Duck & Duckling Help

HELP I have a mother duck and ducklings

in my swimming pool!

Why are they in my pool?

Mother ducks do not have their babies in ponds or lakes because male ducks (drakes) are very aggressive. They will drown all of the babies in attempts to continue mating with the mother duck. A mother duck must find a safe nesting place to birth and raise her young away from other ducks…YES YOUR POOL!

Can we move them?

NO. First- Duck’s are protected under the migratory bird treaty act. Therefore, it is illegal to tamper with them for any reason; the only exception to this is if they are injured, then they can be safely transported to a licensed wildlife rehabber.Let’s say it was NOT illegal… Well, unless you know of a body of water that is not inhabited by other ducks, where do you plan on taking them?  Many people make the mistake of gathering up the family and releasing them in park ponds and lakes. This is a BIG mistake, as soon as the male ducks spot the family, they will kill them all. Why do you think she chose NOT to nest there?

They cannot get out of my pool.

Right! They can get in but not out. You must build some sort of ramp for the babies to get out. You can use anything from ply wood to an iron board. Be creative!  Ducklings have no feathers, only fuzz…Therefore, they have no drying oils. If they get wet, they must get out and get under their mother who will then shed her oils onto her baby’s skin which will dry them.  Hypothermia is the number one killer of ducklings. If you see a straggler that can not get out of the pool, help him out!

How can I get them out of my yard?

Ducklings can not fly until they are roughly 8 weeks of age. Therefore, mommy duck must go on foot wherever she wants to take her babies. This means crossing the 101, Ventura Blvd, Topanga Canyon, you get my point…. Leave your gates open and do not feed them. They will leave! There generally is not enough food in one yard to satisfy an entire family.

What if I find an orphaned Ducking?

DO NOT let it get wet! Place it in a box with a soft lining. Place the box on a heating pad on a low setting. Call a rehabber!

What if I see ducks crossing busy streets?

The best you can do is help them by deterring traffic around the crossing family. They are not lost! Mom knows where she is going but she needs to go on foot since her babies can not fly!Ducklings have very poor survival odds. As cute as they are, they’re natures little prey species. Everything likes to eat them and they are an easy target. Some of their predators are dogs, cats, cars, crows, ravens, hawks, opossums, raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, weasels and more. A mother can have two clutches of up to 15 babies per year. Only one or two per year might make it to adult hood.

For more information, please contact us at:

send us an e-mail at info@valleywildlifecare.org