If you are a very small duckling who chipped your way out of an egg just a few hours ago, George Square in Glasgow is not a good place to be.

Mallard ducklings are cute and fluffy and able to pick up food for themselves. They can run quickly, but even so they are easy prey for a variety of predatory species like gulls, crows and magpies.

They depend on mum for survival, for she must take them from their nest site to the nearest pond or canal.

When the nest site is under bushes in George Square, or on a roof or window box nearby, this journey involves dodging traffic and pedestrians too.

When we heard about the ducklings last night we sent a rescue team straightaway.

People had stayed with the family to keep them safe, but sadly it was impossible to catch mum who was very edgy and flighty.

Although she returned several times to her brood, she couldn’t be netted.

The ducklings are safe at Hessilhead, snuggling under a brooder.

The brooder is the equivalent of mum. After each feeding foray or short swim, the mother duck gathers her family under her feathers, and they enjoy the heat of her body, drying off and warming up.

The ducklings are eating worms and mealworms and within a few days they’ll be gobbling up chick crumbs.

This high protein food produces good ducks with strong feathers. This little family will be ready for release in eight weeks.