Soon, the bucket was full with 15 baby ducks, and Schmidt was filthy.
"We had three people at all three sewer holes listening for more quacking to make sure there were no more down there," he said.
Schmidt brought the bucket to a grassy area near one of the ponds, about 30 feet from the crowd, and left it resting on its side, so the tiny birds could enter and leave at will.
Suddenly, a mallard appeared. It made a call, and out from the bucket marched about five ducklings. The family waddled away, mom at the helm.
Before long, a second mallard appeared, squawked, and out marched another five ducklings. They walked off together, too.
A third mallard arrived and retrieved the last of the young.
Satisfied, Schmidt jumped back in his car and drove home to take a steaming shower and congratulate himself on his good deed of the day.
I too congratulate Mr. Schmidt - way to go, sir!
- Four ducklings rescued from a storm drain in Philadelphia
- Seven ducklings rescued from a storm drain near Pittsburgh
- Ten ducklings rescued from a storm drain in New Jersey
- Two ducks (the photo shows at least one to be a duckling) in Maitland, Florida
- Twelve ducklings (wonderful photos,including the one shown here!), unspecified location
- Six ducklings in Ogden, Utah
- Two ducklings in Manchester, New Hampshire
- Seven ducklings in Syracuse, New York (report includes video of ducklings peeping madly from inside the drain)
- Two ducklings in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin (more remained deep in the drain)
The Ogden article notes how common reports of down-the-drain ducklings are:
The Ogden City Animal Shelter gets calls about ducks in storm drains all of the time, especially during the freak rainstorms this summer, said spokeswoman Casy Beesly. But she acknowledged that there are policy differences between domestic animals and wildlife. Puppies and kittens are a higher priority.
"We're short-staffed," Beesly said.
I expect plenty of such incidents go undiscovered, which is sad, but it's nice to know that people's kind instincts kick in when they see babies in trouble, whether human or avian.