Community Papers

Quackers spotted on city streets

Traffic controllers help a family of ducks waddle safely across the road near the corner of Westminster Highway and Minoru Boulevard Wednesday morning.  - Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel
Traffic controllers help a family of ducks waddle safely across the road near the corner of Westminster Highway and Minoru Boulevard Wednesday morning.
— image credit: Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel

It's a sure sign of spring—young wildlife making their first public appearances.

Some choose city streets.

Another family of ducks waddled the roads around Westminster Highway and Minoru Boulevard Wednesday morning, possibly checking to see if accommodations at Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel would fit the bill. As the wise quackers darted across the asphalt, traffic controllers made sure their visit went swimmingly.

"A road crew stopped traffic in order to escort some VIP Marriott guests to cross the street. Their destination remains a mystery," said Sharen Scheller, a hotel staffer.

It's a fairly common sight, according to a spokesperson from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. It's breeding season for ducks, and some mallards are known to nest in urban areas.

"After the chicks hatch, the female must lead them to the nearest water source, which may involve them crossing several roads. Motorists are reminded to keep an eye out for ducks, particularly when driving near water sources."

Within a day of hatching, mallard ducklings are able to walk over one kilometre to reach a suitable wetland habitat, according to Ducks Unlimited Canada.

But even if fowl play seems a certainty when walking on Richmond's roads, wildlife officials advise people to avoid ruffling feathers and leave such creatures alone.

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