We have had many releases in the past several weeks. When our hands are busy feeding tiny passerine (songbirds, swallows, etc.) babies, keeping enclosures and water clean for waterfowl babies even as we collect wild duck weed for the ducklings and grow or collect live insects for the passerines, we lose track of the numbers of little individuals we are raising. Yesterday I was amazed to see some totals for this spring. We admitted 85 waterfowl patients, 71 of those were baby ducks, geese and swans! While they are adorable, they are labor intensive to the max.
Many of the chicks admitted, were singletons alone in the world. They may have been the last egg to hatch after the adult took the other youngsters away from the nest. They may have been lost when frightened by an animal or injured crossing by a dog, cat or other animal. Finding a duckling, gosling or cygnet swan is always an emergency as they must be kept warm i.e. Brooder and alone for any length of time, often do not live until morning. These are the little ones that we spend hours with into the night trying to convince them to live. The good news is we have great success with them.
The summer was so busy we didn't share many photos, but we have them now! We released our last group of ducks into the wild, the geese were reared by our adult Canada geese foster parents or those recovering from their own injuries and will migrate with the adults. The cygnets Trumpeters (baby swans) were raised by our foster parent Trumpeter swans, the fosters also took in 2 older cygnets that suffered rehab injuries and lead poisoning. All will be wild come spring.
We have great success with waterfowl babes, however we did loose 6 of the last few admitted to West Nile Virus, when it hit us unexpectedly. So...if you brought us a duckling, gosling or cygnet, it almost certainly lived, is now grown and in the wild with the family it was reared with.
Enjoy photos of our waterfowl babies and their successful releases to the wild.