School Releases Ducklings into the Wild

WAYNE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Some elementary school students in Schuylkill County were treated to quite the nature show this week, and it's turning into a yearly occurrence.

School officials at Blue Mountain West Elementary School believe that over the past few years, the same female duck has flown into a courtyard at the school to lay eggs. On Wednesday, those eggs hatched, and momma duck led her ducklings into the wild as students looked on.

Momma duck and her 13 baby ducklings waddled through the halls of Blue Mountain West Elementary school, the first true adventure as one large family.

"Every year, the mom duck flies into the courtyard and lays eggs. We're able to find the eggs and kind of keep an eye on them. Then, once we know the eggs have hatched, we get a group of people, we make sure to get them out safely because there's woods behind our school, there's a stream behind our school and we know that they'll be safe there," said second grade teacher Amy Savage.

For the last few years, a female duck has come to this courtyard at the elementary school near Orwigsburg. School officials believe this has become the destination for momma duck, because it's mostly secluded from the wild. In back-to-back years, her ducklings have hatched in the same flower bed.

"We're currently talking about animals and habitats in our science class, so it was a really neat opportunity for them to come out and kind of see it in real life, instead of just seeing it in a book. So we were outside, they got to come out and check out momma, the habitat, and the baby eggs and it was a really neat opportunity for them," said first grade teacher Jess Roth.

Wednesday, after the eggs hatched, the pack of ducklings hopped down out of the flower bed, traveled through the courtyard, and into the school where students lined the halls to see this famous band of ducks, before finally heading out into the wild.

"Well, I really liked it. And I really love animals, so it was pretty cool," third grader Olivia Whitaker said.

"We just kind of stood behind them and tried to shush them out a little bit. Talked to them like I would talk to my dog. They probably did not really like that, but maybe it scared them a little bit into the building. Then they got out, they walked out through the third graders who were amazing. they were so quiet and respectful. it was awesome," said third grade teacher Amanda Horoschak.

Blue Mountain West Elementary takes a lot of pride in helping to keep the eggs safe. They're hoping this continues to be a yearly tradition.

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