Water bird rescues

If you see a bird with a limp, take a step back and assess the situation. If the bird has fishing line or something restrictive round its leg, it needs help. However, if the bird is coping and just walking with a limp, it’s probably best left in its own environment. It may just be a sprain that it will recover from.


Coots are very territorial and fight with their feet – rather like kick boxing – so it’s not unusual to see them nursing injuries. An injured water bird that is sitting on land and is easy to catch clearly isn’t coping so in this instance please pick it up and call LWP for advice.


In the spring and summer, we receive many calls about ducks and ducklings. Window boxes and flower pots, on balconies, prove popular nesting sites - as do quiet courtyards. If you find a duck and ducklings in an inappropriate place, like on a balcony, they are probably safe for a short while so please be patient while we try to find an experienced rescuer. Sometimes, a duck and ducklings are found scattered on a busy road. If there is a suitable body of water very close by, you may be able to walk them there but otherwise call our number for advice and assistance. If you have ducklings without their mother, the most important thing is to keep them warm and dry. Find a box – preferably the size of a shoe box – and line with a towel and ensure that it is ventilated. It is not necessary to offer food or water. Ducklings do not eat much for the first 48 hours after hatching. Most of the ducklings that perish within hours of being collected by a rescuer do so due to people not keeping them warm enough or letting them get wet. Hypothermia kills. Never release ducklings on a pond without their mum. They will either become waterlogged and die or get picked off by predators. Never put ducklings in any water while waiting for a rescuer.