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Wild Babies

Ducklings

Safe Handling

Bird feathers are very delicate and the natural oils on humans hands can strip them of their weatherproofing. Avoid handling and wear gloves.

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Precocial species are born with their eyes open, with fluffy down covering their whole bodies, such as goslings and ducklings. They can walk and eat all on their own, but they still require the warmth and protection of their mother.


Ducklings are often separated from the clutch shortly after hatching on their journey to the water. If mom is nearby and hears her baby peeping, she will come looking for it. Ducks are not generally accepting of orphans and are known to chase away or even drown competing clutches. If the mother cannot be determined, follow our Wildlife Capture Guide and contact us for next steps.

What you are witnessing may be perfectly normal behaviour. Look For:

  • Weakness or unconsciousness
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Discharge from the ears, eyes or nose
  • Large patches of missing/damaged feathers, fur or shell
  • Foreign objects stuck to or wrapped around the body
  • A deceased parent or siblings nearby
  • Bleeding
  • Open wounds
  • Fly eggs or maggots
  • Cat attack - even without visible or obvious wounds
  • Broken, injured or missing limbs – hindered movement
  • Non-stop shivering or crying

If you see any of these signs, the animal needs immediate help

As a volunteer powered charitable organization, we do not have the means or resources for pick ups or field rescues. We must rely on finders bringing animals in need of care to our facility.

Please do not bring animals to the centre without first confirming an intake time with a wildlife volunteer.