Friday, July 9, 2010

A New Brood in Bryant Park

We thought last year's sighting of a family of ducks in Bryant Park was a one-time-only deal, but it may have been the beginning of a yearly occurrence. It was the same time last year (July 12, 2009, to be precise), when a Bryant Park Corporation staff member encountered a mother duck leading five ducklings around the park's fountain and into an ivy bed on the north side of the park.

This morning, a new mother duck and her brood of eight attracted attention as they made their way past the park's north 'wichcraft kiosk to drink and splash in puddles surrounding the fountain. The babies then trailed behind their mother as she found shelter under some tall plants in the north gardens bordering the lawn.

We hoped to find them a more suitable home in Central Park, but were advised by the Urban Park Rangers of New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation to let them be for now. They told us that animals who find their way to an unfamiliar location can usually find their way out again.

It's difficult to ignore such a strange (and adorable) sight in Midtown Manhattan, but if you see this little group of ducks wandering around the park, please maintain a respectful distance. Although the ducklings look cute enough to cuddle, please do not try to pick them up or pet them, as mother ducks can be vicious when protecting their babies.

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