Plano Middle School Makes Way for Ducklings

Nesting mallards have claimed the school's courtyard this spring

Students and staff at Plano ISD's Wilson Middle School discovered a duck nest in their courtyard after noticing two ducks in the school’s courtyard.

Principal Selenda Sager said staff and students noticed a pair of ducks flying into the school’s courtyard early in spring.

They contacted professionals with the Outdoor Learning Center, who soon informed them they were dealing with more than just two ducks– but rather, an entire brood.

“We not only had the two ducks, we had a nest,” Sager said.

Because the birds are federally protected, the school shut down the courtyard during “nesting” season.

 “It’s an ideal nesting spot, which is why she chose it!” said Tammy Welch, a state-licensed professional with the Outdoor Learning Center.

However, the federal protection hasn’t stopped Wilson science teachers from turning the new duck discovery into a teachable moment.

Teacher Mikel Salsgiver set up a wildlife camera near the nest, capturing hundreds of pictures and incorporating the ducks, which students have named ‘Gloria’, into her daily lesson plans.

“It’s a real world example of exactly what we’re studying,” Salsgiver said.

The students have also had a contest to name the six expected ducklings.

“Everyone’s like, I can’t wait to see these ducks hatch, to see what they’re going to look like,” said Jesse Diller, a seventh-grade student at Wilson Middle School.

Once they hatch, the babies and their mother will be released back into the wild by certified professionals.

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