Billings resident Kayla Woody was enjoying the sunshine over Memorial Day Weekend at her home near Lake Elmo State Park when a shirtless young gentleman came running up to her and asked if she had a cardboard box and could help. The man was jogging in the area and said he could hear baby ducks stuck in a storm drain.

Credit: Kayla Woody, used with permission
The drain and the ducklings! Credit: Kayla Woody, used with permission

It's duckling season.

Mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos), are fascinating creatures renowned for their vibrant colors and interesting mating habits. These waterfowl can be found in various habitats across North America, Europe, and Asia, including all of Montana. During the breeding season, which typically spans from late winter to early spring, mallard ducks engage in intriguing courtship displays.


Only the females quack.

To attract a female mate, the male will perform elaborate displays, such as head-bobbing, tail-raising, and wing-flapping, accompanied by distinctive vocalizations. Only the lady ducks make the classic "quack" sound. The drakes also showcase their striking plumage and swim in circular patterns to capture the female's attention. Mallards are generally monogamous, but the males are known to pursue other female ducks outside of their pairing. A bit of an open relationship, if you will.

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13 ducklings were rescued from the storm drain.

Check out the video above of Dylan Hill rescuing the "baker's dozen" of ducklings. It's pretty heartwarming. In her post on social media, Kayla wrote,

Thank you to the gentleman running up here by lake Elmo, he heard some baby ducks stuck in the storm drain and I was 3 houses away outside, he ran up and asked for help, and asked for a box, I came and helped him (more like stood by and protected him from mama) but he saved all them babies and then we got them with momma and daddy in the ditch it’s was a beautiful experience and I’m happy to have helped.

Credit: Kayla Woody, used with permission
The happily reunited duck family. Credit: Kayla Woody, used with permission

Watch for ducklings on city streets too.

This time of year you may encounter baby ducks on any number of suburban streets. One popular duck crossing area is around 15th and Lewis. I always love watching cars stop to allow a duck procession to - slowly - waddle across the street. Hats off to Dylan Hill for saving the ducklings and thank you Kayla Woody for allowing us to share her pictures and video.

Got a story idea? See something interesting around town? Let me know!

Quiz: Do you know your state insect?

Stacker has used a variety of sources to compile a list of the official state insect(s) of each U.S. state, as well as their unique characteristics. Read on to see if you can guess which insect(s) represent your state. 

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