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Squatters’ Rights

For whatever reason, this mother duck chose to build her nest and lay her eggs in one of the mulch beds at Johnson County Bank. Vonnie Smith, who takes care of the flowers at the bank, has been keeping a watchful eye on the nest since she first noticed it during the Sunflower Festival in Mountain City. She was delighted one morning this week to see four of the ten eggs had hatched. Only time will tell about the remaining eggs, but Mama is still keeping them warm in expectation of more ducklings. The girls at the bank are concerned about their safety with the nest being very close to the road and the bank’s entrance. A call to the wildlife folks about the possibility of moving the nest to a “safer neighborhood” proved unfruitful. The mallards belong to a protected species and cannot be moved. It seems the only alternative is to make the public aware of their plight and ask drivers in the area to be cautious. Let’s all make a conscious effort to keep this mother and her babies safe. We hope the picture above is worth the proverbial thousand words, because they are just too precious for words.