Handling Wildlife – Swans & Geese
April 19th, 2015
REMEMBER you are responsible for your own safety and that of others. Even in following these guidelines you are at risk of harm and should enlist the help of a trained professional. Knoxwood will not be held responsible for any injures to yourself, others or property.
Please remember – you must never handle any wild bird or animal unless you are certain it needs help, and your sole intention is to provide that help.
If you can get close enough to a wild bird to handle it, then it usually needs some kind of assistance.
As always try to get professional help from an experienced rescue centre!
Swans and geese can only be caught while on dry land, do not attempt to rescue them from the water, even from a boat or canoe as there is real risk of drowning if you are struck by one of these birds in the water.
Rescuing waterfowl is either straight forward and quick or it can take days to capture the bird, as birds with most injuries can still fly away, and those with wing injuries can stilll swim!
Stunned or collapsed birds just require wrapping in a large towel or blanket – the aim is to keep their wings in. Just leave their head and neck sticking out and wrap the rest of the bird up. Do not wrap the bird too tightly around the body or base of the neck as you can stop them breathing!
If the bird is active it should be tempted out of the water with food. The most important thing is to get between the bird and the water, the more people you can get in a well spaced line between the bird and the water the better.
You will each need a large piece of cloth such as a towel, which you should hold out in front of you like a bull fighter but do not flap it or distress the bird. Walk up to the bird slowly, towel in front, you can get a couple of other people to help you at this stage with towels and gently encourage the bird into a corner, against a gedge or fence and surround it
Once the bird is cornered, move slowly until you are near enough to drop your towel right over the bird and wrap him up keeping his wings down.
CAUTION! do not attempt a rescue if swans and geese have babies – they will attack you and cause you injury – get professional help!