Leanne Bourgoin-Faessler spotted two unusual commuters while returning from Kawkawa Lake in Hope.
Bourgoin-Faessler said she was returning home from a fishing trip when she and her husband spotted two lost ducklings with no mother in sight running down the in-ramp between the barrier and the road near the Agassiz exit along the side of the highway.
“When I spotted them, my husband turned around so I could hop out and grab them before they got hit,” Bourgoin-Faessler recalled of the late May rescue. “There were only two of them and no mother or other babies around, so I brought them home.”
“They were super cute!” she added.
Fortunately for the birds, Bourgoin-Faessler’s neighbour was a conservation officer, so she went to him for help.
“He told me to take them back to where I found them and put them in the nearest body of water because their mom would hear them and come back for them, so I did,” she said.
Bourgoin-Faessler dropped the baby birds off at the Seabird Island boat launch. She went to check on them the next day, and found they were gone; it’s likely their mother found them or another female duck adopted them.
Bourgoin-Faessler said it’s the season where baby birds and animals are everywhere and asks residents to be aware that they are out and about.
According to the Toronto Wildlife Centre, what to do when you find goslings or ducklings depends on a number of factors. While they are able to walk, swim and eat as soon as they hatch, they still need to be with their parents to help them learn how to navigate the world and keep them safe and warm.
If you see what looks like a family group near the babies who are falling behind and the babies appear to be healthy and otherwise active, help them over their obstacle and see if you can get it back with the family. If the family ignores the babies or they’re struggling to keep up, contact the B.C. Conservation Service at 1-877-855-3222.
If you find ducklings or goslings by themselves wit no parents nearby, again, it’s best to contact B.C. Conservation Service or a local wildlife rehabilitator. While waiting for help, put the babies in a cardboard box and have a heat source nearby. Do not give the babies food or water; while they are waterfowl, putting the babies in water could cause them to get hypothermic as they need their parents to help regulate body temperature, and hypothermia could kill them.
For more information about wildlife-related issues, please contact the B.C. Conservation Service.