By Nancy Elliott
RICHMOND—Fourteen new residents appeared at Lakewood May 2, but not through the marketing department. Members of the Mallard family were born here. They are living with their mother in the atrium plant area beside the Rose building. Erin Gresham, program coordinator in the memory and assisted living department at Lakewood, is serving as the resident caretaker of the little family. Erin reports that the mother and father mallards made their home here around the first of April. The male bird left when the mother produced 14 eggs. After 28 days the little ones appeared.
Lakewood residents are enjoying watching the brown speckled baby birds as the mother leads them around the garden area. The mother, who seems to know what her job is, directs the babies to the small plastic swimming pool where they take opportunity to play in the water and test their emerging wings and growing plumage in efforts to get in and out of the shallow water.
The mother finds plant food in the garden and water, which Erin brings. The birds with their white-bordered plumage are social animals, and it is hoped they will stay here at Lakewood until they are able to fly. Father is expected to return after his time spent with other males and join mother bird for their autumn migration.
Nancy Elliott is a resident of Lakewood.