Part of my training as the new ACO in Waltham was to ride along with my pal John, the ACO in Belmont. Wouldn't ya know we're trying to grab a bite to eat and some lady comes rushing into the sub shop with a baby mallard duckling she found in the middle of the intersection. Aside from being orphaned (we searched everywhere for a mom with ducklings in tow!!) this poor fella was injured when the woman proceeded to let it jump right out of the shoe box she had it in onto the stone floor of the shop! I watched in horror as she approached us with the uncovered shoe box going on about a duckling...only to see a fuzzy blur launch itself out of the box and drop like a stone. I quickly scooped it up and tried to asses injuries. I was concerned at first. It had a slight head tilt and some neurologic signs as well as being a little lethargic. Even if we had found mom, I was more inclined to get it to Tufts.
So I get the little one set up at home and Laurie is going to bring it to Tufts in the morning on her way to dog training. Then, lucky for our little guy, a client comes in to the animal hospital with 5 more orphaned mallards! A hawk had swooped down and grabbed on of their siblings. The people watched in horror as it flew off with it's meal, leaving these 5 little ones lost and confused. They waited and watched for the return of a mother, but when she was a no-show they brought the babies in. The little single brightened up quite a bit with some company and by the next morning when Laurie picked them all up, seemed much better.
For now they are all at Tufts while the injured one is assessed and observed, and I'm confident all will be well and they will head to a rehabber that handles ducks!