The Duck Whisperers (video)

While walking the dog, last night, I ran into two guys in Meridian Hill Park in Washington, DC who were trying to help some ducklings get into a pond.  (I’ve posted a video of the entire encounter at the bottom of this story, but it helps to read what happened first.)

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The guys, Adam Szubin and Eric Columbus were walking with their wives and kids a few hours before when they saw a duck and her five ducklings walking down a city sidewalk when suddenly the ducks decided to walk in the middle of the road.

Fearing the worst, Adam and Eric starting shepherding the ducks to the park, this park, that was only a few blocks away. The trickiest part was when they had to cross DC’s busy 16th Street. But Adam and Eric went right into traffic, hands up, and stopped the cars in order to let the mother duck and her five ducklings cross safely. Finally, they ended up in the park near the big pond/wading pool. But…

duck men

Adam Szubin (l) and Eric Columbus (r), duck whisperers.

Now there was another problem. The mother duck kept jumping on the ledge of the pool, calling for her ducklings to join her, but the jump was too great. The ducklings would run back and forth, trying to figure out where their mom was, unable to reach her. So the guys ran home, got two big planks, and put them by the pond, hoping the ducklings would use them to get up. That’s when I arrived on the scene with my dog, Sasha.

sasha and mom duck 1

Sasha and mother duck, mesmerized by each other.

What happened next was that the mom jumped back on the edge of a smaller wading pool, jumped in, and ducklings went crazy. In their confusion, they started to run away, in the wrong direction, and the guys ran after them. After about ten minutes, the guys were able to corral the ducklings back to where mom was still playing in the wading pool.

Mom then flew across our heads to the larger pond. The ducklings again when nuts, and finally mom flew back down to the ground where we were all standing. A crowd had gathered at this point. In the video, you’ll see one of the ducklings keep throwing himself against the outside wall of the pond, trying to jump up the 18 inch rise.

mom ducks 2

Momma duck decided to go into the larger pond this time, again the ducklings went nuts, but this time Adam and Eric were able to corral the ducklings to head up the ramp and into the pond. But then they noticed, one duckling missed the ramp. The next 5 minutes was spent trying to corral this little guy up the ramp while momma duck couldn’t have cared less – she had 4 out of 5 and she was happy, and just sailed off with 4/5 of her brood.

Finally, Adam and Eric were able to quickly scoop up duckling number five, get him into the water, where he immediately swam towards mom and his siblings, and the duck family was united again.

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Oops, the video was private for a moment there – it’s public now!


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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