Today I arrived at my carpool’s meeting spot and stood for a few minutes waiting for the van to arrive. As I was reading my book, I kept hearing little bird noises.

Of course, birds are ubiquitous this time of year. Between nesting starlings and swallows, if you stand in one spot more than 30 seconds, you hear baby birds.

The van pulled up and I took two steps forward.

ducks1A mama duck and her ducklings were parading around the sidewalk.

Collective “awwww”.

A few seconds later I looked up.

ducks3The rest of her brood was on top of the concrete planter.

Maybe I should mention at this point that all this is taking place in downtown Salem, steps away from the capitol building.

Worry started to set in. Even if the babies jumped down to reunite with mama, how would they get to Mill Creek (about 1.5 blocks away)?

Just then a woman came out of the building caring a box. She reported that this happened “every year.” The duck nested on top of the planter, in the shrubs.

ducks2She and her coworkers reached in to collect the little brood. Then with the box of ducklings in their arms, they made their way down the sidewalk, mama duck following, toward Mill Creek.

Really big collective “awwwwww.”


P.S. I don’t care if someone reports this was environmentally wrong or bad for wildlife or whatever.