Have you found a DUCKLING?
If the duckling is covered in down (fluff but no feathers) or is a juvenile (has mostly adult feathers but still may have down visible) and there is no visible parent nearby, look around thoroughly in nearby trees and on the ground for a parent. If the parent is present, monitor from a distance to ensure they reunite with the duckling. If there is no parent, call us at 713-468-8972. If you suddenly find ducklings in your yard (usually found in yards with a pool) with or without a parent present, call us at 713-468-8972 before attempting to intervene.
Have you found an INJURED or ILL duck or goose?
If you find a duck or goose of any age that is:
- Caught by a cat or dog
- Visibly injured
- Unable to walk
- Limping or dragging a limb
- Covered in ants or flies
Please contact us at 713-468-8972 as soon as possible to determine further steps. If we are closed, leave a voicemail and follow the Temporary Care Instructions below.
Have you found a duckling in a POOL?
Click the link below to view instructions for how to free ducklings from pools. If this resource does not work or you need further assistance, please call our hotline 713-468-8972.
Temporary Care Instructions for ALL Animals:
- Houston Humane Society Wildlife Center (HHS Wildlife Center) recommends that you wear gloves or use a cloth barrier when handling wildlife.
- Prepare an appropriate-sized cardboard box by poking air holes in the top and placing a soft cloth (T-Shirt, towel, paper towels) in the bottom. DO NOT put the animal into a plastic bag.
- Place the animal into the prepared box and tape the box shut. For injured adults, place the box on its side next to the animal and use a stick, broom, or rolled-up newspaper to gently push the animal into the box.
- Do not give the animal any food or liquids. Feeding an animal an incorrect diet can result in injury or death. In addition, rescued animals can get wet from liquids and become hypothermic and/or spill food on their fur/feathers, potentially causing damage.
- Keep the animal in a warm, dark, quiet place. Darkness makes the animal feel more secure. If the animal is a baby, the box can be placed half on and half off a heating pad set on low. If the animal gets too warm it will move to the other end of the box. Do not place adult animals on a heating pad.
- Leave the animal alone. Human noise, touch, and eye contact are very stressful to wild animals and can result in shock or even death. This is especially important in the case of injured or adult animals.
- If an animal has been caught by a cat or dog, please call HHS Wildlife Center immediately at 713-468-8972. Even if wounds are not visible, the animal needs medical intervention as soon as possible.
- Keep children and pets away. BE CAREFUL! An animal that is hurt or frightened may bite.
- Call HHS Wildlife Center at 713-468-8972 as soon as possible!
General Information about Ducks in the Houston Area
The most common duck species admitted to the HHS Wildlife Center are black-bellied whistling-ducklings (Dendrocygna autumnalis), and muscovy ducks (Cairina moschata). Ducklings are most commonly found from March to August but can be found as late in the year as October. Mother ducks will not start incubation until all her eggs have been laid, if you find a nest of eggs, there is a chance the mother has not abandoned them and is instead just waiting to finish laying the rest of the eggs. Most ducks lay 8-13 eggs per a clutch.
The HHS Wildlife Center has an ambassador duck named Woody who is a wood duck (Aix sponsa). The care of ducks is strongly monitored by TPWD due to the regulations associated with all game animals.