Make Way for Ducklings: Mass Ave Edition

One of the perks of working by the Christian Science Center reflecting pool (aside from watching random people take the plunge) is watching the ducks who call the pond home. All spring, we’ve seen a female duck and two male ducks hanging around the pool, begging tourists for snacks and happily paddling around.

1213811817We left the office for lunch today and saw two Animal Rescue League of Boston trucks parked outside, and two Rescue League employees trying to corral our beloved ducks. Turns out, the female was a mother, and she and her nine ducklings were being evicted from the pool.

“She had her babies,” a Christian Science Center employee told us. Hooray, baby ducks! “But they keep getting sucked into the filters.”


When we arrived on the scene, the Animal Rescue League had put the nine ducklings into a crate, and were trying to lure the mother in, as well. One person waded into the pool, while another stood on the side with a net lowered into the water. The mother duck was onto them and didn’t swim over to it, even when one of her ducklings was allowed back in the water.

1213811748After a while, they loaded the babies into a cardboard box and tried to move the mother and her brood across Mass. Ave. to the filter-less Fenway. A police car showed up to stop traffic as the mother slowly waddled across the street. She made it pretty far down Westland Ave before something spooked her and she flew back to the pool.

“It happens a lot,” one of the rescuers told us when we returned to the plaza. “Mother ducks nest in a place they think is a good place to raise their babies, but it’s dangerous. And it’s dangerous to move them—she can’t cross Mass. Ave. on her own.”

We watched the infinitely patient Animal Rescue League employees cajole the mother duck to follow them and her babies to a happier home. “She must be a first-time mother,” the experts said. “Mothers usually follow their brood anywhere.”

After following the scene for nearly an hour, hunger set in, and we left them to their work. We have a call out to the Animal Rescue League and once we hear how mother and babies fared, we’ll let you know.