Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘mallards’

February 17, 2011

Duck Doing Well After Treatment for a Belly Full of Lead

A male mallard is in recovery this week after the successful removal of BB pellets from his stomach by International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) staff.

The drake arrived in late January at IBRRC’s Southern California center, and was not able to stand or walk. He was very dehydrated, had poor blood values, and was clearly in distress

When he was x-rayed, IBRRC staff discovered approximately 30 BBs in his stomach.

On February 1, staff members anesthetized the mallard and flushed out the pellets, using warm water and gavage tubing. Two days later he was able to stand again, and began recovery in Bird Rescue’s warm water hospital pools.

He is improving each day.

IBRRC has been saving aquatic birds around the world since 1971, and is a world leader in emergency response, rehabilitation, research and education. Its team of specialists has led oiled wildlife rescue efforts in over 200 oil spills in 11 States, two U.S. territories, and 7 different countries. Bird rescue is equally proud of the care it provides to the 5,000 injured, hungry, or orphaned birds that come into its centers each year. It is committed to ensuring that every bird impacted by changes to their environment is given hope to survive and thrive.

April 2, 2010

Penny earns her name: Pennies removed from duck

A domestic mallard brought to IBRRC in January had pennies removed from its gastrointestinal tract.

Jay Holcomb of IBRRC explains how “Penny” the duck was successfully treated by our staff and veterinarian at our bird rescue center in Northern California.

She was released last week.

June 7, 2009

Two ducks recovering after "plastic surgery"

This spring, IBRRC’s San Pedro facility took into care two female mallards with head injuries sustained during breeding. Mallards are known for their aggressive mating practices, during which females can become injured or even drown.

Both mallards had extensive trauma to the scalp, with few to no remaining feathers. The skin had become jerky-like and attached to the skull. This tightened area suffered reduced blood flow, which created a risk of infection. In addition, the bird’s vision was occluded due to tension pulling the lower eyelids upward. Without full vision, a mallard is seriously disadvantaged in the wild.

In a procedure akin to “plastic surgery for ducks,” Dr. Heather Nevill and IBRRC staff gave the girls a new lease on life. Called a “sliding advancement flap,” a portion of skin on the head is surgically loosened and pulled forward, allowing blood supply to return and the bird to regain normal use of its eyelids.

The birds are currently recovering at IBRRC and at the end of their rehabilitation will be released to the wild.

Heather Nevill, DVM, is a clinical veternarian and research coordinator for International Bird Rescue Research Center.