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Jul 15, 2008

Duck Darwin Awards

Ducks have it rough in the big city, People. You remember this scene, right?

Well, gather 'round 'cause we have another applicant to the Duck Darwin awards. Sender-Inner Kathryn's Mom writes:

"Something really amazing happened in Downtown Spokane this week and I had to share the story with you. [My colleague] Joel is a loan officer at Sterling [Savings] Bank. He works downtown in a second story office building, overlooking busy Riverside Avenue. Several weeks ago he watched a mother duck choose the cement awning outside his window as the uncanny place to build a nest above the sidewalk."


"The mallard laid ten eggs in a nest in the corner of the planter that is perched over 10 feet in the air. She dutifully kept the eggs warm for weeks and Monday afternoon all of her ducklings hatched."


"Joel worried all night how the momma duck was going to get those babies safely off their perch in a busy, downtown, urban environment to take to water, which typically happens in the first 48 hours of a duck hatching."


"Tuesday morning, Joel came to work and watched the mother duck encourage her babies to the edge of the perch with the intent to show them how to jump off!"


"The mother flew down below and started quacking to her babies above. In his disbelief Joel watched as the first fuzzy newborn toddled to the edge and astonishingly leapt into thin air, crashing onto the cement below. He couldn't watch how this might play out. He dashed out of his office and ran down the stairs the sidewalk where the first obedient duckling was stumbling near its mother from the near fatal fall. Joel looked up. The second duckling was getting ready to jump!"


"He quickly dodged under the awning while the mother duck quacked at him and the babies above. As the second one took the plunge, Joel jumped forward and caught it with his bare hands before it hit the cement. Safe and sound, he set it by the momma and the other stunned sibling, still recovering from its painful leap."

Mom, my legs are smooshed to halfsize now, thanks A LOT.

"One by one the babies continued to jump to join their anxious family below. Each time Joel hid under the awning just to reach out in the nick of time as the duckling made its free fall."


"The downtown sidewalk came to a standstill. Time after time, Joel was able to catch the remaining 8 and set them by their approving mother."


"At this point Joel realized the duck family had only made part of its dangerous journey. They had 2 full blocks to walk across traffic, crosswalks, curbs, and pedestrians to get to the closest open water, the Spokane River."


"The onlooking office secretaries then joined in, and hurriedly brought an empty copy paper box to collect the babies. They carefully corralled them, with the mother's approval, and loaded them up into the white cardboard container. Joel held the box low enough for the mom to see her brood. He then slowly navigated through the downtown streets toward the Spokane River , as the mother waddled behind and kept her babies in sight. As they reached the river, the mother took over and passed him, jumping into the river and quacking loudly. At the water's edge, the Sterling Bank office staff then tipped the box and helped shepherd the babies toward the water and to their mother after their adventurous ride."


"All ten darling ducklings safely made it into the water and paddled up snugly to momma duck. Joel said the mom swam in circles, looking back toward the beaming bank workers, and proudly quacking as if to say, 'See, we did it! Thanks for all the help!'"


Did you sell the rights to LifeTime yet, Kathryn M.?

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Ducky bleeny baby!

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:17 PM

Joel is the MAN!

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:19 PM

Talk about fun days at work! Catching eensy fluffeh ducklings and carting them to safety! I'd take that break ANY day.

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:19 PM


 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:20 PM

God Bless Joel & all of you abundantly for taking the time to take care of the ducklings ! You all have made my day !

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:21 PM

Fantastic :)
Nice to see people doing that kind of thing...

kudos to Joel!

Flavia A.
 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:21 PM

That man is a hero! Marry me!

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:21 PM

What a sweet story!

I <3 Joel!

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:21 PM

What an awesome story and what a caring, sweet and amazing example of humanity. This almost restores my faith in human nature!

Oh, and freakin' ANERABLE baby ducks!

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:22 PM


 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:23 PM

...tooooooo the East Side!
To a dee-luxe apartment in the sky-y-y-y...

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:23 PM

OMG!!! With misty eyes and my heart all a'flutter I want to say God Bless you Joel!!! <3

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:24 PM

That is such a heart-warming story. I loved it!

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:24 PM

aww you guys are such heroes!! way to go, i am so happy to be human reading this.

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:24 PM

A banker with a heart?? It's nice to see there is some good left in this world. What a great story.

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:24 PM

I was first, I was first! Wow! That is the most awesome story. We need a picture of Joel on here too so we can make googly faces and stare at him in admiration. What a guy!

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:24 PM

OY! I hope that first baby duck didn't break anything! But hooray Joel!

Mama duck, you so crazy

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:25 PM

I hereby nominate Joel et al for the Nobel Animal-tarian award!

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:26 PM

Make Way for Ducklings, Spokane Style! Let's see, it's Jack, Kack, Mack, Nack, Lack, um, Zack, er, and Quack?

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:26 PM

I would like to marry Joel and have some ducklings with him.

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:29 PM

OMG!! That is a GREAT story! I'm so glad there are people out there that would take the time and effort to do this kind of thing!

Made my day =)

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:30 PM

Joel is awesome.

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:31 PM

Cute! Why would the momma duck build a nest so high and far away from the water though?

[It's a duck thing... - Ed.]

Also, there's some duplicate text in your article. ""At this point Joel realized the duck family had only made part of its dangerous journey. They had 2 full blocks to walk across traffic, crosswalks, curbs, and pedestrians to get to the closest open water, the Spokane River." is posted twice.

[OK, fixed it, thx! - Ed.]

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:32 PM

omigosh. That was a great story!! *sniffle* Wonderful of Joel to help them out. He can add "duckling-catcher" to his resume now. :D

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:32 PM

Wow, what a great story! Yea Joel! You rock!

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:33 PM

What an awesome story! Thanks Joel, and thanks CO for sharing it.

Erin K
 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:33 PM

Ok but I am a little disappointed cuteoverload.com weren't able to arrange a live video feed of this story. What ever happened to CuteLive News? cutbacks...

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:35 PM

What a page turner (scroller?)! What a good deed Joel and his coworkers did, and way to be on the ball with the photo documentation!

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:35 PM

Cutbacks? CutBACKS??
Teh wut?

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:36 PM

That totally got me snifflin'. Thanks, this made me remember the good in the world. :)

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:39 PM

Joel is my hero. I love men that love animals. I think we need a calendar of male animal heros... shirtless photos of these men w the animals they saved! :D

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:39 PM

So sweet. It makes me feel better to know that there are people like Joel out there, willing to help innocent little baby aminals! YAY JOEL!

Rosie A.
 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:40 PM

Oh, this is just what I need to perk up my otherwise very dreary day (got the news that my grandma passed away last night).

If Joel ever run for president, he has my vote.

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:44 PM

Awww, Yay for Joel!

And that he stayed up the night before worrying how they would get down--so sweeeet!

Thank goodness they took lots of photos--the one at the end says it all :-)

Chocolate Chipped
 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:46 PM





 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:47 PM

So where is this prince of our hearts?

I'm sorry if we don't get a picture of that superman Joel like pronto, I'm gonna riot.

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:47 PM

That's so great of the people to do that! And I even know exactly where the bank is and how far to the river. Hurrah for employees of Sterling Savings in Spokane! Next time I need an ATM, I'll go to yours :)

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:47 PM

I concur...we need a pic of Joel. A man who so obviously loves animals is awesome in my book.

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:47 PM

oh, silly Mummyduck :)

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:48 PM

If that's really true, it's beautiful!!

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:48 PM

Also, I hope the first little duckling, who jumped before Joel was able to make it down there to catch him, is ok! Poor little thing!

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:51 PM

That last photo is hilarious. She's all like "Hey thanks!!"

Nikita Tinypaws
 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:52 PM

Well, if humans expect the schools to raise their children, then ducks should expect...bankers to raise their...ducklings...

Okay, it sounded all huffy when I first thought of it.

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:52 PM

It is really true, and it is awesome! I love you Joel!

The Other One Michelle
 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:54 PM

Just call me puddles, tears of joy.

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:55 PM

I wanna say, all you peeps who post comments on this site do more for showing the good side of humanity than any one story or picture here. Scrolling through and reading grown people Squeeeing and baby-talking and melting into puddles and making up a glossary just to express all that over cute pictures of adorable animals - THAT makes me feel better about people more than anything else I know of.

So I thank all of you for just being that kind of person because you each help raise the goodness quotient in the world. And you all would have saved those ducklings too if you'd been there!

Love you guys!

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:55 PM

Leenk- I'm so sorry about your grandma, stay with us a while, we'll help.

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:57 PM

I have found a new hero. God bless you Joel and your co-workers for showing us the humanity that still exists. steppy bows down in admiration. Long live Joel !!!!
bebe duckies Ker thud

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 02:58 PM

pretty damn amazing!!!
cheers to joey and office team. i think a career change is at hand. saving the world, one duckling at a time.

Joel, you're making the world a better place. Thank you.

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 03:01 PM

Way to go, Joel!

 |  Jul 15, 2008 at 03:01 PM

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