The “Duck Pond”, also known as Gorham Spring, is usually thought of as being fed by one large spring outflow but actually consists of upwelling groundwater that emerges at five points beneath the stone wall at the intersection of Spring Trail and Nakoma Road.
The Duck Pond is so-called because of the large flock of mallards and domestically released water flow that overwinter in its year round warm water. However, according to Madison residents who grew up in the neighborhood, the Duck Pond was not always a large water body. Instead, according to these sources, the pond was gradually created by the joint actions of flocks of resident waterfowl and humans.
Madison residents took to feeding the mallards. The resident flocks scrambled up out of the stream to feed on bread crumbs tossed to them by well-meaning Madisonians. Each trip up and down the banks of the narrow spring-fed stream eroded it just a bit until a pond was created. The change was gradual but inexorable; barely noticeable from year-to-year but long-time and native Madison citizens remember the days when the spring flow was a stream meandering its way to Lake Wingra.