Sitting on her eggs: A female mallard sits on her nest

Sitting on her eggs: A female mallard sits on her nest

Ducks set up nest downtown

A happy couple has set up their home on some prime real estate right next to the office of Century 21 Lifestyles

A happy couple has set up their home on some prime real estate right next to the office of Century 21 Lifestyles.

Mr. and Mrs. Mallard.

Sheryl Nadon at the real estate office on Ross Street explains that two ducks have been spotted hanging around over the past week – a male and a female.

One morning the mallards stopped traffic because the female was lying on the pavement near the curb. The male was lounging nearby in the Ross Street parking lot.

On Thursday afternoon, Nadon says the gardener spotted what turned out to be Mama Duck behind shrubbery in the little garden beside the office. In her nest were 10 or 11 eggs.

While Nadon and other staff are excited about the neighbouring nursery and think it’s great for people to see the brooding mom, they don’t want to disturb her.

A check of the Internet reveals timely advice and information regarding human interaction with city-dwelling mallards.

A helpful website is the U.S.’ citywildlife.org from the District of Columbia.

“When the ducklings are only 1-2 days old – or as early as a few hours after the last egg has hatched – their mother needs to lead them to water in order to feed,” it states, pointing out she can’t carry them over barriers nor can she bring food to them.

It also notes that ongoing intrusions by humans can be stressful, both to the mother and the ducklings.

The website does not recommend that people attempt to feed ducklings but, if necessary, people can provide assistance in relocating them to a suitable water body. That’s only if they need help.

“The family should not be put in pools or fountains or any water body with a rim that prevents the ducklings from getting out of the water, since their mother will lead them out of the water at night and during the day to preen for waterproofing,” the website notes.

With Shuswap Lake relatively close, the mallard family will likely head there.

Nadon is looking forward to the day the little ducklings are hatched and then set out with their mom.

“Won’t that be priceless when we get a troupe of them heading for the lake?” she smiles.

And she has an idea how staff can help.

“We’re going to have to be crossing guards. That’ll be our new job.”