A Happy Ending for a Goldeneye

Posted August 30, 2021 by Sasha, Wildlife Technician

At the beginning of June, Wildlife Rescue received possibly the cutest little duckling. Found orphaned on the side of the highway with no parents or siblings in sight, this little one was transported all the way from Whistler to Wildlife Rescue hospital. After a thorough health inspection, it was determined this bird was healthy, just slightly dehydrated from its long journey from Whistler to Burnaby.

In circumstances like these, the best plan of action for healthy ducklings is to return them to their parents or foster them with another family immediately. Wildlife Rescue Support Centre staff and volunteers worked diligently for 7-days straight trying to find a suitable family to foster this little duckling with, even venturing back out to Whistler to look for a family, but there was no hope.

The orphaned duckling remained at Wildlife Rescue, where it was raised by Wildlife Rescue staff and volunteers. To provide a supportive family group environment for this duckling, they were housed with Wood Ducks who make great companions.

Caring for Sea Ducks is complicated and intensive due to their unique biology and natural behaviours. 

Care for Sea Ducks Includes…

  • Continous access to water in specialized enclosures
  • Expert monitoring of feather quality & waterproofing
  • Seafood including krill, fish, and small invertebrates

Watch how quickly this duckling grew up:

June 18th, 2021

July 2nd, 2021

July 23rd, 2021

The Barrow’s Goldeneye (previously thought to be a Common Goldeneye) now looks like a completely different bird! Duckling Goldeneyes have dark heads with fluffy cream-white throats (as seen above). This juvenile duck lost its baby colouring, and developed mostly brown plumage! Immature Goldeneyes still lack the namesake golden-eyes of adults.

Released Back to Nature!

After almost two months in care, our Goldeneye was released back to nature. She took off immediately, spreading her wings out, happy to be back in nature where she belongs. Good luck little one!


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