Cuddly Banker Makes Way for Ducklings

Bankers have an bad rap these days, don’t they? Joel Armstrong of Spokane, Washington was nice enough to initiate an intensive bailout of his neighbors, who could no longer stay in their home. His neighbors: a family of ducks.

Now, some people in this case would be happy to let nature take its course, and figure that any animal dumb enough to raise young who can’t fly on a second-story ledge should be taken out of the gene pool. But I also like watching a banker play catch with fuzzy little birds.

Man saves ducklings from ledge [BBC] (Thanks, Ein2015!)


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  1. Meathamper says:

    Bankers that are nice? Must be an alternate universe I’m living in.

  2. TechnoDestructo says:

    You know, you could look at this as an eviction.

    • MooseOfReason says:

      @TechnoDestructo: No, no you couldn’t. The mother duck called for her ducks to jump off the ledge, and without Mr. Armstrong’s assistance, they would have, at the least, gotten hurt.

      After rescuing them, he, along with the townsfolk, led the ducks to their new home.

      It was in no way an eviction.

  3. Vanilla5 says:

    Awwww! I loves it! :)

    Somebody buy that fellow a pint!

  4. OnThe$20Coin_GitEmSteveDave says:

    I was reading this on Snopes awhile back and it amused me as I remember seeing an old nature documentary that baby geese and ducks can survive large falls unhurt b/c the mothers pick a space away from predators. IIRC, in the video, they were dropping themselves off cliffs and kept on waddling.

    • TechnoDestructo says:


      Just about every small animal can survive a much higher fall than just about every large vertebrate. Pound for pound, small things are much tougher than large things, and they fall much more slowly. It has to do with the ratio between volume and surface area or between volume and cross sectional area.

      Terminal velocity is (roughly) determined by weight and how much surface area the object presents. Surface area for an animal twice as long as an animal of identical shape will be four times that of the smaller animal. Weight will be eight times as great, however, because instead of being the square of one dimension, it is the cube. All else being equal, the larger animal should be able to fall (in air) twice as fast (thus with 4 times the energy) as the smaller one.

      Also, when it hits the ground, how much damage is done is determined by the strength of the structures holding it together. A big part of that is determined by their cross-sectional area. Say the larger animal’s bones are twice as long and twice as thick. They have 4 times the cross sectional area…but again, supporting eight times the weight.

      Forgive me if I’m forgetting something, it’s been a long time since I took physics. I’m remembering this idea from a Discover magazine column a decade or two ago.

      • OnThe$20Coin_GitEmSteveDave says:

        @TechnoDestructo: Since I’m still trying hard to make sure the coffee goes into my mouth and not my shirt, all those science facts made my almost closed eyes glaze over. ;)

      • sburnap42 says:

        @TechnoDestructo: Yeah, I remember reading that it is not unusual for cats to survive falls from the tenth story and higher. When I was in college, we had a kitten that had been rescued after it fell off the roof of a five story building. It was basically unharmed by the experience.

        • kmw2 says:

          @sburnap42: I was cleaning the outside of my windows one day several years back and turned my back for one second, then turned back around just in time to see my cat jumping out a third story window. I screamed a lot and ran down the stairs, only to find her sitting on the step looking at me like I was totally insane. Sheesh.

    • ExtraCelestial says:

      @OnThe$20Coin_GitEmSteveDave: They filmed a family of ducks “falling” on Discovery Channel’s Planet Earth (which, when slightly edited became Disney’s Nature and I was lucky enough to be charged $8 for the priveldge of this discovery) and said this was pretty typical. I’m assuming momma duck didn’t account for the fact that the soft dirt ground in this case was actually concrete. Modern technology can do a number on animal instincts!

      In any event, CUTE!

      • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

        @TinkishDelight: Even after reading the discourse on physics above, my only thought is “DUCKIES!” Cuddly bankers and cuddly duckies first thing in the AM ftw.

      • korybing says:

        @TinkishDelight: Man I THOUGHT the footage they were pimping for the Disney Nature looked really similar to Planet Earth clips. How did they get away with that?

        But yeah, there was a clip in Planet Earth of ducklings jumping out of a tree, which could explain the reasoning behind the mother duck laying eggs up on a ledge like that. Those sorts of instincts don’t translate well into urban environments it seems.

  5. subtlefrog says:

    I desperately want to make a slow news day comment, but the ducklings are so cute, I just can’t consider this slow news. (Snorgle).

  6. smrtypants44 says:

    my cousin has a pet duck… whos name is Buck

  7. Skankingmike says:

    Duck is sorta greasy but tastes pretty good.. oh wait..

  8. ajlei says:

    I saw this on my local news (Portland) last night and just thought it was so adorable. Kudos to that guy for actually caring. And from what I read from the article I saw, he did something similar last year.

  9. nakedscience says:

    Why is this on Consumerist?! I keed, I keed.

    I went awwwww.

  10. korybing says:

    A lot of people give news like this flack for not being news, but these are my favorite sorts of stories. They’re a nice break from the usual doom and gloom and they make me remember that there are actually good people out there doing nice stuff just to be nice.

    Also: ducklings.

  11. Froggmann says:

    Quack…. SPLAT!

    *Voice in the crowd* Duck Killer Duck Killer!

  12. sasquatch28 says:

    awww…that just made my day. =)

  13. QADude says:

    Buy that man a beer! Stat!

  14. Ashley Albin says:

    This has already happened, correct? I know I’ve seen this video in the past, but when everyone is suddenly playing this video and suddenly commenting as if they had never seen it before, it makes me feel like I must have imagined the whole thing. Anyone else remember a video identical/almost identical to this one surfacing over a year ago?

    • bluewyvern says:

      @Ashley Albin: He says he did the same thing (probably for the same mother in the same nest) last year. He also said he missed one that time. Oops.

  15. CrazyRedd says:

    Wait a minute, “eight out of twelve”?! I’d feel pretty awful about those four I missed!

    • MooseOfReason says:

      @CrazyRedd: By the looks of the video, the other four were still on the roof and hadn’t jumped. The banker climbed up and seemed to rescue the remaining four ducks.

  16. VidurEspi says:

    She wasn’t being stupid — ducks nest in high places all the time. It’s a good way to avoid predators (it takes about a month to incubate duck eggs, which is a long time for them to remain unnoticed). Many ducks like Wood Ducks and some mergansers nest in trees. Ducklings are quite bouncy, and they probably would have been just fine without any assistance. But it was a cute story anyway.