Eight residents of North George Street left their temporary home late Thursday afternoon and made their way for the nearby Codorus Creek.
A mother duck guided her seven ducklings from their home under a bush in a garden outside the offices of CGA Law Firm at 135 N. George St., crossed East Gay Avenue, and waddled across the York Dispatch parking lot a little before 5 p.m.
In a block or so, the mallard duck and her brood would be in the Codorus Creek.
Before the family got too far, Frank Countess, an attorney at CGA, walked over to snag a picture on his cellphone.
"They nest here every year," he said as he watched the fuzzy ducklings stumble over grass.
As the mother and her young marched on toward their destination, they moved at the speed of ducklings.
Like family: Countess said CGA has owned the building the past 11 years and each year a mother duck makes her home somewhere in the gardens that surround the building.
Jeremy Mercer, a regional director with Ducks Unlimited, said it's not uncommon for ducks to return year after to the same nesting area.
"They nest where they think it's safe," he said. "Ducks will go back to the same place to nest."
The ducks have become a staple at the building.
Employees look out for them and usually place cones in the parking lot near the nest in an effort to keep motorists from going too fast, Countess said.
It's not unusual to see feathered sentries also keeping an eye on the nest. Male ducks stand guard nearby through out the hatching process, Countess said.
Checking the now abandoned nest, Countess found five eggs that didn't hatch. But seven ducklings that made it is pretty good.
One year only three ducklings hatched, he said.
In the past, ducklings hatched and made their trek to water a little earlier in the year, Countess said.
"This is ridiculously late," he said.