Melinda Costanzo of North Reading, Mass., was sleeping in on a Saturday morning when loud noises downstairs awakened her.
"I heard a loud bang, which sounded like someone was trying to break into the house," Costanzo told a Boston NBC affiliate. "Then all of a sudden I hear scrambling and I knew someone was in the house."
Fearful, particularly because her husband was away, she locked herself in the bedroom—along with three dogs including a golden retriever—and phoned police.
Officers combed the house, but found no signs of home invasion—until a hen wood duck emerged from behind the sofa! The soot-covered bird evidently flew down the chimney and—based on the sooty outline of a duck on the wall—it crashed about until seeking refuge behind the furniture.
Cops joked that Costanzo should've just released her golden retriever. Not a bad point. If your house is invaded by waterfowl, what better to have around than a duck dog? But of course Costanzo had no idea there wasn't a human prowler on the loose.
Police safely released the hen woodie at a nearby pond. Let's hope she chooses a real tree cavity rather than one made of bricks for her next nesting attempt.