Why a momma duck and her ducklings waddled through a Va. elementary school, again!

For the second time in a year, a momma duck has given birth to ducklings in the courtyard of Ashburn Elementary School in Loudoun County, Virginia.

This time, the duck had 14 ducklings, who hatched in the school’s courtyard. And just like last June, the only way out to a pond across the street, is a march through the school hallways. Some 50 students and staff helped momma and her ducklings find her way.

“Waddle to the water 2023,” said substitute teacher Kate Brandenburg, who again coordinated the nearly hourlong journey to the final destination, a local pond where students and ducks parted with a bittersweet goodbye.

Brandenburg said that she believes this is the same duck that hatched 12 ducklings last year.

“Mrs. (Michelle) Walthour, our school principal, named her Star,” Brandenburg said.

And there’s going to be another birth soon. Another momma duck has made a nest in a separate courtyard at the school.

“The second one who’s nesting is named Goldie,” Brandenburg said.

Why do the ducks pick the school’s courtyards to lay their nests and hatch the eggs? Brandenburg theorized that it’s a safe place away from predators.

Kyle Cooper

Weekend and fill-in anchor Kyle Cooper has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years, Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP, Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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