One of the most scenic and historic areas in Marlborough can be found at the Wayside Stores on Route 20 right before the Sudbury town line.
Here, waddling around the parking lot of the Wayside Country Store and Stephen Anthony’s Restaurant, gaggles of geese and ducks can often be seen searching for a handout or stray crumb left behind from an earlier bread toting visitor. They meander up from the waters and shores of Hager pond, fly over the chain link fence (meant to keep our feathered friends off rt.20), and toddle up to the pavement looking, hoping, for something to eat! They come seemingly by the hundreds!
For the many locals who frequent the Wayside Stores, this is not an unfamiliar sight. Instead, it draws repeat visitors; those with children carrying a loaf bag stuffed with bread crusts, those with 40 pound bags of birdseed balanced on their shoulders and those who just come to watch and take it all in. For those coming to sit and enjoy the ducks in their natural habitat there is a waterside gazebo which offers this opportunity in a beautiful country setting.
For Lenny Kuperstein of Marlborough, feeding the ducks has become a ritual. Twice a week he drives out to Feeds N Needs in Mendon and purchases seventy-five pounds of birdseed.
"The ducks are so well fed during the other seasons, that they are starving in the winter. And, since the pond rarely freezes completely, the ducks do not migrate south but stay right here instead. That is why I come,” said Kuperstein.
As Lenny walks towards the water with a large bucket of birdseed, ducks follow behind and fill the air, eager to get in on the action. Wearing rubber gloves and boots, Lenny scoops the birdseed and throws it to his anxious and impatient audience. When all is said and done, and Lenny returns to his car, the ducks on Hager Pond are happy and full.
Winter offers a fun opportunity to feed the ducks living right here in Marlborough. Grandparents, parents and children alike will enjoy the friendly birds and ducks who are happy to eat right out of your hands. Be cautious, though, as they can be a little aggressive! And, while it seems harmless to offer the ducks bread from home, it is important to keep in mind that ducks need to eat the healthy natural foods in their environment as well. Perhaps a trip to Feeds N Needs to purchase proper, healthy food is the best way to go for the ducks.