This morning while walking over by the Portage library I met Rick Deleau of the Cinema Centre. He was taking a picture of something on the Boulevard.  Turns out it was this Mama Duck and her eight ducklings.

⇒Click on the triangle in the circle above to watch the video of the ducks⇐

Things looked pretty rough for this family, stuck in the middle of a parking lot, in the middle of town.  Cars, dogs and cats, people, no water.

As they crossed over to the back of the library, Head Librarian Percy Gregoire-Voskamp  joined us. We decided to escort the ducks to wherever they were going. So we followed them, blocking traffic when necessary, generally trying to guide them towards the lake unharmed.  They marched quite confidently to South.


duck 6-poster

We were joined by Kevin Fletcher and his son Nash at the back of Shoppers as the Ducks made their way up the back lane.

duck 4 There were some tense moments crossing Saskatchewan Avenue.

Here’s a  six and a half minute video chronicle the Great Duck Walk of 2014.  It was tough to keep up with these guys, get good pictures, but also not get to close to scare them. So sorry about some of the video quality.


At first they were a little skittish when we got to close.  But as we migrated south with them, they seemed to understand we were there to help.  That’s what I’m telling myself.

Eventually they made it to the lake.  Maybe they would have made it on their own.  But it felt good helping these little things that were quite distressed , seeing them make it to the water.

in water-poster

The Long Walk

4 Responses

  1. Karen Gross

    I’ve heard of jay walking, but duck walking across the Avenue is fraught with danger. Good thing Mama had such patient escorts to guide her.

  2. Cyndi Toews

    We have often seen ducks making the trek with their little ones here in the NW part of town. Last spring we rescued a lone baby duck. A conservation officer told us that duck families will adopt stray babies, so my tween daughter and I took the little one to Crescent Lake and scouted out a prospective family. It was really disheartening to watch the duckling being ignored from a number of families. The baby kept leaving the water and running back to the road. Horrifying!! I thought all hope was lost. Tired and discouraged, I kept looking at my watch as I had to go home and make supper for my family. But, because of my daughter being a part of this rescue mission, it was impossible to bail out before we had success. We set the duck near a family close to the bridge, hopefully the last attempt. That family swam the other way. BUT! We heard a duck calling from far away on the other side of the lake! An adult duck beckoned the little one and it made its way across the lake and they met in the middle. Whew!! What a relief. I learned that the adoptive family has to have babies that are around the same size as the “orphan”. Also, these trips through town for duck families seem random and senseless. Likely these are families that make their home in a ditch north of town and migrate to the big pond when they are old enough to make the journey (or when the ditch dries up!) Are these the same families doing this year after year? Why don’t these duck families learn not to haver their babies in the ditch in the first place? Maybe they make their nest in the same place year after year. Any duck experts to confirm my ponderings?

  3. Bill

    I watched the whole thing !
    Well done, guys.
    Living opposite the Lake, we see mallards quite often.
    Always females – the males are off preening elsewhere


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