So I was driving along the highway yesterday on my way to meet a customer when I noticed a paper bag on the road. I get a little closer and realize it's not a random piece of debris, but three tiny ducklings! Being in traffic, I couldn't swerve in time, so I did my best to make sure they went under my car and checked the rear view mirror to make sure they were still there. They looked dazed, but were still moving and the car behind me avoided them.
Instantly the adrenaline started going along with the guilt of possibly hurting baby ducks. I make it about a half mile further when I realize that nobody else is going to do anything to help because the left shoulder is too narrow and you can't stop...so I exit and loop back.
I get into the left lane, slow way down with the hazards and pull right up to the ducklings. There were only two left at this point, but luckily they had made it to the left shoulder. I happened to have a box with me so I grabbed it, stopped the car and leaped out, intending to scoop them up quickly and be on my way. Instead of thanking me- the two !#$%$##ers took off running! So there I am flailing with a box and running full boar down the freeway...
Luckily I caught up and managed to get both into the box and make it back safely to the car. The two ducklings were in total shock in the pic above and it took them a good two hours to snap out of it. We gave them a warm box for the night and plenty of food and drink, but unfortunately, the smaller one died hours later. It was having problems standing, poor thing had a bad day.
The bright side is that the other guy made it through the whole ordeal unscathed. I took this pic the next morning after he enjoyed a hearty breakfast of meal worms and some greens.
The stars were on this little duckling's side as that night, we randomly caught a bit on the local news about how the Audobon Society in Portland will care for orphaned ducklings (though they do ask you some questions to make sure they are indeed orphaned and to make sure you aren't unintentionally kidnapping the little guys).
We're still a little saddened by the loss, but at least one made it through ok. And in case anyone is wondering, the people at the Audobon Society said that the duckling was a mallard and probably hybridized because its markings are a little darker than normal. If you live in Portland, I recommend visiting their facility, it's pretty interesting and they have some really beautiful birds living there.