COURTENAY, B.C. -- Staff and students at Mark R. Isfeld Secondary in Courtenay were shocked and excited to see a mama duck and her ducklings set up a home in the school’s courtyard.

The female mallard and her six babies were discovered Thursday along with a nest inside a cedar bush.

“The amazing thing is, because they take 28 days to incubate she was here for a month without anyone knowing,” says Larry Green, a math and science teacher at the school.

The new classmates have been become a big hit at the school.

“Usually the windows are just packed with students trying to get a glimpse,” adds Green. “It’s just all ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs.’ It’s very, very cute.”

It’s believed the duck chose the courtyard because it’s protected and sheltered from predators.

However, there is no water source in the courtyard and on Monday afternoon a team from the MARS Wildlife Rescue Centre came to the school to relocate the ducks.

“Because they can’t fly, mom can’t get them out of there into a pond,” says Darlene Banerd, a caregiver with the wildlife centre.

Water and food were left out over the weekend for the ducks before they were relocated.

Several attempts at capturing the mother duck were unsuccessful at first.

“It was very chaotic trying to catch them because mom can fly and every time we got near her she would fly straight up,” says Banerd.

The decision was made to gather up all the ducklings into a kennel first and mom would follow them.

“She followed the kennel right into the janitor room in the school,” adds Banerd.

The mama duck and her duckling were finally relocated to a pond nearby the school, which has a good food source and plenty of water.