A mother duck waits nervously as she looks up at her chicks, standing poised on the ledge of a high wall. She has already taken the leap down on to the hard concrete floor, to show them there is nothing to fear.
The tension is unbearable as the ducklings tentatively edge closer to the edge, not daring to look down.
This was the scene captured on video by a group of Irish students at University College Dublin. For some unknown reason they encountered a mother duck and her nine chicks wandering around the campus. The mother must have been a little concerned to be so far from their natural environment, as she led her chicks along a high narrow wall.
Upon reaching the other side, she realised there was no way down, except to jump. The drop looks approximately three of four feet. Which is no problem for the mother, who hops down onto the concrete below.
She then patiently waits at the bottom, while her baby chicks pluck up the courage to take the leap of faith. There is a long wait, as the chicks can be forgiven for wondering if this is the best way down. One of the onlooking students places a backpack underneath the ducklings, to be used as a landing mat, but to no avail.
However, one brave soul puts his/her life on the line and fearlessly, if not gracefully, topples off the top of the wall down onto the concrete. A heavy landing seems to do him/her no harm, and he’s/she’s up back on two legs in no time, running into the shelter of the mother duck.
After seeing there’s really nothing to it, the rest (approximately eight more) of the ducklings follow suit and within seconds the whole family is safe and sound on ground level. The mother then leads the chicks off into the distance, in search of more familiar surroundings.
Watch the dramatic video below.