Today two young lads came into the park office and one was carrying a duck under his arm. Yes, I know this sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but unfortunately it is not. They found the creature hunkered down under a car in one of our parking lots. Poor thing wasn't putting up much of a fight, so I am guessing it was pretty tired. I grabbed a box to put it in to keep it quiet and reduce its stress.
I am pretty sure this is a juvenile or female Ruddy Duck. They have a pretty distinctive tail which is short with stiff feathers. I have only had the privilege of seeing them in the water, so seeing one up close was a real treat. However, I wish it had been under different circumstances. I called my friend Don Gorney, and wondered why it would be in our parking lot. He figured it was flying through, thought the parking lot was actually a pond and then tried to land. It didn't look injured, no obvious cuts, etc...so hopefully it will get some rest and be able to go on its way. It is going to a vet that was recommended by a rehabilitator in the morning.