These are Mallard ducklings who were admitted into New England Wildlife Center’s hospital over the weekend. They were initially found wedged into a storm pipe, abandoned by their mother. The animal control officer who found them took care of them for three days, giving them nutritional support until they were able to make it into NEWC’s care.
Our veterinary team found the ducklings to be in relatively good health. After being examined, the six brothers and sisters were placed into enrichment ward for a relaxing swim. They are already swimming well, and over the coming weeks will continue to learn how to care for themselves. They will receive all support necessary to grow big and strong. There are many important things we will monitor, such as their ability to find food and the proper growth of their feathers. Normal feather growth is essential for proper flight and waterproofing. Its also a very important part of the bird’s thermoregulation, a process by which the bird regulates its own body heat by fluffing it’s feathers, trapping air underneath, which creates a layer of needed insulation. We will observe their progress, and can assist should the feather’s growth stray from normal. For now, they will continue to be cared for by our veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and interns. The prognosis for their return to the wild is good!