and there’s signs up to warn of her presence. Tony Ward, an engineering department technician, put up two wildlife cameras near the nest and there’s security cameras around the yard.
As well, the RCMP fuel up there so they are coming and going. And firefighters from the nearby Murrayville fire hall swing past while exercising to ask about her.
Ward said the mother duck occasionally hides the eggs then goes off for brief stints before returning, gathering her eggs under her and nesting. When she’s away, that’s when staff have set down artificial grass, filled a kiddy pool for water and placed a couple of inobtrusive wildlife cameras.
But they all know to keep their distance. Parenteau explained that people cannot do anything to bother the bird while she’s nesting.
“It’s federally regulated,” he said.
They’ve done online research, to find out things like her gestation period and called experts to find out what they should do after she’s hatched her eggs.
“Everybody’s involved,” Ward said. “Building community one quack at a time.”