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Pizza crusts and duck sounds used to lure wandering ducks to safety in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam

It's baby bird season in the Tri-Cities, which means baby ducklings growing up in an urban environment can find themselves in tricky situations: in recent days two families of ducks were rescued thanks to the efforts of citizens, works crews, conservation and police officers

Duckling life isn't as easy as one would think.

It's not all eating bugs and following mom around.

At least that's what two mallard duck families found out in recent days when they had to be rescued from some tricky situations.

On May 11, a mother and her family of ducklings found themselves stranded on a sea of blacktop at Coquitlam Centre mall; it took an hour to get them safely to Lafarge Lake.

In fact, according to a Tweet from Coquitlam RCMP, traffic had to be stopped on Pinetree Way so the creatures would get safely across the street to the park.

A High Street restaurant also helped out by supplying pizza crust so the cops could lure the mama duck to safety, but it turned out she turned up her beak at treat.

Still, the duck family eventually made its way to the lake just as the sun was starting to set.

And in another dramatic rescue in Port Coquitlam on Wednesday (May 19), nine ducklings were rescued from a storm drain at an industrial complex on Seaborne Avenue.

The ducklings were circling around in the tight drain with no way out until they were extricated by a team of animal control and BC Conservation officers as well as members of the city's public works department.

However, two of the ducklings led the officers off on a wild goose chase when they refused to be scooped up with a long-handled net, and swam into some adjoining pipes.

Using YouTube videos of duckling sounds, and 'time and patience," one of the stragglers was scooped with a net while the second "required more time" but eventually was pulled from the drain pipe, a spokesperson said in an email to the Tri-City News.

"Rescues like this one, however maybe not as elaborate, happen a couple of times a year," the spokesperson stated.

Mayor Brad West said he was "proud" of city staff who "go the extra mile for the community."

According to a city of Port Coquitlam Tweet, the ducklings were taken to Wildlife Rescue in Burnaby.

As it's nesting season for birds, the association recently reminded Tri-City residents to be on the look out for nests that are being disturbed and to watch out for fledglings that may have been abandoned.

In recent months, the Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C. has seen a dramatic increase in the number of injured and weakened birds being brought to their rehabilitation centre in Burnaby. 

Most of the tiny creatures are from nests found in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody.

In many cases, the nests have been dislodged although, occasionally, fledgling birds are brought in if they are injured and found on the ground.


As many as six hummingbirds from the Tri-Cities area have been brought in, according to hospital manager Janelle Stephenson, but the facility is also taking area of numerous perching birds, including song sparrows, robins and chickadees as well as baby ducklings.

If you have disturbed a nest, Stephenson recommends calling the rescue hotline at 604-526-7275 for advice on what to do next. It may be possible to put the nest back, but then it has to be monitored to ensure parents will come back and feed the fledglings.

“It’s better to call us and we’ll walk you through to help you monitor,” said Stephenson, noting that baby birds may be under stress and the nest may have to be brought in so the birds can be rehydrated or helped with their injuries.

It’s not unusual for baby bird to land on the ground when learning to fly; they can be grounded for days or weeks while their feathers grow, depending on the species. If the bird appears healthy, has most of its feathers and the parents are returning to feed it, no intervention is required.