Ducklings in Pool

Provide a ramp for them to leave the water. Keeping the mother and babies together, leave a gate open so she can leave with them. Do not attempt to pick up the ducklings for relocation – mom will fly away, often abandoning her young. Do not put food out for them if you want them to leave.

Ducklings in Enclosed Backyard

Open a gate so they can leave. If you must pick up the ducklings, put them in an open box and take them to the front yard making sure the mother sees and hears her babies the whole time. Don’t go through the house unless there is no other way to get them to the front of the house. If you do have to go through the house to put them in the front yard, place the box as near to where she is in the back yard, so she will hear them peeping! Don’t attempt to capture the mother.

Ducks in Bad Location, Like Parking Lot or Street

They should be left alone; needing only crossing-guard service, stopping traffic so they can cross the street. The mother had her babies away from water and is attempting to lead them to water. Do not attempt to pick up the ducklings for relocation. Mom will often fly away, abandoning her young.

Duck Family on Freeway

Call California Highway Patrol at 1-800-TELL-CHP (1-800-835-5247), dial 911, or contact the nearest CHP office:

NOTE: Only if there is truly no mother coming to the nest should the babies be brought to a wildlife rehabilitation center. If, when you look at the nest, the babies are hunkered down in the nest and are silent, they are being cared for by their mother and do not need help.