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A mama duck nested near a Chicago home and captivated a neighborhood

A mama duck nested near a Chicago home and captivated a neighborhood
A mama duck nested near a Chicago home and captivated a neighborhood 03:05

CHICAGO (CBS) – For weeks, ducks have been the talk of a neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago.

A family of mallards may not sound like big news, but they captivated an audience in Mt. Greenwood.

There may be nothing surprising about ducks in the water unless, like Kelly Blaha, you know about the drama that came before.

She is an empty nester of sorts.

"I made a sign that says, 'Caution. Mother duck nesting,'" Blaha said.

She misses the mallard that nested beside the front steps of her Mt. Greenwood home.

"The duck came to our house about late March, early April," she said.

She was a mama duck with her 11 eggs and a feathered flair for the dramatic. Blaha said they set up cameras so she could watch what happens in the middle of the night when the mother duck leaves.

The neighborhood followed on social media as a mother duck weathered a powerful storm and even a possum attack. 

"It was pretty intense," Blaha said.

She even put up a dinosaur statue to scare away the possum. It was her husband Mike's idea.

"He's the one who saved her," Mike said of the statue. "I don't think she would've made it without him."

He added, "After that, we had no problems. We had a couple cats come by, but they were just kind of curious more than anything."

And then, the ducklings hatched a few days before Mother's Day. Blaha even postponed her birthday trip to New York because she had to see how the duck drama would end.

She said they started walking with the ducks, and "Mother duck knew exactly where to go." The Blahas, family, and friends followed the mallards' mile-long journey across yards, sidewalks, and busy streets. It was a trek of triumph and tragedy.

One of the 11 ducklings was left behind in a sewer, but a mother duck had to move on.

After two-and-a-half hours, ducks and their human escort made it to Marion lake at St. Xavier University.

"You can see that the mom and the dad reunited," Blaha said watching the duck family in their new home.

A mallard family may have moved from her front steps, but Blaha will always have a duck tale to tell.

"I love it," she said. "I think it makes me feel joy, happiness."

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