Ducks & Ducklings

It's spring time! The weather is warming up, days are getting longer, daffodils line our city streets, and best of all - spring lambs and delightful ducklings are in abundance!

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It is at this time of year that we get numerous calls from concerned Canterbury residents about ducks and ducklings that may be injured, sick, stuck in drains, orphaned or crossing roads. SPCA Canterbury are committed to helping with these issues, however we greatly appreciate public support to ensure these animals are taken care of properly. If you come across a duck or ducklings in distress, please follow the advice below:

  • Sick or injured
    Please phone our emergency service, (03) 366 3886 immediately and we will endeavour to respond as soon as possible. Our staff will assess the situation and seek vet treatment if necessary. If you can do so safely, please confine the animal - you can use a cardboard box or cat cage if you have one.
  • In drains
    Most ducklings that enter drains or pipes will generally return to their mothers of their own accord so please make sure to observe the layout of the drain, (e.g. is it open at one end?) prior to phoning us for support. Unfortunately SPCA Canterbury are not allowed to enter CCC drains as it is a serious health and safety issue. Please see their statement below:
    The Christchurch City Council (and SPCA Canterbury), do not have the resources to remove ducklings from the stormwater system, and prefer to leave them to find their own way out. Heavy drain covers and locked grills are positioned to keep unauthorised/untrained people from enterting drains. This is an important health and safety issue for the Council and the public. Should you have any major concerns about the stormwater system, you can phone the Council on (03) 941 8999. Riverbank trimming and aquatic weed harvesting will be undertaken during the duck nesting period. The Council's contractor is required to inspect the banks and water margins for nests prior to commencing work and any nest located will be marked and protected.
    Whilst SPCA Canterbury cannot enter CCC drains, we have an arrangement with the Canterbury District Fire Service who will (if they have services available) meet our team onsite to assist with removing ducklings using their specialised equipment. If you are concerned about the safety of ducklings stuck in drains, please phone us on (03) 3497057 and we will do our best to recover them as quickly as possible.
  • Crossing roads
    Drivers are advised to avoid ducks and ducklings on the road (if possible, and safe to do so). If you can please usher the ducks/ducklings to the road verge and allow them to make their own way back to a nearby park/river bed.
  • Orphaned ducklings
    If you come across orphaned ducklings please phone our Animal Centre for advice, (03) 349 7057. Please make sure to check that the mother is not hidden nearby, before removing them from their environment. If you are prepared to care for the duckling yourself, please click here to download an information sheet.
  • Suburban properties
    Do not feed any ducks or ducklings that come onto your property! Feeding them will only encourage them to return and does not help them learn how to fend for themselves. They will leave when they are ready, so please let them be and enjoy their company from a distance.

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