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Daisy and Brood : Transient Ducks Raising Family in Costa Mesa Pool

Times Staff Writer

If Jerry and Patricia Cox decide to use their swimming pool this weekend, they will have to share it with a family of 13 mallards which have taken up residence there.

Six weeks ago, Daisy and Dewey Duck, as the Coxes have named them, appeared in the backyard of the Coxes’ Costa Mesa home. Three days ago, Daisy hatched 11 soft, yellow and black ducklings in the Coxes’ ivy.

“We figure we have a little blessing here. The Lord looked down on us to brighten up the days,” Jerry Cox said.

Ducklings Jumped In

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The ducklings jumped in the first day, diving beneath the surface, rushing to the top and shaking off the water, Patricia Cox said.

The Coxes have built a small ladder and platform for the young ducks, which can’t yet jump out of the pool like their parents. The ducklings get a running start, piling up the ladder and knocking each other off as they race to get to the ivy and feather nest, where they spend the night.

A friend who owns a duck farm advised the Coxes to feed the ducklings chicken scratch and dog food. While the ducklings eat the sprinkled food, they won’t come close enough to be touched.

First Time in 18 Years

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Jerry Cox said the ducks may have come from a duck pond at a nearby park or Newport Bay, not too far distant from their home on Fairway Place. But in 18 years, ducks have never made a landing in their backyard.

The Coxes, whose backyard is filled with bird cages for pet finches and feeders for the many pigeons who visit the yard, plan to let the ducks stay.

They are prepared for the ducks’ takeoff when they are grown but hope for an encore performance next year.

“When they’ve left we’ll have the pool acid washed and have it all good and clean for them next year,” Jerry Cox said.

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