What you need to know about rescuing
Ducks and Geese
read the full content of this page before contacting us!
People often call us asking for help and advice on what
to do when they discover an abandoned duck or goose, but
many people do not realize how difficult it can be to
catch a goose or duck.
For us to help a duck in distress, you must first help
us. It is important to realize that our funds and
resources are limited, and as a small organization we
need the help of those who befriend the animals they
find in need. When you are done reading the information
below, please complete and submit the form that follows.
We are NOT licensed to handle any wild
waterfowl including Mallard Ducks and Canada Geese (see
photos). If you need assistance with a wild duck or
goose, please contact your local veterinarians or pet
supply stores for the names of certified wildlife
rehabbers in your area. You can also try these online
Wildlife Rehabilitator Contacts by State (A-M)
Wildlife Rehabilitator Contacts by State (N-W)
We need your help!
Ducks are cautious animals that like routine and
familiar surroundings. New people or change makes them
distrustful and they will flee to water quickly. Over
time, ducks or geese can become familiar and trusting of
people that feed them. This means that, if you find an
animal that is friendly and will approach you, we need
your help to catch the animal. If strangers show up, the
duck or goose will rarely approach close enough to
We do not have a motor boat or Jet Ski at this
time--only canoes, which do not work in every situation
or in colder seasons. If a duck or goose you have
discovered needs to be rescued on the water, obtaining
use of water equipment may need to be arranged by you.
In our own local community, we can muster tremendous
support for a rescue. However, in most cases where
others contact us, we know nothing about the area in
question, do not live nearby, and have no ready means to
organize a rescue. As a local of the area, you are much
more capable to contact and engage local organizations
and friends. Boats can sometimes be found by contacting
the town or city the pond is located in. They may have a
park official or fire dept that is willing to help or
allow use of their boat. You may also turn to a local,
private citizen for assistance in this regard.
If you find a duck or goose that has been abandoned on a
public pond or is in distress and would like to help,
please read and understand the Rescue Procedures below
prior to contacting us.
before contacting us!
1. Determine if the duck or goose is a domestic or
wild breed (see photos). In general, wild breeds fly and domestic
breeds do not. Domestic breeds will flap and get
some loft but cannot fly great distances high in the
air. If the bird is wild, there is nothing to be
done unless the bird is injured or in distress. For
wild ducks and geese, you will need to locate a
local wildlife rescuer. If the bird is a domestic
breed, please read on.
2. Confirm that
the duck or goose truly is abandoned. If
there are houses nearby, visit the owners and make
sure the duck or goose is not their pet. If the bird
has an owner, we can not help without the owner's
written permission. They will need to sign
Majestic's Owner Surrender Form, which we will
We cannot remove owned animals without owner's written consent!
3. If the bird is on private property, written
permission from the land owner must be acquired
before we can intervene.
4. Please contact us first to see if space is
available and if we are able to bring the bird into
our sanctuary prior to attempting to rescue a duck
or goose. It does not help to capture a duck or
goose and then have no place to bring the animal. In
fact, it can be harmful, because if you have to let
the animal go, it will be much harder to catch a
second time. Ducks and geese have good memories and
may not trust you again once you catch them.
5. If a duck or goose must be rescued on water,
make every effort to locate a boat and organize a
rescue team before you contact us. If you have
located a boat and are in need of assistance with
the actual rescue, we are available for
consultation, or in some cases, to join in with the
rescue effort. This will need to be arranged with us
prior to the rescue date.
6. If this will be a land waterfowl rescue and you
need assistance, a couple of staff members or
volunteers may be able to show up and help in the
humane capture of the bird. Before you contact us to
ask for assistance, please understand that you must
be present at the site at the time the rescue
7. Prime hours to begin a rescue are late morning,
when the birds are actively foraging and hungry. We
can’t always arrange rescues on weekends. Many
times, volunteers take time off from their jobs to
show up and assist in rescues. We need you to be
willing to do the same. When we advise you of the
date and time our team is available to assist you,
we will need you to be flexible and reliable. It is
imperative that you are at the site to greet our
rescuers when they arrive. Only you know which
animal it is that needs help, and only you have the
trust of the bird.
8. If you are able to capture the rescued bird,
please understand that we will probably need you to
deliver the animal to us. We might be able to meet
you or drive to your location, but with all of the
animals already in our care, we cannot promise that
we can reach you, especially if it is short notice.
9. We will ask that you make a donation when the
duck or goose is brought to the Majestic Waterfowl
Sanctuary. We hate to say we won’t take in any duck
or goose without a donation, but it simply is the
only way we can build more space to help shelter
more ducks and geese. By donating, you are also
helping to feed and shelter the animals in our care.
Please be prepared to make a nominal donation, or
consider sponsoring the duck or goose during the
time it is in our care.
10. Most importantly, if you email us for help with
an abandoned duck or goose, please answer our
response. Nearly 80% of all the people we respond
to who send desperate “HELP URGENTLY NEEDED" emails never reply back to us when we offer our
assistance. We are caring people who worry about
ducks and geese in danger. It is very upsetting to
hear that an animal is in distress; and even more
upsetting to offer help and then not hear back from
the person sending the email. Please don’t leave us
hanging. When you send us a message requesting
urgent assistance and we rush to respond to you,
please respond back, even if it is to say that you
are no longer in need of assistance.
Contact Form (All fields are
A duck or goose who needs rescuing is a bird that is
NOT in your custody. Any waterfowl already in your
care, no matter the circumstance, are considered an
Owner Surrender and
require an entirely different form.