A mother duck and 13 ducklings have made a temporary home at the Shuswap Lodge swimming pool. Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer

Ducks keep cool by the pool

Mother duck and ducklings make temporary home at Shuswap Lodge

Shuswap Lodge residents and staff think the retirement facility’s newest occupant’s are just ducky.

In late March, a mother duck began building her nest in a gardened area of Shuswap Lodge’s swimming pool courtyard.

Since then, staff and residents have been watching and waiting. They were rewarded on Wednesday, May 3, when the mother duck gave birth to 13 ducklings.

“On Wednesday, I started noticing little eggshells around the nest, so that’s how we knew they had hatched,” said Shuswap Lodge recreation director Dani Hickmen.

With the rainy weather, the mother duck and ducklings stayed huddled together in the nest for the remainder of the day. With Thursday’s sun, the new family eventually found their way to the winterized pool, where the chlorine had long since dissipated and floating bugs made for good eating.

While getting into the pool was easy, getting out was a challenge.

“They couldn’t get out because the stairs were too steep,” said Hickman. “So I found this carpet underlay in one of the storage closets and we put a little board underneath. It took them a couple of tries to get all the ducklings out.”

Hickman said this is the second year a mother duck has had its ducklings at the pool.

“Apparently, as they’re getting more used to people… it’s quite common for them to pick enclosed courtyards for brooding their nest,” said Hickman, “And they also like to nest on balconies, planters and on rooftop terraces.”

In approximately two week’s time, Shuswap Lodge staff will be assisting the ducks across the highway to Shuswap Lake.