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Mailbag: Released mallards call to mind Fred and Wilma

Male and female mallards are released in the Semeniuk Slough in west Newport Beach on Tuesday.
Male and female mallards, who were indirect oil spill victims, take to the water as they are released in the Semeniuk Slough in west Newport Beach on Nov. 2.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

It’s been about two years since I’ve seen the two mallard ducks that used to hang out near my condo unit in Newport Beach waiting for me to throw them pieces of bread. At times they appeared every day for a long while, then they didn’t show themselves for long periods, even more than a year. When they did show up for their handout I would gently knock on my sliding glass door just prior to tossing out the pieces of bread thereby alerting them to their forthcoming breakfast. After a while it got to the point that as soon as they heard the knocking on the glass they would turn towards me no matter where they were on the grass and slowly waddle for the food not unlike Pavlov’s dogs. I have a video of this little procedure.

I don’t know anything in detail regarding ducks, but I’ve a feeling that since the two were the same ducks every time and one of them always allowed the other to eat first, that the one who ate first was probably the female in the duo with her partner being the male and always the gentleman.

Reading the article in Wednesday’s issue of the Pilot I couldn’t help but think that maybe Fred and Wilma (my two former feathered friends) might be among the 100 mallards released to the open after being housed at the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center for a while. If that is the case, then perhaps I may again throw some bread crumbs to that cute pair that once frequented my home. In any case, seeing all those ducks set free was a grand sight with an ending that was simply ducky.

Bill Spitalnick
Newport Beach

Irvine poaches H.B. city manager

Oliver Chi has done a commendable job during tumultuous times as Surf City’s municipal manager. As city manager for Huntington Beach Mr. Chi earns $260,000 annually; managing city matters for Irvine, Mr. Chi will be paid $301,246. Apparently money talks and has encouraged Mr. Chi to walk. Huntington Beach’s loss is Irvine’s gain.

Ben Miles
Huntington Beach

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