The Story of Quack

I really appreciate all the great comments that my readers have been leaving lately. It is wonderful how so many people are enjoying the bird life that comes across their paths in their daily lives.

Every now and then a reader leaves more than just a comment or two or a question. When they tell a great story about their encounter with birds I think it is only fair that everyone gets to read the story. Otherwise some great stories just get drowned in the flood of comments.

Sometimes readers also send me great stories via email through my contact form. These do not even appear in the comments section. Here is one such recent story.

I just came across your website and thought I would add our story. My 12 year old daughter just loves wildlife of any kind. she has a connection with animals of any sort but because we have several chickens and a pair of Appleyard Ducks she has a very strong bond with these.

Last year our pair of ducks had a clutch and one morning she found a duckling on the ground hardly moving. She brought it inside, kept it warm and hand-raised it herself and now it is a very handsome male.

A couple of months ago on our school oval a student found a duckling wandering by itself. It must have been about 1 – 2 days old. After a long search the parents were nowhere to be found. As they knew we had ducks we were asked if we would like to hand-raise it.

Knowing the best place would be with its mother we again searched the oval and nearby properties for Mum and the other ducklings but she couldn’t be found so we took “Quack” home.

He proved to be quite different in personality to raising our Appleyard ducks, probably because it was a wild duck. He was constantly chirping and jumping in his box. My daughter would sit and cuddle him in front of the heater, talk to him and be very attentive to all his needs, collecting slaters, worms and crickets to feed him as well as giving him his normal crumbles. She couldn’t even walk out of the room and Quack would be calling for her and looking to see where she had gone.

Over the weeks he grew quite large and it was time for him to stay outside. He would sit at the back door and call for my daughter and would follow her wherever she went. He would roam around our backyard during the day and we would put him in a cage at night.

As his wings were developing he would stand on the grass and flap them, surprising himself when he lifted a few centimetres off the ground.

Well yesterday (29th September) she took him out of his cage as usual, he had a quick bath and then walked on to the lawn, looked skyward and flew off! My daughter was devastated that she didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye, especially seeing we were soon to release him ourselves.

We were concerned that he flew into a neighbouring backyard which had a dog, so we went door knocking to see if we could find him – no luck. About a half hour later my husband heard the neighbour on the other side say there was a duck in her pool, so on investigation, yes it was Quack having a wonderful time in the pool.

Apparently he had been at their back door quacking to get someone’s attention. Well my daughter was reunited with him, with a big cuddle and we are now preparing him (and my daughter) to be released.

He is a male Pacific Black Duck.

My thanks to Sandy Davis for permission to quote this story in full.


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