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Duck-Wrangling 101


Sometimes in life you just happen to stumble across a great team building opportunity, much like a brood of baby ducklings tumbling into a rain gutter. Wait, what?


Below tells the tale of how an unfortunate misstep of our fluffy, feathered neighbors led to a full-scale, cross-functional rescue mission and bonding experience for our Nor-Cal Team. We had to get a little creative, our core values guiding us along the way: Dependability, hard work, knowledge, trust, and family.


Our Operations Team had just stepped out for an afternoon wake-up walk when we heard a frantic shout:

“Whose car is that?!”

It was our colleague CAD-king-Michael, sprinting toward us from the parking lot. “Whose car is that? We need them to move it.”

The Ops Team slipped into a collective quizzical stare, eyeing the empty lot.

“It’s parked over the rain gutter!”

The stares persisted.

“There’s baby ducks under it!”

Enter our first core value: Dependability. We are ready to answer any call.

Scripting-guy-Caleb was the first to spring to action! He bolted toward the car, got on his knees, and tried to capture the ducklings. Shocked little “peeps” rang out from below.

The rest of us ran over and peered underneath the car, Caleb already scooping out the first baby bird. Documentation-pro-Elizabeth carefully plucked it from his hands. Mama Duck entered the scene, angrily griping at us for handling her youngling. Elizabeth cautiously set the baby on the ground, Mama Duck quickly collecting it under her wing, her indignant quacks sustaining.

An appreciation for hard work guided us through the collection of several more ducklings, a coordinated effort of wrangling Mama and reuniting each little one. Analyst-Angel-Angelina and Admin-Extraordinaire-Angela diligently herded the flock away from the road, as I, Ops-Overlord-Alix, tried (unsuccessfully) to lure them with snacks. Duck-friendly snacks of course!

The remaining ducks, still skeptical of Caleb’s rescue efforts, disappeared deeper into the shadow of the car’s undercarriage. That’s when CAD-king-Michael, who happens to have a veritable farm at home, tapped into his knowledge. He ran toward the other end of the car, the direction the ducks were headed, and got out his phone. Harnessing the power of YouTube, he found just what we needed: a recording of motherly duck calls.

Trust came into play next as Michael hid by the car and lured the ducklings out. He successfully rescued a few more ducks. After some additional MacGuyvering with various materials (cardboard…shovels…) in attempts to form a barrier and guide chute, we captured the last remaining ducks. Reunion complete, Mama ran off with the babies and we called the mission a success. Or so we thought…

The next day, walking by the parking lot, we heard two more distressed peeps. Repeating the methods learned from the extensive trial and error the previous day, Elizabeth was able to quickly rescue the remaining pair of ducklings… but Mama was long gone. With no clue what to do next, we brought the ducklings inside and warmed them with a space heater. The little guys were essentially orphaned, their fate unknown.
That’s when Michael stepped in to save the day! Remember that farm mentioned above? Clearly it was the perfect place to foster some feathery friends. He even decided to hop down to the local feed store and acquire some adoptive brothers and sisters so they wouldn’t be lonely.

And here is our last, and most important core value here at Nor-Cal: family. It’s been a few months now and the ducklings are grown, thriving on the farm. They have a new family and are spoiled regularly at Michael’s unofficial animal sanctuary. And now, it feels like we have a new sub-family here at Nor-Cal: Every time Michael gives us an update on the birds, we are reminded of our unexpected team building and our new brothers and sisters in the chaotic skill of duck-wrangling.

Whether it is saving ducks or serving our customers, the Nor-Cal Control’s family cares! Offering a dedicated team, proven engineering excellence, and unparalleled customer support, we are passionate about our commitment to your project. And that’s a quack…er, fact!
Get in touch with us today.


Ducks in a box

Thank you to our Nor-Cal Controls duck rescue team:
Alix Nakabayashi, Angela Donley, Angelina Spalluzzi, Caleb Hanson, Elizabeth Honeycutt, & Michael Kimes


Alix Nakabayashi

Written by Alix Nakabayashi

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