CARMICHAEL (CBS13) — They may be cute, but a team of ducklings is ruffling some feathers in Carmichael.
They hatched inside a backyard two weeks ago and have now taken up residence, making a big mess.
The homeowners say the ducklings are darling and welcomed the waterfowl at first, but now they say it’s time for the birds to move out. The Department of Fish and Game says it’s not that easy.
A paddling of ducks, 12 ducklings and their mama, are making themselves right at home inside Becky Gaydosh’s backyard.
“They’re taking over,” said Gaydosh, “we’re at our wit’s end, literally.”
At first, she says it was sweet.
“We were oohing and aahing and loving them and they were just little fluff balls.”
But, the cuteness quickly wore off, as the not-so-tidy visitors contaminated her deck and pool, creating what Gaydosh calls a “poopy problem.” She says she’s spent hours cleaning up their mess.
“We’re a little bit overwhelmed by it all.”
But, federal laws have turned Gaydosh into a sitting duck. The birds are protected and can’t be removed.
“If they’re wild-type birds, the options are much more limited,” said Dan Skalos, an environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Skalos said the ducklings appear to be a mix of domestic and wild breeds, which he says isn’t uncommon, and that means there’s a chance officials could step in.
“It’s not a clear-cut case.”
Although it’s a last resort for Gaydosh, officials do say she can by law open her gate and herd the ducklings out into the wild.
“You’re allowed to protect your property. You’re just not allowed to harm the animals,” said Skalos.
“Look, they have this wonderful life in my pool. They’re protected, no predators. They have it made,” said Gaydosh.
It’s become a bird’s paradise, but Gaydosh wants her backyard back.
“This has just been too much. Too much of a good thing.”
Gaydosh says she also called the Wildlife Area Association in Sacramento, but officials said they couldn’t take the ducklings unless they had been abandoned by their mother.