Keeper of the ducks
What really infuriates him, however, is seeing off-leash dogs chase a group of ducks residing on the park’s centerpiece, Huddleston Pond.
He said the problem escalated the Saturday afternoon of April 5, when a group of boys harassed the ducks. He said one of the ducks was kicked in the head, suffering a severe injury.
Bishop and his wife, Linda, live in the last house on the east end of Yamhill Street. Their place adjoins the park and pond.
He watches after the ducks, feeding them daily. They’ve become domesticated to the point that they are known to swim over to the bank at feeding time.
Bishop said he was home at the time of the April 5 incident, but didn’t see or hear anything. A friend told him what happened.
“A good friend of mine was fishing, and there were four or five kids over by the covered (picnic) area,” he said. “The ducks were in the grass.
“He said one of the kids picked up a pop bottle or a can, threw it and hit one of the ducks. Then he ran down and kicked the duck.”
Bishop said his friend and other fishermen yelled at the boys, who took off running. As far as he knows, they haven’t been back.
City councilors learned of the incident at last Thursday night’s monthly meeting. They were upset, as was the city staff.
The city contracts with the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services, and a deputy who patrols in the city was told of the incident, according to City Recorder Sue Hollis.
Public Works Superintendent Jeff Brown said the park is not equipped with security cameras.
Bishop said the duck sustained an injury to its left eye. He said it appears to have lost sight in that eye as a result.
“I took it home and put it in a pen for three days,” he said. “The eye was all bloodshot.
“The duck seemed to get better so I turned it loose on the pond. It doesn’t eat as much as the other ducks. If I put some food out in my hand on its left side it won’t see anything until it turns its head.”
Youth Services Librarian Denise Willms said she would be willing to take the duck home if it isn’t going to be able to survive at the pond.
Bishop said he knows of at least 10 ducks that live at the pond. They arrived about 10 months ago.
His brother lives in Hillsboro, and knew a woman who was caring for them. She feared a neighbor’s dog might attack them, so was trying to find a new home for them.
He called Bishop, who gave him permission to turn them loose on the pond. They’ve been hanging around ever since.
“I feed them three or four times a day,” Bishop said. “Other people feed them. The kids really like the ducks.”