“Lucky,” The Red Bridge Duck
Contributed by Randy Cobleigh My wife and I had just arrived at Blue Bicycle Fitness in the Red Bridge Shopping Center. We were greeted by Brook [Langeluttig-Patrick], my friend and fitness trainer. This day was starting out a little different. Brook was grinning a big smile of awe and excitement, as my wife Beth and I walked up to the front of our car. He pointed towards the wayward duck. “Would you look at that? He has been here since I arrived at four a.m. Hasn’t moved from that spot.” Indeed, the little fellow seemed to be glued to the sidewalk.
Beth thought that possibly it had gotten separated from its flock and wandered under the overhang, in front of the exercise studio. By doing so he became an immediate celebrity. Many people had heard about him and were passing by, commenting on his plight. I have to say he landed in exactly the right spot. If he hadn’t, possibly he wouldn’t have gotten a bowl of water to drink or had a breakfast of popcorn. All that was courtesy of my friend Brook.
The debate was underway between many of those admiring the young duck. What can we do to help? Even though there were many solid ideas, no one had time to take up the charge of “save the duck.”
We first got a few ideas on duck care from Euston hardware and drove back in his direction. Vito’s barbershop, a fixture at this shopping center forever, gave us his copy of the Martin City Telegraph. We called their number and waited in our car with a cup of Crow’s coffee. I talked with Sue at the newspaper office and many others in the family of Red Bridge shops who gave us ideas.
Finally we got in touch with our neighborhood conservation agent. He gave us the phone number of a bird rescue shelter, in Grandview, and a woman there named Julie. [Julie Burge, DVM, of Burge Bird Services]
Thanks to everyone’s help we were able to wave a magic wand over our little friend and he was safely on his way to rehab. Hopefully, he will be adopted and if his luck holds, he might be given a good home. Maybe that was his name all along; “Lucky”.
From the Vet
A caring person had called the office to report this sweet thing in a weird location. This lonely Muscovy was behind a grocery store at a strip mall, where I caught her with the help of three passing strangers. I slowly herded her up against the back of the building, then the four of us made a semicircle and slowly moved in at her so she was trapped. She finally decided to fly when we were within six feet of her on all sides; but fortunately she flew toward me and I scooped her into my net in mid-air.
Muscovy ducks are the only domestic breed that can fly very well. They rarely fly very high, and do not know how to migrate to warmer places in the winter. Muscovies are found in large numbers in some ponds and lakes in more southern climates, where the water doesn’t freeze over, but they are considered an invasive species. Some towns have been known to perform capture and slaughter in order to rid their waters of what they consider to be pests.
We are looking for a good home for her with other ducks, where she will either need a pen with a net on top, or will have to keep her wings clipped. If she flies away she may not survive as she would not be accepted by wild ducks who might attack and kill her (male ducks have been known to rape females of any breed, sometimes killing them), and would be very vulnerable to predators, not to mention the difficulty in finding food.
Julie Burge, DVM
Burge Bird Rescue