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Home On The Huron

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Donated by the Ann Arbor News. © The Ann Arbor News.
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In the summer of 1964, the Ann Arbor Parks Department released 20 mallard ducks in the Hurón River at Island Park. George Owers, then assistant superintendent and now head of the department, obtained the 6 adults (wing-clipped) and 14 young ducklings from Three Rivers, Michigan. Since then the flock has thrived, under the careful protection of caretaker Francis Baker and the nuraerous residents of apartments in the área who bring corn and bread crumbs to feed them. With such a plush existence, it is no wonder that the flock has increased. Natural hatching of the tame ducks, who raise broods on the banks of river, accounts for part of the increase. Others have come (like the tame Muscovies) trom outgrown Easter pets. Or the French mallards (just like the wild ones, but twice as big) that someone dr opped off. And, last but not least, are wild brothers and sisters and cousins by the dozens who recognize a good thing when they see it, give up their migratmg, and settle down on the dole. Fall always sees a big increase, but winter linds some of the wild ones moving on, and even a few of the native tame ducks getting the travel bug for southern climes, but half a hundred or even more hang around the entire winter fat sassy and happy to be a city duck.