Los Altos resident Robert Malm and his wife Linda spotted a duck family in distress on Los Altos Avenue May 10 and turned out the neighborhood to help. They had observed a mother duck and eight ducklings cross the street in single file, but when they returned — armed with a camera — only six ducklings were seen on the side of the street. Two of the babies had plunged into a streetside storm drain.
"The mother became frantic and moved back and forth over the drain, quacking loudly," Malm reported. "Unfortunately, more ducklings fell down the drain with each passage."
Los Altos Police Officer Julie Ognoskie responded to the scene and called the local non-profit Wildlife Rescue for backup. With the help of a net, provided by a neighbor, and bread for bait, Ognoskie retrieved the six ducklings that had fallen beneath the grate.
As she fished out ducklings, neighbors delivered them to the mother duck, who hunkered down in a nearby backyard, Malm said.
"The duck family, all members of which appeared to be in good condition, is to be released later into a more suitable environment," according to Malm.