Make Way for Ducklings
It's a rescue worthy of Robert McCloskey's 1941 book Make Way for Ducklings, which follows Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings in a walk along busy Boston streets, helped by a police officer and other sympathetic humans. But not every story ends so happily. After ducklings hatch in the spring, "a high percentage ... do not make it to water" emails Carol Akerlof, the Bird Center's director. "They are hit by cars, caught by predators, and frequently fall down storm drains that are at the curb."
When they know where a nest is located, volunteers distribute "duckling alerts" advising human neighbors how to assist avian mothers making the perilous trek with their babies. ("You can help by walking with her, nearby, but not close enough to scare her.") If people do see ducklings get trapped, they can call the Bird Center (761-9640) or the Humane Society of Huron Valley (662-5585). Both groups transfer rescued ducklings to the Mallard Marsh Rehabilitation Center in Ypsilanti Township, where they are cared for until they are old enough to survive on their own.
Sue asked that her real name not be published because too many people already call her instead of the Bird Center when they find birds that need help--and even animals: "I get around 5 calls a day for squirrel emergencies alone," she emails, "and I don't 'do' squirrels." (See friendsofwildlife.net for phone numbers of animal rehabilitators.)