Staff lead duck family through Burlington school to safety of nearby creek
The school has been helping with their journey for 10 years, school board says
At least once a year, a mother and her brood of ducklings make their way from her nesting grounds in Burlington to a nearby creek — with one major obstacle in the way.
The family has to go through an entire high school to get there.
In what has become an annual tradition, staff at Gary Allan High School expect the sound of pecking at one of the school's sliding glass doors, as the mother duck requests help to get her family to the waters of Roseland Creek.
It's something that has been happening for about ten years, said Robert Eatough, a superintendent of communications with the Halton District School Board.
"The staff certainly look forward to it," Eatough said.
They just keep coming back every year.- Robert Eatough, Halton District School Board
It appears the mother duck has become quite fond of the school's interior courtyard area at 3250 New Street. A pair of mallard ducks return like clockwork each year and nest there.
"I can understand why she'd pick that area," Eatough said. "It's well protected."
But the courtyard is so well protected because it's surrounded by walls on all sides. That means to get to the creek with her ducklings when they're ready, the brood has to go through the school.
Staff then help guide the family through the school's corridors, which is what happened Thursday morning, when they heard that little pecking sound at the door, Eatough said.
"Now it's just part and parcel with the process. They just keep coming back every year."