• Share to Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Email
    • Print

June 15, 2012

Make Way for Ducklings—And Dad

Our Cape Wildlife Center makes a great match in time for Father's Day

  • Thanks to a creative collaboration with Wild Care, these orphaned ducklings at our Cape Wildlife Center have a new foster dad—Quakers, a male Indian Runner Duck. The HSUS

  • The Cape Wildlife Center was able to provide excellent care for its tiny patients, but wanted to find an adult duck to nurture the chicks. The HSUS

  • The mallard hatchlings get ready to meet their foster dad! The HSUS

  • The adult duck will give the young ducklings the confidence to spread their wings. The HSUS

  • One these ducklings are old enough to "fly the coop" they will be released. Until that day, Quakers will keep a watchful eye over the young brood. The HSUS

What do you do when you have ducklings without a mother? Use some creative collaboration to find them a foster parent!

When The HSUS’s Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Mass., a program of The Humane Society of the United States in partnership with The Fund for Animals, recently took in 10 orphaned mallard hatchlings, the Center was easily able to provide excellent care for its tiny patients but did not have an adult duck to nurture the chicks. Having a foster parent gives ducklings a “wing up” on their development.

“Ducklings raised without a mother can be taught all the skills they need to be successfully returned to the wild, but orphaned ducks with a foster parent gain important species-specific social and survival skills,” noted Dr. Roberto Aguilar, the Cape Wildlife Center’s veterinarian.

“Although we did not have a duck at the Center who could fill this important role, we were able to collaborate with Wild Care to provide the ducklings with a foster parent.”

Located in nearby Eastham, Mass., Wild Care’s mission, like the Cape Wildlife Center’s, is to treat injured, ill and orphaned native wildlife and release back into the wild all those capable of independent survival. The two organizations often work together to maximize the benefits they can provide to the wildlife they nurture.

At Wild Care, the Cape Wildlife Center ducklings were introduced to their foster parent, Quakers, a male Indian Runner Duck. The ducklings and their new “dad” took to each other like, well, like ducks to water.

Follow stories from the Cape Wildlife Center on Facebook»

More Resources


Gardening with wildlife "dads" in mind»
How to help orphaned or injured wild animals»

  • Sign Up
  • Log in using one of your preferred sites
    Login Failure
  • Take Action
  • Shop