Feeding Geese and Ducks
The feeding of ducks and geese is not recommended. However, it is fine to feed in special circumstances such as when a mother is brooding or when a bird is injured. Both geese and mallards will eat dry corn, whole or cracked (whole has less waste and is less messy). These products can be obtained at a bird store, pet store, or feed store. Although birds eat bread, it does not provide the nutrition that is needed, particularly during cold weather or when brooding.
Catching an Injured Canadian Goose
In most instances an injured Canadian goose that can still fly should be left alone, particularly if the injury is an old one and the goose is getting by. Just observe the goose for a while and if it seems to be getting along all right, leave it alone.
There are circumstances when catching it is more important. These circumstances include, a fresh injury (particularly one showing infection) or when it is entangled in constricting material, fish line, six-pack ring, etc.
There are many pitfalls surrounding catching a Canadian goose, including attack by the mate and possible injury. Please call licensed rehabilitator in your area to talk through the process and determine what action should be taken.
Non-migrating Wintering Individual Goose
Sometimes a goose with a broken wing or angel wing who is unable to fly will stay behind in the fall when other geese migrate. Winters in this area are not usually severe and the goose should survive; many geese in this area do not migrate. Its greatest problem could be inability to find food sources and attacks by predators if the water freezes over. This is a situation where supplemental handouts of nutritious food may be helpful.
Ducklings Fallen Through Grates
If the mother and some of the babies are still around, they should be detained if possible (put them in a box) so they can be reunited after the rescue.
Anyone can make a makeshift tool quickly that will pull ducklings back up through grates or other areas where they have been trapped. Use two slim poles, broomsticks, golf clubs, PVC pipe, even fishing poles, and attach a hammock of netting between them with duct tape or, (less desirably, masking tape. The netting may be bird netting or even fabric, as long as the holes are small enough that a duckling won’t fall through. This can be gently lowered down and scooped under a duckling, then the duckling brought straight up through the opening in the grate. In a pinch, a scoop net can also be made using a pillow case on a long handle.
Family of Ducks/Geese Trying to Cross a Busy Highway
This situation is dangerous for the waterfowl and motorists alike. Be advised to contact the local law enforcement and have traffic stopped and the family herded across. If it is a local or residential road, several neighbors may be able to accomplish this. Ducks and geese will normally return to the nest for one or two days, so it may be necessary to do this more than once until they settle in at the water.
Nest of Ducks/Geese Hatched and is Trapped Away from Water Source
To relocate the family, several people should move quickly so as to stress the birds as little as possible. If there is water within walking distance but streets must be crossed, stop traffic and herd the family across, fanning out to keep them tightly bunched. Herd the chicks, and the parents will follow.
If necessary, such as when the babies must be taken down in an elevator, or if it is a farther walk, they should quickly put the babies in a cardboard box and carry it, lid open, so that the parents can hear the cheeping. The parents will stay with the chicks as long as they can hear them. They must go slowly so that the parents will follow. Rescuers should wear long sleeves and gloves, as the parents may start getting agitated when the babies are put in a box.
If it is impossible to walk to water and the family must be driven, frequently a mallard mother can be placed in the box with her chicks. If all precautions have been taken and the parents refuse to follow, or there are other complications, call a licensed rehabilitator in your area.