City Duck Raises Her Family in Downtown D.C.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A mallard mom has given birth to 10 ducklings and taken up residence at the National Geographic Society headquarters downtown. (Published Thursday, Apr 14, 2011)

    A mother duck and her ducklings have settled in at the National Geographic Society in northwest D.C.

    The duck laid her eggs in a planter at the Sumner Square building recently, and recently 10 ducklings hatched. Duck eggs typically take 26 to 28 days to hatch.

    "It was really lovely," Capt. Hope Washington said. "I cried like they were my own children."

    On Sunday the mother duck led her ducklings off the planter, down a wheelchair ramp, across 17th Street, across M Street and back over 17th Street -- using the crosswalks like all law-abiding D.C. resident should -- to get to the courtyard at the National Geographic Society, where Mike Curry is now the family's protector.

    Curry posted signs asking people to stay 10 feet away from the ducks so the mother won't abandon her ducklings. He also cordoned off an area to give the ducklings room to grow.

    In a pond the middle of the courtyard, the ducklings are taking their first swims.

    The father flies in from time to time.