Uptown Ducks of Minneapolis

(Olden days indeed)





The tales of their incredible journeys  

from the Sons of Norway building        to Lake of the Isles or Lake Calhoun
      
                  
                                                             
  Request a higher quality free DVD or mpeg 
  of any of the following videos:
  Ten Ducklings to Lake of the Isles  May 17 2005  12 min   streaming
  Eight Ducklings to Lake Calhoun     May 23 2005  14 min   streaming 
Three Ducklings to Lake of the Isles   May 17 2007  10 min   streaming

Mommy Duck adopted a nest on the east ledge sometime during the first week of May, settling in on top of three eggs left there by a previous duck. On Saturday May 12, she laid nine eggs of her own. Just four days later, her three adopted eggs hatched. The following morning she brought her three adoptees to the lake, leaving behind her nine eggs, which were still 21 days from hatching. This year, the family's trip ended in the marsh just 100 feet shy of Lake of the Isles. She nested there with her chicks for several hours. Her nine abandoned eggs fell quietly asleep to find another life.

3 small images from camcorder


Some years ago, a duck chose the east ledge of the Sons of Norway building in Uptown Minneapolis to nest and hatch her chicks. She has returned every year except for 2006.

A couple other ducks have at least once made their nests at other ledge locations on the east and north side of the building.

These ducks, mallards, incubate their eggs for 24 to 26 days. On the morning after hatching, Mommy duck (hen) leads her ducklings (chicks) on a daring leap off the 36 inch ledge down to the concrete sidewalk - about the highest jump the ducklings can survive.

Thus begins their harrowing journey to the lakes, about 3/4 mile distant, typically through unsuspecting morning rush hour traffic.

Though these ducks are wild, they've chosen to nest among us and accept hospitality from us in the form of clean water, feed, respectful visits and temporary awnings for shade on scorching days.

During the five years that I've been involved with these ducks, I've yet to see a journey where they would likely have made it safely without an escort. Besides stopping fast moving traffic as it rounds a blind curve, the human escort assists the ducks through obstacles such as chain link fences which can appear in the ducks' path at the end of residential yard cul de sacs.

Ducklings that fall off the ledge in the middle of the night prior to the morning's journey are returned to the ledge by a rubber gloved human on night watch. On one journey, a duckling was saved by a human just as it was falling into a storm sewer grate.

When it's evident the journey is about to begin, a well placed cardboard box can serve as an intermediate ledge for the ducklings to leap onto.

These Mommy ducks make many friends among the Sons of Norway employees as well as many local residents and other nearby business employees. We're always relieved when we learn they have made it to their new home.

Daddy duck (drake) keeps watch over Mommy from his perch on top of a nearby three story building. Even when not on his perch, he never seems to be too far away. He watches over the progress of the journey from high in the sky and swoops down to greet the family shortly after their arrival at the lake. He has even made mid-journey visits.

  For duck technicians only:   

  How to monitor duck's shade from remote location
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