Annual Duck Parade in New York Upstate

New York’s Annual Duck Parade

The uncommon is common

About New York’s annual duck parade… “It’s typical for female mallards to make nests and lay eggs in well-protected areas like high-walled courtyards. It’s also common at this time of year to see mama ducks leading hatchlings away from nesting areas to nearby bodies of water.

Annual Duck Parade
Ducks like to parade, but New York’s annual duck parade comes off unsupervised.

See also: Penguins arrested in sushi bar invasion.

“What isn’t so common is for a mama duck to use her bill to tap on a courtyard’s sliding glass door as if to say “Let me in!” and then parade her young down the hallway of a nursing home.” – Democrat & Chronicle

Sometime during the spring, a mother mallard will land in one of the building’s enclosed courtyards in advance of laying eggs. Soon after her ducklings hatch, she’ll want to move them to water, but she won’t be able to get them out of the courtyard because ducklings can’t fly until they’re at least a month and a half old. So, “She needs our help,” Johnston said, and will make that known by tapping “very insistently” on the courtyard’s only access point — a sliding glass door leading to the nursing home. 

Marcia Greenwood
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

Click to read about the annual duck parade


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