May 20, 2009

Man helps ducklings down from ledge

A Spokane, Wash., man has become a hero to waterfowl fans by helping a young brood of ducklings off a 12-foot-high ledge to the pavement below, witnesses say.

Joel Armstrong, a loan officer for Sterling Savings Bank, and some co-workers had documented on the Internet the births of the ducklings, whose mother had built her nest on a concrete awning of the bank building, gaining them a fan following on Web. But last weekend came a moment of truth as the 12 ducklings left the nest and needed to drop down to street to follow their mother to water, The (Spokane) Spokesman-Review reported.

Like the baseball player he once was, Armstrong stationed himself beneath the ledge and caught the ducklings as they fell, gently placing them on the ground as onlookers cheered, the newspaper said.

The hen duck and the ducklings, with Armstrong and his bank co-workers running interference, reportedly then crossed the street amid a crowd gathered for the city's annual Lilac Festival parade and successfully reached water at nearby Riverside Park.

That was a deal, Armstrong, also known as Duck Man, told the Spokesman-Review. We did it. I never thought we'd make it.