This morning, a mallard and her day-old ducklings were found wandering a parking garage in downtown Watsonville. The location is surrounded by heavily traveled roads with no way for the hen to lead her brood to a safe location without significant risk.
Under a special permit issued by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, WildRescue responders were able to relocate the duck family to a safer location, a short distance away.
Check out the video of the rescue, HERE.
Each season, WildRescue receives numerous calls from concerned citizens regarding mother ducks and ducklings. While we will offer instruction on how to safely collect ducks from a swimming pool or herd them from a backyard, most of the time our answer is to leave them alone.
As a rule, we only intervene when the ducks are in imminent danger or pose a significant risk to people, for example, by causing a traffic accident. This is when we use our waterfowl relocation permit.
Mallards, like other wild birds, are strictly protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It is illegal for anyone to pursue, capture, possess, or transport them without a permit to do so.