Duckling season is usually around the September month. It's at this time of the year we often receive phone calls from concerned wildlife lovers about straying or orphaned clutches of ducklings. Here's some tips on what to do if you have rescued or are concerned about ducks and ducklings in your neighbourhood.
If you have observed a clutch of ducklings without their mother and they have been abandoned for a period of time, please contact us and we can put you in touch with a local wildlife carer that maybe able to assist in their rescue. Or alternatively you can attempt to remove them from the inappropriate situation.
If you have found a duck and ducklings in an inappropriate situation such as in the pool or in a hazardous area such as a busy road, attempt to shepherd the mother and ducklings safely to the nearest water source.
If the nearest natural water source is far away or not possible, it is best to catch the mother first as it is more likely the ducklings will stay with her. We also suggest attempting the relocation in the morning so the family have the day to settle into their new location.
Prior to any relocation, count the number of ducklings, so you know exactly how many you need to collect. You can use a light coat or towel to throw over the mother duck to capture her, once caught hold her around the body, carefully pinning her folded wings to her sides. When you have secured the mother duck, carefully collect the ducklings in a box, trying not to chase them as they will scatter quickly and be more difficult to catch. It's best to keep the mother and ducklings in a separate box to prevent escape however keep the boxes close together at all times before release.
Once you have arrived at the release location, let the ducklings go first on an open bank where they can stand, be seen by the mother and get in and out of the water easily. When you release the mother, make sure she has seen the ducklings before letting her go. Place the box she is in carefully on its side so that the opening faces the ducklings. Stand behind the box so that when it is opened she can walk straight out to her family.
In the meantime here are some immediate tips for caring for ducklings whilst you are in the process of contacting a carer.