Ducklings take to water, rescue follows

Dave Greer and his wife drove by a mother duck sitting nervously by a drain while making a delivery. Not long afterward, he was conducting a rescue operation for eight ducklings with the help of neighbors. Submitted photo

Monday, June 7, was a normal evening for Dave Greer until he noticed a female mallard sitting still in a gutter.

Greer was out with his wife delivering for DoorDash when he spotted the duck on Aldridge Drive North. He finished the delivery and when he came back, the duck was still there.

“I stopped and walked over toward it but she never moved. She didn’t walk away,” Greer said. He suspected that something was wrong.

“A couple of neighbors came out and were kind of wondering what was going on. I can’t sit on my hands for very long so I wandered over there,” Greer said.

As Greer moved closer to the duck and the drain next to it, he started to hear a few cheeps. He suspected right away that there were baby ducks stuck under the drain, but he could only make out movement in the water.

Greer called Keizer Fire District’s business number, but didn’t wait long before taking action of his own.

He managed to pull the drain off and saw what looked to be a half-dozen ducklings. He called the fire district again and suggested they bring a net.

“The lady whose house I was standing in front of came out to see what was going on and she had a butterfly net in her hands. She had just bought it that day,” Greer said.

Greer offered the woman the chance to play rescuer, but she declined.

After fishing around in the drain for five minutes – he was careful because he didn’t want to smash one of them up against the drain wall – Greer pulled out three ducklings on his first go. Once out of danger, the ducklings ran to their mother near a garage door. By the time he was finished, eight ducklings were lined up against the garage with their mom.

It was an unexpected flourish to end his day, but Greer said attention to detail was what gave away the duck’s plight.

“I used to be a firefighter and paying attention to little things like that duck sitting at the drain was part of the job,” Greer said.