Ducklings Going Up Stairs
May 22, 2014 3:36 PM   Subscribe

Ducklings vs. Stairs. Link text pretty much sums it up.
posted by KathrynT (62 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
oh god the fluffiness

the little fluffy bodies throwing themselves at the stairs

and the peeping
my god the peeping

I need to lie down.
posted by saturday_morning at 3:44 PM on May 22, 2014 [16 favorites]


Boot camp for hatchlings...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 3:44 PM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


I needed that more than I realized.
posted by dogheart at 3:46 PM on May 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


My parents currently live in a floating home (as did I, way back when), and the ducks/ducklings were always somewhat entertaining. They'd swim along, as they do, but then at some point, inevitably, mom would get up on the pier, and the little duckies couldn't make that transition from the water. So they'd get all agitated and mom would just stand on the pier and stare back at them.

What we'd do is keep a swimming pool skimmer net handy, and if you came upon this scene, you'd grab the net and gently lift the ducklings up to mom. And I would always wonder what goes on in duck brains as they watch this unfold. As in, "You should be grateful but you're probably too stupid, aren't you? Stupid ducks."
posted by neuromodulator at 3:46 PM on May 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


This is definitely better on mute.

This is so close to the limit of my ability to watch baby animals and their pitiful struggle against a heartless universe that I had to jump ahead several times and I finally just pushed to the end because the suspense was killing.
posted by janey47 at 3:48 PM on May 22, 2014 [7 favorites]


janey47, I almost added "spoileralerttheyallmakeit" to the tags for just that reason.
posted by KathrynT at 3:49 PM on May 22, 2014 [6 favorites]


I imagine every time the mother duck goes to the edge, she yells down, "Life lesson!" to her charges.
posted by xingcat at 3:50 PM on May 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


That was stressful
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 3:50 PM on May 22, 2014 [27 favorites]


I felt like I feel when I watch the videos of starving children. Surely the guy with the camera has some food, right? Share your lunch man! Give that kid something to eat!

I was going to be mad if this video didn't have a happy ending. I wanted the camera man to help this guy out!
posted by cjorgensen at 3:52 PM on May 22, 2014


I need this to be a fluffy, flailing video game.
posted by EvaDestruction at 3:53 PM on May 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


This is so close to the limit of my ability to watch baby animals and their pitiful struggle against a heartless universe that I had to jump ahead several times and I finally just pushed to the end because the suspense was killing.

I would end up scooping them all up and taking them all home to raise just to show the universe how it's done...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 3:53 PM on May 22, 2014


I see your baby ducklings, and raise you someone tickling a baby otter.
posted by mikeand1 at 3:54 PM on May 22, 2014 [9 favorites]


That was adorable! Though it did get hard to watch towards the end. But then, whew!
posted by whistle pig at 3:56 PM on May 22, 2014


Hoooo boy. I've felt just like that last little duckling for months now, pushing and pushing and watching all my other duckling homies leaving me in the dust, while I feel like I'm doomed to ram myself into a metaphorical concrete stair over and over again.

But you know what? That little duck made it. His mom didn't come help him, no one made a tiny duck-sized ramp to help him up, he just kept at it, over and over again, until he got over the hump. It sucked, his tiny little beak is probably a bit banged up, but he made it. And I'm going to make it too. Thanks little duck for being the inspiration I didn't even know I needed.
posted by chara at 3:56 PM on May 22, 2014 [45 favorites]


Stressful towards the end, but certaily proof that mama ducks can count.
posted by Dashy at 3:59 PM on May 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yes, the suspense was terrible. But now I am glowing. Thank you for that.
posted by Neekee at 4:00 PM on May 22, 2014


Assasin's Creed but Desmond is controlling a duckling.

And must lead his duckling siblings to safety.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:04 PM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Reminds me of my 20s. I'm the last one up.
posted by oinopaponton at 4:07 PM on May 22, 2014


I love the way she kept showing them it was easier at the ends of the steps, then she'd walk away and wait. Ducklings are the very cutest to watch at this stage when they're making that first trek to the water. This is a keeper, thanks!
posted by Anitanola at 4:13 PM on May 22, 2014


Thank you, KathrynT: once for the link, and twice for fearlessly exploring alternatives to "what it says on the can."
posted by Iridic at 4:15 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Back when I played WoW, there were sometimes players who found ways to scale sheer walls with creative jumping. What would inevitably happen is that the one person who was good at wall-climbing would get up somewhere, and there'd instantly be a whole flock of other players leaping at the wall trying to find the same pieces of hidden geometry that the first guy had. There was never anything up there, but the fact that one person had done it seemed to drive the other folks mad.

This video is like that. But cute.
posted by Wulfhere at 4:17 PM on May 22, 2014 [6 favorites]


Thank you, KathrynT: once for the link, and twice for fearlessly exploring alternatives to "what it says on the can."

what it says on the tin?
what it reads on the sign?
what it shows in the picture?
what it renders on the screen?
what it loads on the page?
what it sits where it fits?
posted by Going To Maine at 4:21 PM on May 22, 2014


It's like the cutest level of "Lemmings" ever!
posted by briank at 4:26 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


(tin, can, whatev)
posted by Iridic at 4:29 PM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


I kept expecting a cat to suddenly appear at the lower right-hand part of the screen and start slinking its way across the bottom step towards the slower ducklings. And then I realized this was real life, and not an Atari 2600 game.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:33 PM on May 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


Mom's like "What's the holdup, clowns?"

I aspire to her parenting style.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:36 PM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


12 children! Oy!
posted by amanda at 4:38 PM on May 22, 2014


My husband and I once took our lives in our hands to herd a bunch of ducklings across a very busy road. We kept yelling back and forth about how stupid and sentimental we were being, and how there was not a shortage of ducklings in the world, and why why why were we endangering ourselves and maybe the people in the cars?, and look, Mama Duck is angry at the big pink chimps for messing with her kin. But there it was and there we were and that was that. They all made it.

I am still glad the people behind the camera didn't interfere. Those ducklings proved they didn't need any pink chimpanzee help.
posted by gingerest at 4:39 PM on May 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


That was harrowing.
posted by snap, crackle and pop at 4:43 PM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


gingerest, I once did that with a boyfriend and a herd of desert tortoises on (iirc) route 395 in California.
posted by janey47 at 4:48 PM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't understand the comments about the suspense and the anxiety and the what. Isn't this just life as a duckling, learning to do duckling stuff? The mom was hanging around, there weren't people clomping up the stairs or anything. They had a task to figure out and they figured it out. Was there an alligator in the frame somewhere I missed?

Also yea Mom and that One Kid who got up there fast were like HELLO GET WITH THE PROGRAM. Super cute.
posted by sweetkid at 4:49 PM on May 22, 2014 [7 favorites]


Sorry but what kind of asshole films that instead of providing assistance?
posted by DarlingBri at 4:52 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is definitely better on mute.

Meanwhile, I was thinking that my favorite part is the quietly whispered, "Bye, guys," at the very end.

With so many ducklings I was afraid that mom would lose count or something and wander off when that last one was still stuck, but nope! Loved seeing them try and fail and try and fail and try and fail and try and whoops! Made it that time!
posted by Salieri at 5:00 PM on May 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


Metafilter is the ducklings, and Google is the stairs. AMIRITE?

I really needed that. Thanks.
posted by Toekneesan at 5:06 PM on May 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't understand the comments about the suspense and the anxiety and the what. Isn't this just life as a duckling, learning to do duckling stuff? The mom was hanging around, there weren't people clomping up the stairs or anything. They had a task to figure out and they figured it out. Was there an alligator in the frame somewhere I missed?
The anxiety was that mom would eventually tire of waiting and leave, abandoning the final duckling to its inevitable starvation.
posted by kavasa at 5:07 PM on May 22, 2014


This has not been the best week of my life. This helped a little.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 5:08 PM on May 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


Sorry but what kind of asshole films that instead of providing assistance?

Whoa. David Attenborough, you've been called out!
posted by Atom Eyes at 5:13 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've actually always heard that you shouldn't touch animals in a situation like this except in the case of dire danger, in which category having trouble with stairs probably doesn't qualify. I think they're not providing assistance because they're not sure they should go handle baby ducks in the presence of mama, which I would assume also.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 5:14 PM on May 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


The anxiety was that mom would eventually tire of waiting and leave, abandoning the final duckling to its inevitable starvation

Weirdly, that thought never crossed my mind for a second. I just assumed they'd all make it and it was just a cute clip of them falling down several thousand times while attempting it, because tiny things falling down is cute. My duck faith is strong apparantly.
posted by billiebee at 5:17 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am pretty certain that if something large and not-obviously-not-a-predator went for those ducklings, the mama duck would respond with extreme prejudice. I've been bitten by a duck; it sucks. Don't come between baby animals and their mothers!
posted by KathrynT at 5:20 PM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yes, pissed-off ducks are nothing to mess with. Pissed-off geese are even scarier.

I once did that with a boyfriend and a herd of desert tortoises

I am guessing that it took a really long time? Tortoises are probably a better investment of your time spent road-herding, though, since they take longer to reach reproductive maturity and have longer reproductive cycles than ducks. Also, they're listed as threatened, which is pretty much not a problem for mallards.
posted by gingerest at 5:34 PM on May 22, 2014


And don't even get me started about swans. Those guys are assholes.
posted by Toekneesan at 5:39 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm afraid I cheered rather loudly when the last one made it.

Not ashamed of that.
posted by Archer25 at 5:42 PM on May 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Isn't this just life as a duckling, learning to do duckling stuff? The mom was hanging around, there weren't people clomping up the stairs or anything. They had a task to figure out and they figured it out.

For me, the anxiety was that only some of the ducklings seemed to be strong enough to make the leap, and those that failed were continuing to fail and were probably getting more and more exhausted and would become less and less able to make it up.

But after a while, I noticed that the mother duck was just calmly waiting and watching, and in no hurry - she knew what they could do and was intentionally waiting outside their comfort zone to make them do it and was giving them however much time they needed to learn how to do it.

TL;DR: I worried that the barrier was duckling athleticism, but soon realized the mother knew they had the athleticism and it was actually a case of learning coordination and agility.

Teachers gonna teach. Duckings become Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
posted by anonymisc at 5:42 PM on May 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


First: CUTE!

Second: I don't think it's the greatest idea to swoop in and help animals, even if they are in danger of death. "Survival of the fittest," etc. gingerest makes a good point though, that it depends on the lifespan of the animal and its relative endangerment.
posted by mantecol at 5:44 PM on May 22, 2014


Mama duck will stick around as long as the duckling keeps peeping: A happy ending for a duckling brought home by a cat.
posted by jamaro at 5:48 PM on May 22, 2014 [14 favorites]


"You should be grateful but you're probably too stupid, aren't you? Stupid ducks."

Same goes for geese.

Canada geese frequent the pond behind my house, and there's usually 2 or 3 nesting pairs. A couple years ago there was a bumper crop of goslings, like over a fifteen between them. The empty lot beside me was a favourite grazing spot of theirs. When they were tiny, the parents would guide them around the chainlink fence and in through the open end. Eventually the parents would grow tired of that spot and wander back around the fence, but the kiddos would be all OMG GOOD GRASS AND BUGS NOMNOMNOM and wouldn't keep up. One squonk from the parents would snap em out of it and they'd scoot through the holes in the fence and be on their goosely way.

Which worked fine until the goslings became tween-geese and couldn't fit through anymore, but desperately wanted to obey the squonk. After half an hour of watching them frantically bounce off the fence, trying to figure out why they couldn't get through the magic force field while the parent geese stood equally confused on the other side, I herded them around to the opening. As thanks, I got hissed at and rage-rushed by the boldest of the parents.

Stupid geese.
posted by CKmtl at 5:52 PM on May 22, 2014 [6 favorites]



I once did that with a boyfriend and a herd of desert tortoises

I am guessing that it took a really long time? Tortoises are probably a better investment of your time spent road-herding, though, since they take longer to reach reproductive maturity and have longer reproductive cycles than ducks. Also, they're listed as threatened, which is pretty much not a problem for mallards.


I am glad janey47 got the boyfriend across the road, too.
posted by sweetkid at 5:56 PM on May 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


It reminds me of salmon going up a waterfall.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:08 PM on May 22, 2014


THINK ABOUT THIS, THOUGH -- it could have been a herd of boyfriends and THEN where would I be?

The benefit of saving tortoises at risk of life and limb is that you can pick them up in your hands without fear of their mother abandoning them and they don't all run quickly in different directions when you approach them.
posted by janey47 at 6:20 PM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


A month ago I was wandering through the arboretum and counted 57-ish baby duckings. I went through there again today and dang, they all got so big! They were so cute running around right in front of me a month ago!

Though I kinda wonder about the human-touching-rejection thing after I saw a girl pick up a baby duck and then it rejoined the rest of the family without issues.

But yes, this was pretty "ooooh, I hope they make it!" My week has been pretty nervewracking too and that helped a little.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:24 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


INVERTED LEMMINGS
posted by NoraReed at 6:33 PM on May 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was like a sports fan watching this, and I say that as a sports fan. "COME ON LITTLE GUYS! YOU CAN DO IT! NOOOOOOO! COME ON! YESSSSS WOOOO! NOOOOOOOOOOO!"

It was emotionally exhausting, the thrill of victory and the agony of webbed feet.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:46 PM on May 22, 2014 [7 favorites]


I was just the other day walking to work through a riverside park. I caught sight of two geese seeming extra cautious at the top of a nearby hill. There was a staircase to the top, about 8ft. I climbed up, and there were 4 adorable little goslings running around. Knowing how geese get about the wee ones, I backed off a few feet and sat down to watch.

After a few minutes, the geese seemed to realize I wasn't a threat, so they relaxed and started eating grass and whatnot while the kids ran around. They really were adorable. I raised ducks a few years back, so I was having some nice memories and just sort of enjoying being around baby birds again. The weather was really nice, it was early, I had a few hours until work...it was a really great moment.

About ten minutes had passed when a construction worker walked up. He was on his way to work, had all his tools slung. He stood there for a few minutes, watching along with me. He looked at me and smiled. "Cute, aint they?" he said.

"Yup," I replied.

"Shame though. There were five yesterday." And with that, having ruined that moment and the next few hours, off he went to work.
posted by nevercalm at 7:53 PM on May 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


> The anxiety was that mom would eventually tire of waiting and leave, abandoning the final duckling to its inevitable starvation.

Water fowl are champions at active and passive infanticide, you know. Mama duck's use of her environmental affordances is particularly elegant compared to the standard pecking and beating that the coots do.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:07 PM on May 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


So sweet, my teeth are hurting! It also made me anxious but I YAYYY'D after the last little guy made it. Whew!!!
posted by SpecialSpaghettiBowl at 8:11 PM on May 22, 2014


she knew what they could do and was intentionally waiting outside their comfort zone to make them do it

Just like that duck that walked over the sewer grate. Not the miscalculation of a tiny brain in a maladapted environment; she was just teaching her ducklings that they can trust the police to aid them in times of emergency.

(This is apparently a common method that mother ducks use to teach this important lesson.)
posted by dgaicun at 12:24 AM on May 23, 2014


Mama duck's use of her environmental affordances is particularly elegant compared to the standard pecking and beating that the coots do.

Ha, this reminds me of something I saw a few years back. Baby duckling, apparently abandoned, swimming round in circles cheeping like crazy in a little inlet, with a coot hanging around near it. Ducking moved upstream, coot moved upstream - duckling moved downstream, coot followed. I watched them for about five minutes thinking "but, baby coots don't look like that?" - and then the mother duck, who the whole time had been hanging around about ten feet away out of duckling sight, reappeared, the coot swam off, and mother and baby duck headed off in the other direction.

Presumably that was the duck equivalent of hiring in Supernanny.
posted by Catseye at 3:31 AM on May 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


I once stopped traffic while I persuaded a mama duck and her ducklings that no, really, they did not want to continue crossing the busy six lane road and should turn back the way they came. They'd already crossed one lane when I tried to turn them around. Finally got them back to the curb.... and the ducklings couldn't jump up that high. I thoughtlessly tried to scoop one up and suddenly I had a furious mama duck mid-air *in my face*. By then, other ducklings had strayed away and tried again to cross the road. Got them back to the curb, which fortunately was not as high in this spot, and they got up on the grass. Then they tried to turn back to the road and I shooed them away, then trotted back the four or five car lengths back to my car. I could hear lots of traffic honking, but the truck driver behind me waved at me, so that was nice of him.
posted by bentley at 6:51 AM on May 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


When the last one made it, I literally threw my hands in the air spontaneously without thinking about it.
posted by Flunkie at 7:05 AM on May 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


Count me among the celebratory fist-pumpers at the first and the last ones.
posted by seyirci at 8:22 AM on May 23, 2014


Super cute.

And after a few minutes I completely recognized myself as a parent in that video - "C'mon, kid, get with the program!". But he always gets up the stairs. Every time. (Let's face it, half the time he beats me).
posted by vignettist at 12:36 PM on May 23, 2014


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