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Worried Mother Duck Refuses To Leave Runway Until Her Babies Are Safe

No matter the stripes, there's a certain air of camaraderie among folks who fly. And thankfully, that even extends to little ducklings who haven't yet learned to use their wings.

On Friday, members of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) recently came to the rescue of one such group of aspiring aviators who fell into a narrow drainage shaft along a runway at Base Ohakea.

The 10 baby ducks were discovered during a routine inspection before the day's operations began. Their worried mother lingered close by on the tarmac, threatening to put planned flights on hold.

"A duck is quite a heavy object and can cause some serious damage if hit at speed so something had to be done to encourage her from the runway, and quickly, before the first flight of the day," RNZAF wrote on Facebook.

Since the drain wasn't wide enough to reach inside, the rescuers used sticks to nudge the ducklings some 300 feet along the runaway to an access spot. There, the little birds were hoisted to safety in a bucket.

Sure enough, the rescue mission was a success.

"While mum kept an eye on proceedings, her little ones were extricated and the family was reunited safely away from any danger," RNZAF wrote, making note of the rescuers' exemplary service. "What heroes!"