Don't get too upset if you hear peeping from your backyard in the springtime. Mallards and other species will often build their nests in your shrubbery to have their family. It is best to discourage them as the nest building begins, for once the eggs are in the nest, they are protected by the federal government through the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. No, the nest cannot be removed or relocated. They pick your yard because there is simply no place left to go. If you have a pool, your yard becomes even more desirable.
Babies in Swimming Pool
Very small waterfowl babies cannot remain in pools for very long. They will get chilled and drown. You can affix a ramp made of plywood or other wide flat board so the babies can get out. The family will leave when the babies get bigger (a few days). If you cannot stand the thought of the family in your pool and yard, try using scare tactics to frighten the family away or use different fencing around pool. Note: It is illegal to relocate wildlife without a license.
Babies Crossing Road
Do not put yourself at risk. If it is safe to stop and exit your car, wave to oncoming cars to alert them of your presence and then run the family off the road. If the road is busy, ask for police assistance.
Orphaned Baby Ducks or Geese
If the babies look healthy, attempt to reunite:
a. Place babies in a cardboard box with a towel in the bottom.
b. Try to locate the family by driving to nearby water sources -or-
c. Leave box in area. Sit in car nearby. The peeping may attract the parents.
d. If unsuccessful, contact us.
Geese, swans and ducks do not have an effective bite. They mostly use their wings to defend themselves. Be careful, because a slap in the face by a swan can cause a significant injury. Contact us if you are not comfortable with this rescue.
Use a large towel or blanket. Prepare a large cardboard box with a towel on the bottom and adequate ventilation. If the bird is near the water, try to get between the bird and the water. If 2 people are available, one can tempt the bird with bread, thereby distracting it. With firm purposeful strides, cover the back and wings with the towel or blanket, hold tight and quickly grasp the neck and hold it away from you. Life the bird into the box and tuck in the flaps.
Swans Sitting in a Backyard or on a Roadway
Swans need a long runway-type situation to take off. Many times, they land in someone's backyard or on the side of the road and can't become airborne. If the swan is in a contained backyard, use the above rescue tactics listed in Injured Adults above. If the swan is on the side of the road, you can wait till after dark and check again. Sometimes when activity dies down, the swan figures it out and runs parallel to the road to take off. If the swan is in the middle of the road, use a jacket or cloth and shoe it off the road. Make sure it is absolutely safe to do this!!