The Majestic Monthly


Issue 6: June 2005

In This Issue...


Jonah and Joseph


Helping Orphaned Wild Ducklings and Goslings


Get to know your predators: Foxes


Waterfowl Nutrition


Migratory Bird Treaty Act


The Month in Photos!


Recommended Reading:
Bandy the Goose


Reader Poll #6

Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), originally passed in 1918, provides protection for migratory birds. Under the Act, it is unlawful to take, import, export, possess, buy, sell, purchase, or barter any migratory bird. Feathers or other parts, nests, eggs, and products made from migratory birds are also covered by the Act. Take is defined as pursuing, hunting, shooting, poisoning, wounding, killing, capturing, trapping, or collecting.


Individuals or organizations may be fined up to $5,000 and $10,000 respectively, and may face up to six months imprisonment for misdemeanor violations of the Act. Felony violations may result in fines of up to $250,000 for individuals, $500,000 for organizations, and up to two years imprisonment.

Note: It is illegal to keep wild ducks & geese without state and federal wildlife permits. If a wild duck, goose, duckling or gosling is in immediate danger, you may carefully and humanely remove it from peril. You must then arrange for the immediate transfer of the bird to a licensed wildlife rehabber. See the article on orphaned wild ducklings and goslings in this newsletter to help you locate a wildlife rehabber near you.

Some of the information above was obtained from: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

The Month in Photos!

Winston & Mr. Pearl arrive!

Deirdre & Young Jeffrey

"You're so pretty!"

Recommended Reading

Author Marcia Croce Martin contacted us about a wonderful inspiring book she wrote about an injured Canada Goose she named "Bandy."

The book is entitled "Bandy: The True Tale of a Courageous Cape Cod Canada Goose." Described as "The Little Goose that Could," Bandy, a one-footed Canada Goose, beats the odds. A true and inspiring story of a unique relationship between a woman and a wildling.

What readers had to say:

"Bandy is a testament to the power of love, faith, and friendship and is a great read for animal lovers and children alike. This is a delightful, heartwarming story that will leave you pondering your own reactions to the trials and tribulations of life. Three honks for Bandy!" -- KAT ALBRECHT, author of "The Lost Pet Chronicles: Adventures of a K-9 Cop Turned Pet Detective."

"Bandy's story is remarkable. The friendship that develops between an injured Canada goose and the generous woman who rescues him makes for a tale of mutual trust and courage. Marcia Martin has written a highly entertaining book that every animal enthusiast will love." -- BOB TARTE, author of "Enslaved By Ducks."

"Bandy" can be ordered directly from the author through the Bandy the Goose website or through

Reader Poll #6

Question: If you determined that some wild ducklings or goslings you found were orphaned, what would you do? (Be honest!)

Care for them myself.
Contact a wildlife rescue center or licensed rehabber.
Contact Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary for advice.
Leave them be and let nature take its course.

Voting Has Closed.
Please see next issue for results.

Results of Reader Poll #5

Do you believe your birds are safe from predators?

Yes  50%
No 33%
Not sure  17%

Contact Us

Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary
17 Barker Road
Lebanon, CT 06249

Our Newsletter

The Majestic Monthly is published 12 times per year. Back issues can be obtained online from our Newsletter Archives.


Jonah and Joseph Happily Ever After

Friday the 13th may be unlucky for some, but not for our Pekin drakes Joseph and Jonah. Their new mom drove all the way from Kentucky to adopt the two best friends.

Jonah has been in our care since last fall after his rescue from Spaulding Pond. Although several families inquired about him, he watched as each of his pond mates were placed into new homes. Jonah is quite large and a bit shy around people, but once accustomed, he loves a good feather rubbing.

Joseph joined us earlier this year after being dropped off on a pond before a snowstorm. He was severely underweight and someone had cut off his wing feathers. We were able to quickly turn his health around and get this once lame duck on his feet again and walking. Joseph has since become an extremely friendly lap duck who loves tons of attention and snuggles, and as for Joseph’s Dreamcoat, his plumage is gorgeous!

When we put the two boys together to see how they would do, they surprised us by becoming the best of friends. We’ve never seen two drakes get along better—especially during the mating season when drakes tend to squabble.

It was a great day at Majestic when the Huffmans decided to adopt both of the boys. They were each put into their own spacious pet carrier on Saturday for the first leg of their journey. The boys arrived safely home on Sunday whereupon they met Qwaka and Fiona, the Huffman’s Pekin hens.

Both drakes are doing wonderfully in their new homes and waddling down flirtation path with their new girls.

Helping Wild Ducklings and Goslings

We receive many inquiries regarding wild waterfowl in need of assistance. During the spring and summer months, many concerned people contact us about abandoned ducklings and goslings. If you encounter orphaned or injured waterfowl, please contact your nearest wildlife rescue center or licensed wildlife rehabber (links to directories of rehabbers are provided below).

At this time, Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary does not have any staff members who hold a state or federal wildlife permit, although acquiring both are in our future goals. This means we cannot rescue and rehabilitate wild waterfowl at this time. In the meantime, we rely on our friendly licensed wildlife rehabbers to handle issues with wild waterfowl.

If a wild duck, goose, duckling or gosling is in immediate danger, you may carefully and humanely capture it and arrange for its immediate transfer to a licensed wildlife rehabber. If the bird is not in immediate danger, but you are concerned about it, contact a wildlife rehabber for advice BEFORE intervening. Don't assume that ducklings or eggs have been abandoned just because you do not see their mother nearby. Avoid the temptation of disturbing a nest until after you've discussed the situation with a licensed rehabber.

I know how darling those little ducklings/goslings are, but you must keep their best interests in mind, and set your own desires aside. Wild ducklings need to be taught to forage for natural foods and they need to learn to exercise their wings and learn to fly. It is vital that wild ducklings do not imprint on humans (that means YOU!). If a wild duckling imprints on a human rather than a duck, they won't fair as well in the wild. They may not act appropriately around other ducks and become outcasts, or they may seek out humans once released, which could prove harmful. Remember, just because you mean well, doesn't mean the next person they encounter will. A licensed rehabber has the training to take care of wild ducklings and ensure that they can be released safely back into the environment.

Do not feed injured or abandoned wild waterfowl until you have received advice from a rehabber (if you can't find one right away, call a vet who is experienced with waterfowl care). Place the duck into a protective container (preferably a pet carrier if you have one on hand). Line it with an expendable dry towel free of any loose strings that might be ingested or cause tangles. Make a small water source available--nothing that can spill and make a big mess. You want your temporary guest to be warm and cozy, but not hot--remember an adult duck's feathers are excellent insulators. Ducklings should be kept warm and draft free. Avoid using newspapers for bedding; they can remove the oil from a duck's feathers. You can use hay or pine shavings, but avoid cedar shavings as they can irritate their skin.

Try not to disturb the duck. Let it rest quietly in a safe and closed off room until you can arrange for it to be delivered to a rehabber. Be extremely cautious that neither children or family pets have access to the duck.

As a preparative measure, begin to take notice of business cards of licensed wildlife rehabbers in your area. Often times they are available at your vet’s office, humane society or pet supply stores. Take their card, or copy their information, so that you will have their contact information on hand in the case of a wildlife emergency. Usually, the card will indicate the types of animals they are licensed to handle, but in an emergency don’t be afraid to call them regarding a type of animal that they do not handle. Rehabbers are famous for having a wonderful network of connections. They may be able to direct you to someone who can help in your particular situation.

Wildlife Rehabber Contacts

Locating A Wildlife Rehabber

Here is a helpful resource with diagrams that you can print up and have on hand in the case of an emergency. Click on this link: Wildlife Rescue Foundation

Then click on: “I found a baby bird, now what!”

Get to Know Your Predators: The Fox

Your best defense is a good offense!

Whenever dealing with wild animals, be it the animal itself, or the remains of its kill, ALWAYS wear protective clothing. DO NOT touch wild animals or prey animals (either living or dead) with your bare skin. Thoroughly clean or discard any clothing or items that have touched the wild animal or prey animal.

A fox tends to weigh between seven and fifteen pounds. Although they are primarily nocturnal, it is not uncommon to see them during dawn and dusk hours.

They are expert and stealthy hunters who tend to remain unseen even when close by. They often live very close to people without ever being discovered, so don’t assume you don’t have any around just because you don’t see them.

Foxes tend to grab their prey and run off with it without leaving a trace. If you have a sudden and unexplained duck disappearance with no remains left behind, a fox is a likely suspect, and it will be back.

Because foxes are shy and prefer to remain unseen, motion sensing lights around your duck house may help deter them. A good guard dog is an excellent deterrent. Often the scent markings of a dog will keep a fox on its toes, but not necessarily away. A hungry fox will watch and wait diligently for an opportunity to seize an unprotected duck. We’ve heard stories of the family dog going in the house, duck owners turning their back for a minute and the fox seizing the moment. You may not see them, but they see you.

Waterfowl Nutritional Requirements

The first question many first time waterfowl owners ask is, "What should I feed them?" Unfortunately, many make the mistake of feeding their ducks and geese chicken feed or worse, feeding medicated chick starter to goslings and ducklings. These feeds are fine for chickens, but waterfowl have unique nutritional needs that chicken feeds cannot supply. Furthermore, medicated chick starters can cause organ damage or even death if ingested in large enough quantities.

Ducklings and goslings need sufficient niacin in order to develop strong, healthy legs. Signs of niacin deficiency are weak legs and difficulty standing or walking. The condition is often reversible if caught early enough and involves switching to a niacin rich waterfowl feed along with niacin supplementation (brewer's yeast flakes are tasty and rich in niacin). If the dietary deficiency is not corrected, permanent leg damage may result.

The best feed on the market for waterfowl is Mazuri brand. You can order direct from them at For additional information on waterfowl nutritional requirements and available feeds, please visit our website.


       Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee in connection with any guidance provided on this website. Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility for loss or damage resulting from its use or for the violation of any federal, state or municipal law or regulation with which such guidance may conflict. Any guidance is general in nature. In addition, the assistance of a qualified professional should be enlisted to address any specific circumstances.

© Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary 2005