Lucy the duck a no-show at Superstore Garden Centre
This would be Lucy's ninth year building her nest in the Garden Centre
For many Islanders, it's a sure sign of spring — Lucy the duck's annual appearance in the Atlantic Superstore Garden Centre in Charlottetown.
But this year, there's no sign of the celebrity waterfowl.
"Normally she'd be here for about a month by now, and she would have had the nest built … but we have had no sight of her yet so far," said Caitlyn Gray, operator of the garden centre.
'A very well loved duck'
Each spring for the last eight years, Lucy made a home for herself and her eggs amidst the foliage in the garden centre. Each year, when she and her brood were ready to leave, Charlottetown police gave a hand — stopping traffic on University Ave. to allow the mother and ducklings to safely cross the road.
Gray said there is always a lot of interest in Lucy from staff and customers alike.
"We love when she's here. We talk to her every single day when we come in … and she has daily visitors. So she's a very well loved duck," Gray said.
And this year, there have been people stopping in almost every day to ask if Lucy has arrived.
"I joke that we usually have more people looking for Lucy than we do plants," Gray said.
Late nesting unlikely, but not impossible
Gray said she and staff are trying to stay positive, despite Lucy's absence.
"Hopefully she's out there, or hopefully one of her babies are out there, and they just found somewhere else. But we're not sure."
Jonathan Platts, Conservation Programs Specialist with Ducks Unlimited Canada, said black ducks usually start building their nests around May 1. He said it would be late for a duck to start nesting now, though he said it's not impossible.
With an average life expectancy of six years, Platts said Lucy has already proven that she has good survival instincts. He said he's trying to stay optimistic that she'll be spotted in the Ducks Unlimited wetlands in the coming weeks.