Manchester Avenue residents in Playa del Rey rescued a mother mallard duck and her ten ducklings Thursday, May 4th.
Jerry and Regina Rodman saw the duck family scuttle back and forth across Manchester Avenue, with the ducklings seemingly frightened, said Ruth Lansford, president of Friends of Ballona Wetlands.
Not knowing how to handle mallards, the Rodmans called Friends of Ballona Wetlands, where board member Lisa Fimiani responded. Fimiani knows her way around birds, as she is a board member of Audubon California, the state office of the National Audubon Society.
By the time Fimiani arrived in the neighborhood, the Rodmans and neighbors Florrie Goldman and Laura Yost had been trying to capture the duck family for more than an hour.
The four neighbors had managed to catch the mother duck and place her in a cat carrier.
Seven of the ten ducklings were also rescued and placed in a cardboard box, but three ducklings were still missing.
The four neighbors were then joined by two other neighbors, who looked along Manchester Avenue and under cars, in driveways, and in parking lots for the three missing ducklings.
When the three ducklings were suddenly spotted scooting out of a driveway and heading for the street, the neighbors stopped traffic until the mallards were blocked under parked cars and captured to join their siblings, Lansford said.
“I understand from the IBRRC (International Bird Rescue Research Center) that there are many orphaned mallard ducklings at this time of year that have lost their parents in perilous situations — over 100 at the center alone,” Fimiani said. “We are so glad we could give this story a happy ending, thanks to people like Jerry and Regina and their neighbors. These are the people who take time out of their busy schedules to save the world, one duckling at a time.”
After capturing all of the ducks, the Rodmans and their neighbors called Edith Read, manager of the Ballona Freshwater Marsh, who offered to take in the duck family.
The Rodmans let the ducks in their car and drove up to meet Read at the marsh, Lansford said.
Read released the ducks at the shore of the marsh, with the mother duck getting out of the car first and making a bee-line for tall reeds in the water, followed by the ducklings.
The mallards seemed unfazed by the situation, Lansford said, and exhibited “normal duck behavior” at the marsh.
An American coot got too close to the ducklings and the mother duck chased it away, as well as two male mallard ducks.