2021’s New Power Couple

  • February 18, 2021
Ebony (right) and Ivory (left), whose spectacularly voluminous head plumage have me incredibly envious.

Lake Meritt, a tidal lagoon formed 10,000 years ago in what is today Oakland, California, has dramatically increased in popularity since lockdown first started. Fairyland, a children’s theme park, and the historical landmark The Pergola have been greatly appreciated attractions in the Bay Area Community. To add to its popularity, last summer, a new “attraction” sprung up, two ducks who did not resemble any of their fellow waterfowl and seemed to sit on the same rock whenever people passed by. The two ducks gained a lot of attention online due to their unique appearances and inseparable nature, the two lovebirds were often spotted nestled in each other’s plumage. 

However, the ducks were not supposed to be there. Ebony, was a male black Caguya and Ebony was a white female crested duck, both domestic breeds, and were most likely released there by their previous owners. Though not apparent at first, Ebony and Ivory were actually severely malnourished and had both developed an infection known as bumblefoot. Ivory had a gash on her bill and had developed a condition called wet feather, which meant that she could not produce the oil ducks use to waterproof their feathers, and could no longer repel water. 

Thankfully, the son of Dawn Rogers, the treasurer of  Rancho Compasión, an animal sanctuary that takes in rescued farm animals, notified his mother and after originally refusing to take them in due to being at full capacity. Dawn Rogers saw a photo that depicted Ivory “laying down and sleeping in an unnatural position — she looked like she was dead — and the other duck looked to be sitting beside her and protecting her. And I told my daughter, ‘You know what? Let’s go get them,’” Rogers said. It was reportedly the “easiest rescue I think I’ve ever done” which, according to Rogers, took less than ten minutes. 

For rehabilitation, the ducks were first taken to Funky Chicken Rescue whose co-founder, Darcy Smith, was surprised that they had survived and thanked the Oakland people for providing food and scaring away potential predators. The healing process for the ducks was documented by Smith through photos of “date nights” and other candid shots of the two. After a few weeks, they made a full recovery, and Ivory has been able to go into the water and has started laying eggs. The two ducks are quite vocal and happy, with Ebony being extremely overprotective and giving Ivory all the best food, “He just stands there and lets her eat all the yummy stuff, and then he’ll help himself,” Smith explained. After their speedy recovery, the two ducks were then transferred to Rancho Compasión, hopefully for good, where they have been residing in a separate enclosure as they get acclimated to their new lives and live happily ever after. The End. 🙂

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