MARLBOROUGH – Three ducklings were rescued on Monday after falling into a storm drain at the intersection of Bolton St. and Granger Blvd. in Marlborough.
Speaking hours after the rescue, Alyssa Giaquinto, a wildlife rehabilitator at the Giaquinto Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, said that it was fortunate that an area community member noticed the ducklings’ distressed mother in the first place to call for help.
“Someone saw the mom running around frantically and thought to call,” Giaquinto told the Community Advocate.
She said she initially received a call from her animal control officer, who alerted her to the situation.
“That’s never a good sign, especially in the spring when all the babies are hatching,” Giaquinto said of the mother duck in the intersection.
Giaquinto assumed that ducklings had fallen into the drain and arrived at the scene, where peeping from the storm drain was indeed audible.
She called the Marlborough Police Department and the Department of Public Works (DPW).
The police shut down a lane of traffic before the DPW removed the drain cover. Giaquinto used a net to recover the surviving ducklings, though two other ducklings are believed to have drowned.
“We reunited them with their mom and we shuffled them off to a safe location in a nearby pond, and she swam away with her three ducklings,” Giaquinto said.
Ducklings often face perilous path to water, expert says
Giaquinto said that mother ducks often build their nests in inconvenient or dangerous places. These include road medians.
She said that the ducks then lead their ducklings to sources of water. In this case, that path included a drain that the mother’s ducklings were too small for.
Giaquinto noted that people should be especially cautious if they see a duck in springtime, because there are often ducklings behind them.
Giaquinto added that, if a mother duck builds her nest in an inconvenient or dangerous place, it is actually illegal to move them. The best thing to do, she said, is to monitor the nest and prevent animals like cats and dogs from getting to it until the ducklings hatch.
“When they do hatch and follow their mom to the water, it’s just the most dangerous and perilous time for them,” Giaquinto said.
Loud intersection posed challenges in rescue
In Marlborough, Giaquinto said that, since Bolton St. and Granger Blvd. constitute such a loud intersection, it was almost impossible to hear the ducklings’ peeps without laying on top of the storm drain.
Giaquinto thanked the animal control officer, DPW and the Marlborough Police for their help in rescuing the ducklings.
Learn more about the Giaquinto Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at https://www.facebook.com/The-Giaquinto-Wildlife-Rehabilitation-Center-101124124900753/