‘Tis The Season For Baby Duckling Rescues

Several times each spring, urban fire departments get the call for rescue, but this is a rescue call many actually look forward to getting.

Rather than being faced with a grisly crash scene, or someone facing a dire medical condition, this rescue call greets the department members with cute little duckling chirps, and usually a concerned mama duck, quacking nearby.

Mallard ducks frequently nest and lay their eggs away from water, and hidden to avoid eggs being found and eaten by predators.

Once the babies hatch and get large enough to walk, or waddle if you will, mama duck leads them the few blocks or so to the nearest body of water.

The problem comes in when mama and crew walk alongside the curb on a city street. She is large enough to walk over sewer grates with ease, but the tiny babies fall through the holes and plummet down into the sewer, frantically calling for mom who is left looking on, helpless.

It’s then up to a good Samaritan walking by who hears the distressed babies and calls the local dispatch center to summon help.

That’s when your local fire department comes to save the day.

They have a tool that can remove the heavy cast iron grate, and on their trucks filled with tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment is a $4.99 net on a stick they use to scoop babies out and reunite with mama.

So as you take a walk during these next few weeks on your city street, keep an ear peeled for the tiny chirps down a sewer or watch for a frantic mama duck quacking stressfully. If you find some ducklings have fallen in a sewer, call the Fond du Lac County Communication Center non emergency line at 920-906-5555. Be ready to tell them which sewer the ducks are in as there are usually a few. Especially at intersections.