April 17, 2010 in City

Lincoln Building duck nest raided

Four eggs missing, office worker reports
By The Spokesman-Review
Courtesy of Gary Grissom photo

This photo, taken at about 10:30 a.m., shows damage to the duck nest near the Lincoln Building on Riverside Avenue on Friday, April 16, 2010. Someone or something took four of the six eggs laid by a mallard duck the week before.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

Map of this story's location

Someone or something raided a mama duck’s nest in downtown Spokane on Friday and made off with four of her six eggs. Several tulips that had sheltered the duck in a planter in front of the Lincoln Building were ripped from the flower bed and feathers were strewn about.

Gary Grissom, a loan officer with Academy Mortgage who has been monitoring the duck’s nest, was devastated. The attack was sudden, he said, and not what he expected.

In an e-mail with the subject line “Something terrible happened!!!” Grissom wrote, “I have no idea what happened, but it may be over now …

“I am so sick about it,” he added.

Friday morning Grissom said he’d been admiring the mama duck. “I took several pictures because she was just so pretty,” he said.

He went to a meeting from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., and saw the destruction of the nest when he returned. “What I saw was not what I was expecting,” he said.

Just the day before, the loan officer and his co-workers had watched as the mama duck tucked her sixth egg into her nest, cushioned by feathers she’d carefully plucked from her belly, and slept for the first time in days.

The mama duck was settling in, and no one had been disturbing her at all, he said.

But downtown employees who heard the news Friday said they weren’t surprised. Upon learning where she’d made her nest last week, several were concerned she’d be in danger.

The list of suspects is varied.

Some downtown workers speculated a black crow may be responsible – they have been known to raid robins’ nests, so why not ducks? Teenagers were named as another possibility. Dogs were also suspect.

Grissom is convinced the thief was human. “If it were an animal, there’d be egg shell or a cracked egg somewhere. But I haven’t seen any.”

He also hasn’t seen the duck return, he said, but that’s not unusual. She typically leaves around noon and doesn’t come back until morning.

No witnesses have come forward.

Security officers at various downtown buildings seemed a little disappointed that none of their surveillance cameras captured the crime.

“It’s a pretty sad state out there right now,” Grissom said of the scene in front of his window.

“I am just so mad I had a meeting this morning.”

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