|Much like our feathered friend, Daphne, water and shore birds who are unable to migrate due to injury - or being domestic! - are going to become more obviously in need as the weather cools and the healthy animals begin to head south.|
Waterfowl poses a number of diffculties that we don't face with other types of animals. The saying goes around WINC, "they don't call them wild goose chases for nothing." Of course each situation is different, but many have the same obstacles to overcome:
- The bird spends most of its time on water where it is difficult or impossible for a human (or any other predator) to catch him.
- The bird can still run even when she does come out of the water making it easier for her to duck, dive and hide in the bushes where she’s safe from predators (us)
- The bird can still fly even though they have a debilitating leg or foot injury. They will often stay in the water which supports their weight, only coming up on land for brief periods.
If you see a goose, duck or other type of water or shore bird that you think needs help please gather the following information before contacting your nearest rehabilitator.
- Where has the animal been seen most often and how near is it to water?
- What behaviors (holding out or dragging one wing, noticeably limping, unable to balance) are you witnessing that could help us pinpoint the injury?
- How close has a person walking (not a vehicle) been able to get to the animal before it responds (ie. tries to run away, dives into the water, or perhaps it can’t move at all)
With many waterfowl species coming into season for licensed hunting please be careful when attempting to assist a bird in need. When in any area where hunting could potentially occur, always be on alert and be sure to wear bright clothing so that any potential hunters in the vicinity can see you too. If you have any questions about an animal you think needs help always contact your local rehabilitator for advice and guidance.