Monday, June 25 , 2018, 6:55 am | Overcast 63º


Local News

Bittersweet Ending for Ducks on Santa Barbara Streets

Police are able to save two babies, but fate of others is uncertain

Two ducklings that were rescued Saturday on Garden Street in Santa Barbara. (Sarah Graham Sinclair photo)

Sarah Graham Sinclair of Santa Barbara encountered an odd scene Saturday morning, and shared her story and photos with Noozhawk:

“I was driving up Garden Street at about 7:30 this morning, heading home from my sunrise walk on the beach.

“I saw a man in a white truck pulled over on the side of the road, walking along next to a duck with two ducklings. He was on his cell phone.

“I drove home, parked, grabbed a big empty cardboard box and walked back to where he was. When I got there, a police officer had also arrived.

“I walked up, the man told me he had called the Wildlife Care Network and the police. He also said that there were two more ducklings who had fallen down the storm drain.

“I went to the police officer and offered him the box, in case it was helpful. By that time, three more motorcycle officers and another officer in a patrol car had arrived. The man in the truck drove off.

“The officers corraled the mama duck and two babies. It took a few attempts to get the babies into the box, but they did.

“The mama duck was not as cooperative, and kept flying away, but then coming back close by. It took them about an hour to get the babies.

“Meanwhile, I went back to the storm drain. I had told a couple of the officers that there were apparently two more ducklings in the drain. But it had an extremely heavy top.

“Apparently they determined that they wouldn’t be able to remove it.

“I could hear the babies chirping in the drain. One of the officers said that it was the “circle of life” and that at least we saved two of the babies.

A Santa Barbara motorcycle officer stands watch as a mother duck crosses Garden Street. (Sarah Graham Sinclair photo)

“The motorcycle officers all left. The patrol car officer had the babies in the box in the car. He stayed at the site for about another hour.

“The mama duck flew around in circles for awhile near the babies, but about 8:40 she left and I didn’t see her after that.

“I spoke with the woman at the Wildlife Care Network at 9 a.m.. She stated that they were aware of the two babies, but they wouldn’t be able to try to catch the mother duck or free the babies in the storm drain.

“So ... at least we were able to save two of the babies. The Wildlife Care folks will take care of them.


Kind of a scene to see five officers, a patrol car and four motorcycles on Solstice Saturday morning, herding baby ducks out of the street and into a cardboard box.”

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