A concerned homeowner contacted the Wisconsin Humane Society on a cold weekend morning with an unusual situation.
There was duck in her window well. A closer inspection revealed that this was no ordinary Mallard, but a duck she had never seen before and he was obviously hurt. Unable to rescue him herself, she called the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for help.
When a volunteer rescuer arrived on the scene, she found Don, a Lesser Scaup, in rough shape. Scaup are “diving ducks.” Unlike “dabbling ducks” like Mallards that tip-up to feed at the water’s surface, they dive – sometimes quite deeply – to forage for aquatic plants and invertebrates. In Wisconsin, we have both Lesser and Greater Scaup, which differ basically in size. Like all diving ducks, Scaup have their legs situated quite far back on their bodies, so they are not very nimble on land. Because of Don’s injuries, he was particularly susceptible to harm on dry land.
Don was very thin, had a bad fracture on the top of his bill and could not open his right eye. The rescuer carefully scooped Don up with a towel, gently placed him in a box and drove him to the Wisconsin Humane Society.
After a week in the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Don is doing much better. Both of his eyes look great, his fracture is healing nicely and he is able to eat solid food again. Thanks to the Wisconsin Humane Society, Don will be back on the water in no time!