We received a call from the Lowes home improvement warehouse in reference to a family group of ducks that were roaming the parking area. Upon arrival it was determined that the ducks were trying to get to a ditch between Interstate 26 and the parking lot. This area only floods during heavy rains and then quickly drains into a retention pond.
Understanding the possible issues the ducks may encounter it was determined the ducks would have a better chance of survival at a wetland research area developed by the Forest and Wildlife Group. The duck family was held for a period of time in the laboratory and then released into the 15 acre wetland area. The ducks were monitored periodically for survival and possible illness. The ducks stayed together for a period of about 9 months when the young began to venture away from the female.
Survival rates among the released young were above those represented in normal wild duck populations. Additional photo documentation was conducted as the ducks matured as you can see in the lower photograph at one of the wetland ponds. The ducks left the pond and although some mallards inhabited the wetland area the following spring, it is not known if these ducks returned. Hopefully they will.