There’s nothing like watching a duck to make you smile, they are generally such jovial birds. In New Zealand we’re lucky to have a few native ducks and also introduced species. The Blue Duck or “Whio” is nationally vulnerable and a rare sight while the grey duck is critically endangered due to extensive hunting. The Scaup or “Papango” is our smallest duck and a true diving duck.
During spring ARRC is inundated with ducklings that have been orphaned because they have lost their way or their mother has been killed by a car. They are delightful to raise and over a few weeks grow from a small handful of fluff into full sized ducks that are able to fly and swim.
Unfortunately ducks are also attended to by ARRC for injuries like broken wings and legs when they are hit by cars or shot by hunters. They are generally hardy and manage well in captivity while they are recovering from these injuries. Another condition that they may suffer from is botulism. When water is stagnant the botulism toxin may be present in the water and when birds ingest it they become paralysed. Unable to move, they become dehydrated and a slow death ensues. Thankfully, if they are treated early enough they generally make a full recovery.
How you can help our ducks:
· Do not hunt native ducks
· If you see any stagnant water, let the council know
· Any duck that is unable to move should be taken to receive veterinary care immediately
· Ducklings of non-native species like mallards and muscovies that have been orphaned may be hand reared. Baby birds are best reared in the company of other birds so that they do not imprint on humans. ... See MoreSee Less