Ducks seem to be in the same category as squirrels on Anna Maria Island: they are not nearly as glamorous as some of the other fauna. They are common all around the United States. But sometimes, after one has marveled at ospreys, egrets or even roseate spoonbills (four of which I saw on the way to Publix market the other day), it’s kind of nice to run into just a plain old duck.
Sadly, that’s exactly what some motorists have been doing in the vicinity of Holmes Beach City Hall, where a family of ducks is known to live. Last I heard, one duck had been hit by a car and killed. Another had just gone missing for awhile. Some people have suggested putting up “duck crossing” signs, and I think that’s a good idea.
It’s always a pleasure to look out the window and notice a duck, or two, calmly paddling up or down the canal. One of my most interesting duck sightings was when I was the one who was paddling. While kayaking I passed one of the rare canal frontages that has mangroves instead of a sea wall. Looking under the mangroves, I noticed a small gully. Suddenly, two duck waddled across the gully. I wondered if this were a nesting site for them. It certainly was well protected.
It’s comforting to see a duck swim by, simply because they are so ordinary. Before we moved to Florida, I dreamed of living somewhere with a pond and ducks. Little did I know how much more I would have out my door, but I still appreciate the ducks.
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Wildlife Inc. can be reached at 941-778-6324
Wildlife rescue is a whole incredible world of its own on Anna Maria Island. While locals and visitors go about their business every day, several dedicated and generous people devote their time to saving the unfortunate wild animals that encounter problems in bad weather, or when they interact with the plastics, fishing line and hooks that people carelessly leave about.
One of the most amazing booths at recent art fairs on Anna Maria Island has been that of Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center, Inc. What is amazing is WHO works the booth: owls. There are some good people there, too. But the owl ambassadors who sit all day on their perches are always extremely inspiring to see. They are beautiful creatures, and it’s sometimes hard to believe they are real. It’s also hard to believe that our environment still supports them. This is a treasure for all who live and visit Anna Maria Island, and nobody works harder to protect this treasure of wildlife than Ed and Gail Straight, Beth Weir, and others who volunteer at Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation, Inc.
From time to time, during the last ten years on Anna Maria Island, I have contacted wildlife rescue people to come help injured birds in our neighborhood. It seems there is no job too big or too small for them. They have even come to help a tiny warbler that flew into our window. On that particular day, I remember seeing two baby foxes in the wildlife rescuer’s truck.
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