At 32nd Street: a Duck Who Hangs With the Beach Crowd

first_img__________The most popular boy on the beach at 32nd Street these days is named Reggie, and he’s a hit with all the young girls.A two-month-old mallard named Reggie has been a regular at 32nd Street Beach in Ocean City, NJ, this summer and a hit with all the young beachgoers.Reggie is partial, however, to the 17-year-old who helped save his life, Laura Stanton.Laura Stanton, 17, of Haddonfield and Ocean City, has adopted a pet duck as her own.In fact, the young mallard follows Stanton wherever she goes.The duck goes to the beach with her — sits in a pink plastic tub beside her beach chair. When she goes to the water’s edge, it waddles after her.Stanton even ran the recent Guts and Glory 5-kilometer race in Ocean City pushing Reggie in a stroller.Stanton, a rising senior at Haddonfield High School whose family owns a home on the beach at 32nd Street, said she was visiting St. Mary’s College in southern Maryland on July 2 when she first spotted Reggie by himself in a hotel parking lot.Beach picnic for ReggieStanton sometimes helps her father’s friend work his farm in Elmer, and she said she’s familiar with raising ducks and chickens. She left the day-old duckling alone for his mother to find him. But that never happened.When the duckling later tried to navigate the sliding doors of the hotel, enlisted men staying at the hotel rescued him and brought him inside. Laura and her mother, Chris Stanton, found a Tractor Supply store and came back with a heat lamp and some feed.The soldiers had named the duck Reggie, and he made the trip back to New Jersey with the Stantons.When he’s not at the beach in Ocean City, Reggie now spends his days in a kiddie pool at the Stanton’s Haddonfield home, sometimes going to work with Chris or to the farm or soccer practice with Laura.“He doesn’t like other ducks,” Laura said.When he sees them, he’ll hide behind her, she said. “But I’m trying to get him another duck friend.”The young mallard has not yet grown the distinctive green head feathers of adult males, but he has recently learned to fly.“He flies around and comes back to the kiddie pool,” Stanton said. “Though he’s not very good at landing yet.”On Sunday morning, Reggie took a flight around the beach in Ocean City and returned to the line of chairs where Laura and her family sat. Laura has younger sisters, Annie and Chrissy, and an older sister, Alex. Her dad is Dave Stanton.The Stantons, who also have three dogs, three cats and gerbils, are building an 8-by-12-foot outdoor pen for Reggie. But the duck prefers to waddle around the house, sometimes sleeping (“cuddling”) under the covers with Laura, waking her up with a nibble on the ear.The duck will bite Stanton’s English Mastiff on the nose. When Reggie can’t find Laura, he’ll make a high-pitched noise until she joins him.At the beach, Reggie has a taste for seafood, eating minnows the Stantons feed him or clams that wash up on the beach.Reggie is familiar to much of the regular crowd at 32nd Street Beach.But from those unschooled in the obvious, the Stantons get asked the same question:“Is that a  duck?”__________Sign up for OCNJ Daily’s free newsletter and breaking news alerts“Like” us on Facebooklast_img