I have really enjoyed walking the trails where I live and biking some as well since we moved here four months ago. It warms my heart to see the ducks walking their little babies down to the river each day. The river even in this short time has expressed many a mood. Most times it is gentle, quiet, sweet and deeply serene. Then at other times fast, turbulent, noisy and swelling as it displays a glimpse of its potential power.
I’ve become acquainted with most of the white ducks. They are domesticated and Noah and I often feed them. The Mallards and geese vary. I’ve seen some very beautiful ducks come through this area and photographed a few which I will share in this post.
Several times I stopped by the river to witness some child/youth abusing these ducks. The first time, a boy about twelve was standing with his father or guardian and he picked up a huge rock and threw it at the baby ducks in the water. I did not hear or notice his father say anything to him. The boy looked over at me and I gave him a look that said it all. He nervously smirked at me. I was upset and stayed around and interacted with the adults that were with him. I talked to them about how beautiful these little ducks were as I took some photographs. There was no more rock throwing. They left.
Another time, a girl about the age of ten was screaming and violently waving her arms as she chased the ducks shouting, “I HATE YOU!” as her parents/guardians stood by with a child in a stroller. I did not see them tell her to stop, so I walked over and said, “Oh, honey don’t do that, those ducks will turn around and bite you so hard! It really hurts!” She stopped in her tracks and her parents looked up at me. I went over and talked to the parents/guardians about how wonderful the wild life was in the area. They left quietly. Those ducks were disturbed and lost a bunch of their feathers running from that child.
The last time an older teen-age boy was with his friends and was doing about the same thing the girl had done. I walked over and told him, “You need to stop doing that, you probably don’t know this but there is an ordinance against harassing/harming the wildlife along the river here. You can get in trouble for that.” He proceeded to laugh his head off and his friends joined in. I took my phone out and acted like I was calling someone. They left laughing, but I think they were a little freaked out
Yesterday, I went to the Town Hall to inquire if there actually was an ordinance or law protecting these birds. The man I talked to said that the Mallards and Geese were covered under Federal and State Law and that the Game Wardens would take care of it, but for the white ducks since they were domesticated that he wasn’t sure. He called a police officer over and I told him this story. Officer Turner was very respectful and told me they were having a staff meeting later and he’d make the staff aware of it. He gave me his card and wrote the dispatcher number on it and told me to call if I see anything like that again. He said they’d do extra patrols to watch the area, too. This made me feel little better. We’re armed and ready. Well, thanks for listening. From an Undercover Duck Agent, Peace….Jeanne
ALL PHOTOGRAPHS BY JEANNE DENTON
Please do not copy without permission.