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Bay Area Bird Blog » Cute story - ducks in Spokane
12th 2008
Cute story - ducks in Spokane

Posted under birds (general)

This has been making the rounds on email; thanks to Della Dash for passing it on to me.  I don’t know who the people are, I’ll just give you the story the way it was passed along to me.  (So, to make it crystal clear, the person referred to as “my brother” is NOT my brother, it’s the brother of whoever wrote this in the first place).


Something really amazing happened in Downtown Spokane this week and I had to share the story with you. Some of you may know that my brother, Joel, is a  loan officer at Sterling Bank. He works downtown in a second story  office building, overlooking busy Riverside Avenue. Several weeks ago he  watched a mother duck choose the cement awning outside his window as  the uncanny place to build a nest above the sidewalk.

The mallard laid  nine eggs in a nest in the corner of the planter that is perched over 10  feet in the air. She dutifully kept the eggs warm for weeks and Monday  afternoon all of her nine ducklings hatched.


Joel worried all night how the momma duck was going to get those babies safely off their perch in a  busy, downtown, urban environment to take to water, which typically  happens in the first 48 hours of a duck hatching. Tuesday morning,  Joel came to work and watched the mother duck encourage her babies to the edge of the perch with the intent to show them how to jump off!  

Ducks in planter box above a 10-foot drop

[Keep going to read the rest of the story]

The mother flew down below and started  quacking to her babies above. In his disbelief Joel watched as the first fuzzy newborn toddled to the edge and astonishingly leapt into thin air, crashing onto the cement below. My brother couldn’t watch how this might play out. He dashed out of his office and ran down the stairs the sidewalk where the first obedient duckling was stuporing  near its mother from the near fatal fall. 

Joel looked  up. The second duckling was getting ready to jump! He quickly dodged under the awning while the mother duck quacked at him and the babies above.  As the second one took the plunge, Joel jumped forward and caught it with his bare hands before it hit the cement. Safe and sound, he set it by the momma and the other stunned sibling, still recovering from its  painful leap. 

One by one the babies continued to  jump to join their anxious family below. Each time Joel hid under the awning just to reach out in the nick of time as the duckling made its free fall. The downtown sidewalk came to a standstill. Time after  time, Joel was able to catch the remaining 7 and set them by their  approving mother. 

At this point Joel realized the duck  family had only made part of its dangerous journey. They had 2 full blocks to walk across traffic, crosswalks, curbs, and pedestrians to get to  the closest open water, the Spokane River. The onlooking office secretaries then joined in, and hurriedly brought an empty copy paper box to collect the babies. They carefully corralled them, with the mother’s approval, and loaded them up into the white cardboard container. Joel held the box low enough for the mom to see  her brood. He then slowly navigated through the downtown streets toward the Spokane River, as the mother waddled behind and kept her babies  in sight. 

As they reached the river, the mother took over  and passed him, jumping into the river and quacking loudly. At the  water’s edge, the Sterling Bank office staff then tipped the box and  helped shepherd the babies toward the water and to their mother after  their adventurous ride.

    All  nine darling ducklings safely made it into the water and paddled up snugly  to momma duck. Joel said the mom swam in circles, looking back toward  the beaming bank workers, and proudly quacking as if to say: ’See, we  did it! Thanks for all the help!’ 

[You know, it really does look like the mom is saying Thanks!  Thanks for all the help!  We’ll be fine now!]

12 Responses to “Cute story - ducks in Spokane”

  1. Celestial Sidekick on 26 Aug 2008 at 12:44 am #

    Thanks so much for this post (a good antidote to the dog-chasing-deer post), and how nice to catch up on your blog after all these weeks. Google brings up a few more details, including the reassuring note that the mom and babies seemed to find a comfortable spot along the river instead of heading back to the building. They even made Snopes!

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