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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19048
Experience:  As a veterinary surgeon, I have spent a lot of time with bird cases and I'm happy to help you.
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I live in a co-op and my neighbor agreed to take a duckling

Customer Question

I live in a co-op and my neighbor agreed to take a duckling that has never been in the wild. It followed her friend home in the middle of Brooklyn NY. She said it just appeared out of no where. The duckling was very young. They brought it to Staten Island NY, where we have a fenced in yard. The duckling did not have any feathers and was not a good forager. She has helped the best she could. He has gotten most of his feathers. His head is turning green, beak is yellowish, and has a blue band across his tail. Do u think it is a mallard? Now is our big problem... The duck sits out side with us will not leave our side and comes when humans call or are around. The Board Of Directors want this duck gone yesterday. Everyone who is involved are very worried. the duck takes his food from the caregivers hand, only swims in a kiddie pool, has not learned to dive for food, no attempt to fly. The have told her they will take the duck and leave it at a local park. This is not sitting well with those who have seen the ducks behavior. The ducks needs a ducks life. It needs to be with other ducks and have a habitat where it gets a correct balance of food, exercise. Are there places that care for ducks when humans have gotten in the way of their normal development? I don't really think throwing him in the middle of a life he does not know is the right way to go. It's like taking my little boy out to the middle of a lake and telling ok now swim home! He will learn to swim at the edge of the lake were it is safe, and learn the proper way. Is there anywhere they teach this poor duck to be a duck....not a little boy? I would be greatful for any help or direction to go.
Thank You in advance. Mary
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.

First, this does sound like you have a male mallard.

Second, I agree that this lad needs to live a duck's life (even if he cannot be released back into the wild). And I have to say that to do so, he'd be best with a rehabilitation center that has other ducks. This would be our best middle ground as opposed to remaining a pet or being tossed out at a local pond with other wild ducks. It would allow him to have access to others of his species (in a controlled manner and without having to rush to be able to survive). And this is critical for Jerry since there is no easy way for you to teach him those natural traits he never learned. He needs to see other ducks foraging and swimming (and the benefit of each) to figure out and catch up with his natural developement. So, that would be the best option for his long term life. In regards ***** ***** your local rehabilitation center, you can check:

Wildlife International:

Wildlife Sanctuaries:

Wildlife Rehabbers:

NYC Audubon:

City Birder:

Please take care & best wishes for Jerry,

Dr. B.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Jerry. How is everything going?
Dr. B.

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