That’s not a partridge in a pear tree, Agassiz.
For about a week a domestic Muscovy duck has been sighted around town, inspiring photo and video posts in the Life in Agassiz Facebook group that have commenters both “quacking up” and trying to “quack” the case.
While more than one duck may have been sighted, an adult female owned by Amanda Hildebrandt has received the most attention.
Hildebrandt, who moved to Agassiz in October to start a hobby farm, acquired the now-famous duck and some babies on Nov. 11 from a man who was downsizing his flock. She was keeping the adult duck as a surrogate mother along with the babies in her greenhouse for warmth and safety, but on Dec. 14 a goat ripped a hole in the side of the structure to get at some grain, and the adult duck escaped.
|On Dec. 17 a duck matching Mama Muscovy’s description was sighted on Logan Road. (John Weinberger Facebook photo)|
Since then, people have posted about duck sightings on McDonald Lane, Beaman Drive, Cheam Avenue, Logan Road and places in between, and even as far as Hot Springs Road.
Some have been referring to the duck they document as “Agassiz duck” or have suggested naming it “Lucky,” “Loosy,” or “Duck Norris,” but Hildebrandt said she already has a name — “Mama Mascovy.”
|Agassiz resident Amanda Hildebrandt owns a Muscovy duck that escaped on Dec. 14 and has been wandering around town. She said the duck is named Mama Muscovy since it acts as a surrogate mother to several baby ducks on her hobby farm. (Amanda Hildebrandt Facebook photo)|
People have also been tagging Hildebrandt in posts with updates on the whereabouts of wandering Muscovy ducks, a domesticated form of the wild Muscovy duck that originated in South America, but after about a week on the lamb, Mama Mascovy is still not at home.
Sometimes the duck has moved on by the time Hildebrandt arrives, and other times it’s perched on a rooftop and too hard to reach.
|Mama Muscovy seems to have made her way to the Cheam Village Senior Centre. (Rose Tustian Facebook photo)|
At least once, Hildebrandt even brought Mama Mascovy’s adopted ducklings to the scene of the rescue attempt, to try to coax the surrogate mother into coming home.
“She was all happy and wagging her tail,” Hildebrandt said of the encounter between the babies and Mama Mascovy. “But she refused to come down off of the roof. It’s hard to get her when she’s on someone’s roof.”
|A duck resembling Mama Muscovy was also sighted at The Langtry on Mackay Crescent. (Janine Pearce Facebook photo)|
Hildebrandt said that if someone sees a duck they believe could be Mama Mascovy, they can try to catch it and she’ll come pick it up. Just don’t do anything that would send Mama Mascovy to the “duck”tor she said — only act “peacefully and without harm.”
“My daughter absolutely loves them,” Hildebrandt said of the duck and its babies.
|Another Muscovy duck sighting, this one near Oakwood Drive and Evergreen Drive on Dec. 15. (Joe Blowing Facebook photo)|