Of ducks and crying children
So we have a large population of muscovy ducks in our neighborhood.
There are some neighbors that don’t like that reality. They’ve contacted the neighborhood management association to see what can be done about it. Word was they were going to get a group out here to trap some of the ducks and relocate them to farm ponds.
My children were not happy. Admittedly, I’m not thrilled with it either.
Remember that one mother duck that was eaten a couple of weeks ago? We relocated 6 of her viable eggs to another mother across the way. Those eggs hatched just yesterday. It was a joyous event!
This morning I go out to refresh the water dish, as 2 mallard drakes were in the yard. I see the mother across the way emerge and 9 little ducklings behind her. I walk to the edge of my yard to get a better look and then I see a man standing in a neighbor’s driveway watching the ducks. I keep an eye on him.
I clean up my yard a bit, go to throw some things away. The guy engages me in conversation. I see by his hat and shirt he’s with the USDA. He’s been out here for the past 2 weeks counting and observing. And this morning, they’re trapping.
Daughter and Wife are out of the house, but Oldest and Youngest got to observe what was going on. Their first tip-off? One of the hens with 5 ducklings is nowhere to be seen, but her 5 ducklings are all huddled together alone and peeping. They went looking, then saw the men with nets chasing down the ducks.
The wailing of broken-hearted children commenced. I didn’t stop it. I let the men hear it, I let the neighbors I know in part responsible for this hear it.
We asked the men if we could look at the ducks they had captured to see if the one mother was in there. We couldn’t tell given the nature of the cages. They had captured some other babies too, but we don’t know which or whom. We tried to get the men to take the 5 orphans with them because likely the mother was in their truck, but they wouldn’t engage us in conversation; one wouldn’t even look me in the eye. Nice, but I can’t blame them… they’re just doing their job and I was hitting them with an emotional attack.
I managed to capture the 5 orphans. We’re going to take them to the Austin Wildlife Rescue.
Talking with another neighbor, he mentioned wanting to catch the one mother with the 9 ducklings and relocate her to a farm pond. I wondered why, no response.
Yes, I know and even the children know the realities of it all. We’ve explained it to them, helped them understand the practical reasons for why this has to happen. But that doesn’t mean we have to like it. These ducks have a lot of personality and yes, even I’ve grown attached. Someone coming along and taking them away, it hurts. Again, we understand the realities of it all, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less, especially for the kiddos.
Just furthers our desire to move to the country.