Saturday, August 25, 2012

Neighbors Join to Release Ducks at the Reach

On Thursday, August 23, neighbors and friends joined together to release two juvenile black-bellied whistling ducks at the Willowbrook Reach. The young ducks had been rescued from a government building as chicks and nurtured to teenage-hood at Austin Area Wildlife Rehab.

Black-bellied whistling ducks have a long neck, long legs, a black belly, and white wing patches. As adults they are very distinctive.

Cornell Ornithology Lab reports that the whistling duck used to be a rare visitor north of the Rio Grande Valley, but first rice farming and now global warming is increasing their range northward and eastwards. They are now becoming a common visitor around Austin.

It's a dangerous world out there, with cats, owls, racoons, cars and more for these two little ducks to avoid, but the Reach provides a nice permanent source of water and shelter for them. Without FLWR's years of restoration, that would not be the case, but the creek is now flush with tree cover, vines, fish, tadpoles and other things that can support such wildlife.

Thanks go out to the myriad people who pulled together to rescue the ducks, keep them healthy and then find a place for them to start their new adventures in like. Keep an eye out for our new feathered friends.

[Photos provided by Margaret Mills.]

1 comment:

Miss Pris said...

The launch crowd was such a sweet mix of DSHS staff smitten with the chicks, and neighbors. And Eric's blessing was the sweetest prayer I ever heard.