Tuesday, 11 June 2013

A Ducking F*** Follow-up

As posted last week, our deck has become a home for unwed ducks. As of last evening Momma Mallard (I fear giving her a pet name because frankly, while I find the whole situation fascinating, I really want her to do her biological business and leave us to resume proper summer use of our backyard) was squatting on an "eight is quite enough" pack of ready-made omelettes.
Ms Duck hasn't left the nest for more than a half an hour at a time, and for no more than once or twice a day. You can't say that the girl lacks commitment.
But here's the rub. The weather is improving and we would like to use the pool. Every time we even attempt to open the back door, she squawks, moults, and flies off in a rage. She has also taken to soiling the pool on occasion, but nothing that we can't handle with some diligent cleaning and chemicals. Our research has taught us that this could be another month in the nesting and hatching process. Not only that, it is said that when mallards like a location, they tend to make it a yearly experience, kind of like Canadian snowbirds jetting to Florida in December. Patience never being one of his strongest virtues, nor at all liking the idea of operating a wetlands retreat, The Husband decided that he would look into what might be involved in humanely relocating our growing avian family.

He started by calling a wildlife removal expert who told him that they would come and move the ducks but that they require a permit. Ok. This is now descending into the complicated. Onward to step 2. He emailed the Department of Wildlife Conservation which apparently (who knew?) is a subset of the Ministry of the Environment. They responded immediately with a phone call. The lovely lady informed him that the ducks could only be removed if they were causing a hazard. (hint hint) He asked if her soiling the pool constituted a hazard and she (far too gleefully for my liking) answered that it did indeed, and that she would issue the permit to remove the ducks and destroy the eggs and nest. The Husband, dedicated vegetarian and environmentalist that he is, told the eager duck killer that we are looking for a humane removal and have no interest in destroying the eggs, nor in sending the mother into immediate shiva. Wildlife Lady responded that she will have a wildlife specific biologist from the ministry contact us to determine if such a method is possible. A wildlife specific biologist!! Our little duck nest has officially become a federal case.

It is so nice to know that my federal tax dollars are hard at work toward the task of saving and rescuing Momma and her unhatchlings. I should note that my federal Member of Parliament just so happens to be the Environment Minister. I wonder if Mr. Kent might come over and remove the family personally. It might be the first environmentally humane thing he has done in his not-so illustrious career.


  1. Dawn, this is great, possibly the best blog you've ever posted. You need to tag it with things like "Environment quackdary" and "Duck dilemma" and "Just ducky" and "new take on urban sprawl" and "conunduck"...you get my "drift" ?

  2. Or perhaps..."Duck Dynasty"

  3. Just got off the phone with the federal government biologist in Ottawa. He suggested an "experiment" whereby we move the flower box a few feet a day until it is out of the way. Hopefully the duck will not abandon her young ones. I will take the chance since when has the federal government ever led us astray before?
    THE Husband