By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ducks taking over RH subdivision?
duck on Falcon Dr Piercefield
A duck waddles across a drive along Falcon Drive. It is believed to be part of a growing wild duck problem in Piercefield Forest, one of Richmond Hill's oldest subdivisions. - photo by Photo by Ross Blair
Are ducks taking over the Piercefield Forest subdivision?
Piercefield resident Eddie Butler said he and many of neighbors are concerned with the growing number of ducks, which he said are a nuisance.
Butler, who has lived in the subdivision since 1989, said the duck population has spiked over the last three to four years. He said the ducks leave a mess as they travel through the neighborhood and create a traffic concern by walking out in front of moving vehicles.
“It seems like a whole new generation of ducks is hatching every month, and they grow to full size within what seems like three months,” Butler said. “I mean, what’s it going to be like ten years from now? When is something going to be done?”
Newly-elected Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler said he is aware of the problem, which he witnessed first-hand while walking through the subdivision while campaigning.
“I’ve spoken to the health department, who referred it to the DNR (Department of Natural Resources),” Fowler said. “The DNR said they are domesticated animals, and therefore they do not deal with them. However, I agree with the residents that something needs to be done. I can see where it could create a health problem.”
Fowler said he is open for suggestions on how to address the problem.
David Mixon, DNR Region Supervisor for Game Management, said the ducks are not wild game and are therefore looked upon “just like a bunch of cats and dogs” by the organization.
Thomas Sanders, with Bryan County Animal Control, said the county confers with DNR over matters involving ducks, but said a problem such as this may need to be addressed by a homeowner’s association.
Mixon said the same.
“There are no game laws or migratory bird laws that preside over domesticated ducks,” Mixon said. “When it’s a subdivision pond and a domesticated flock of birds, it is their responsibility to do something about it.”
Mixon offers a couple suggestions to the residents of Piercefield. He said, for a fee and if everyone in the neighborhood agrees to it, the residents could collectively hire a wildlife nuisance trapper to relocate the animals.
He also said residents could treat the eggs when the birds nest as a form of “birth control” to reduce the growing population. He said the eggs should not hatch if they are either shaken up or coated with some sort of oil, such as vegetable oil, which seals the pores.
Butler said the problem isn’t just in Piercefield, as he has seen many ducks in Main Street and around Plantation Apartments. He said he has seen groups of ducks as large as 30 travelling together and the problem is at its worst after it has rained.
“Something needs to give here,” Butler said. “The city wouldn’t tolerate a bunch of chickens running around the neighborhood, and the ducks are just as nasty as chickens. This is a subdivision, not a bird sanctuary.”
Butler said the ducks are not a nuisance to all residents of the subdivision, noting that some feed the ducks or leave out a kiddie pool for them to utilize.
Sign up for our e-newsletters