Spring has officially come to the Capitol — in the form of a mother duck and her 10 ducklings.
The family was spotted swimming in the Lower Senate Park and Capitol reflecting pools Thursday, as the 2-day-old ducklings were learning how to careen through the water. Anne Lewis, president of City Wildlife Inc., was on hand to keep an eye on the ducks as part of the group's "Duck Watch" program. Lewis said the group has been watching this particular mama duck, who has been nesting for about three weeks near F Street and Massachusetts Avenue Northwest. On Tuesday all but one of the 11 eggs hatched — which Lewis said was normal — and the duck originally led her offspring to the Lower Senate Park Reflecting Pool.
"Eventually she realized that there was no food for them in this pool, and late today, she moved her entire clutch to the Capitol Reflecting Pool, where they now are," Lewis wrote in an email. "Since there is no way these ducklings could get over the high curb at this pool, people must have put them in the pool. This happens every year with ducklings, and in general, this is not a good idea since these ducklings are now trapped in the Capitol Reflecting Pool with very little food."
Lewis said the group will continue to watch the duck family in its new location. "We stand ready to help any ducklings that appear to be in trouble," Lewis wrote. "We work closely with D.C. Animal Care and Control."
Lewis said the group believes this is the same duck who led her offspring to the Capitol Reflecting Pool last year. "So she's a recidivist duck!" Lewis wrote.
Perhaps she'll return next year, if the politicians don't scare her off. For now at least, the politicians aren't the only residents of Capitol Hill who are quacked.
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