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This group of birds includes the birds we are used to seeing in and around our local lakes, ponds and rivers – ducks, geese and swans.


  • Any that were attacked by another animal.
  • Any that were hit by a car.
  • If there is fishing line wrapped around or trailing from the bird – DO NOT attempt to remove the line from the bird as the bird could have swallowed a fish hook.
  • Any that appear weak and/or unsteady and/or cannot fly.
  • Any lone duckling or gosling (as they follow their parents from birth).



  • Any bird sitting on a nest. Nesting waterfowl, especially Canada geese, are ferociously protective of their eggs and young. If you know the bird is injured, or you see evidence of fishing line, call a wildlife rehabilitator for advice.
  • If you cannot catch it. If the bird is injured, chasing it may exacerbate its injuries or cause the bird to run into traffic. Make a note of its location and report the situation.
  • Any duckling or gosling with parents nearby. Adults are fiercely protective of their young and could attack you. If the baby appears injured, call for advice.



  • Try to contain the wings during capture and transport. Geese are especially strong and can slap with their wings, hitting you with a bony apparatus on their wrist joints (called a club). They also bite hard and scratch with their feet.
  • DO NOT force feed any injured bird. Unskilled hands can force food/water into the lungs and excess handling can cause shock and exacerbate the bird’s injuries.
  • DO NOT feed any baby bird, even if is begging. Unskilled hands can force food/water into the lungs and an improper diet can be fatal.

See How To Transport Wildlife. Keep it warm and quiet.