For the past few years, a landscaped pond next to the center has been the nesting spot of choice for a pair of mallards. They’re back again this year for what will hopefully be another successful hatch and duckling-raising. This spot provides excellent protection and camouflage, with hundreds of Apex Center visitors passing by each day without noticing the female on her nest.
Apex Center administrative staff, whose windows look out on the pond, are fortunate to have a front-row seat to the activity. During the incubation and hatching time, they keep an eye on the activity and do their best to avoid fast movements such as raising and lowering their window shades.
Meanwhile, the Racquetball and Fitness Center is host to a nesting pair of Canada geese. For these two, camouflage is apparently not a priority. The nest, containing six eggs, sits right next to the building’s south wall on top of some landscaping rocks. The RFC staff, particularly “goose whisperer” Julie Hines, enjoy and watch out for the birds. “This is their place,” she said. The pair has returned for a second year, and like last year, they first tried to build their nest in one of the planters in front of the building. When that didn’t work out, they switched to the south wall; the eggs are nestled in a bed of pine needles and feathers. “The female only leaves the next for about 10-15 minutes at a time. It gets pretty hot on that side of the building so I put out a bowl of water for her.” The male serves as guardian and protector, hissing and flapping at passers-by when he’s out on patrol.
Both nesting pairs will lead the youngsters to nearby bodies of water when they get old enough. The entire process takes 4-6 weeks, while the neighboring humans keep an eye on things and enjoy a bit of nature. And here’s a happy ending…10 mallard ducklings were hatching as this story was written!
Post expires on July 5, 2017
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Apex Park and Recreation District (Apex PRD) in Arvada, CO, has a wide range of public parks and recreation facilities that offer such activities as pickleball, tennis, golf, swimming, and much more. Founded in 1956, Apex PRD supports adult fitness and kids health for those in Arvada, Denver, Wheat Ridge, Golden, and beyond. Have questions or comments for Apex Park and Recreation District? Use our Contact Us page.