Submitted by Steve on 10:03, 12th Apr, 2024 | 0

During Spring and Summer abandoned ducklings for one reason or another sometimes find themselves separated from their mother and the rest of their brood.

 This may be for a variety of reasons such as: 

  • They have been taken by a predator which has been spooked or bullied for their prize lunch and has then dropped the little duckling who has managed to flee. 
  • They have been washed into a douit or other water hazard and not been able to get out. 
  • The mother and / or father have been killed by a predator or run over by a car. 
  • They have been separated from their mother during the hazardous walk along Guernsey roads to find water.

The most common reason we are called out to rescue our little feathered friends is because they have been separated from their mother on their first trip from the nest to find water. Often they will have a long and potentially hazardous walk following the mother duck to the nearest water, sometimes a mile or two from home, along main roads walking in and out of the traffic!

In most instances the separation is temporary and if left they will be reunited and continue on their journey. If however the mother duck does not return or is spooked then it is best to call for help.

Every year the GSPCA team is called to rescue ducklings from Douits. On those occasions the ducklings had often fallen into the Douits and the strong running water has forced the ducklings against a grating where they can be too tired to get away and if left they are not rescued would eventually drown. Thankfully often the ducklings are rescued and make it to the Shelter.

(Douits can cause a danger to many species including Hedgehogs and if you see any animal caught in one please call our emergency line on 01481 257261)

If you find a duckling that is alone or in trouble:

Keep your distance, keep the babies protected and wait to see if the mother returns – this is usually within half an hour.

If she doesn’t return then you can put them in a safe box and bring them to the GSPCA or call the Shelter on 257261 and we will send somebody out to help.

To donate to help the ducklings and other animals in our care please visit -

What to do if you are concerned about a mother and ducklings:

It is a common sight to see a mother and ducklings around Guernsey at this time of year.

If you do come across a mother duck and her young while driving please slow down and if necessary shepherd them calmly across a danger point, such as a busy road, to a safe spot.  Unfortunately we have already had reports this year where uncaring drivers have purposely ran over ducklings in the road.

Often mother ducks nest away from water and then lead their ducklings to water soon after hatching. This often involves going through built up areas and crossing busy roads to get to the water.

If you do try to help a mother duck and her family across a road please be aware you can easily frighten them. If they do become frightened then the ducklings will scatter around and the mother is likely to fly off. However, it will help the birds if the traffic is directed when they are trying to cross a road and this may also prevent accidents. Slowly and carefully herding the family group to water is probably most effective. However, if they mother and young are separated, the ducklings can be put in an open-topped box and left until the mother returns. When she does the ducklings should then be gently released from the box so that the family are back together as a group. The mother will keep an eye on you and will only return when she believes you are at a safe distance.

Please remember that in most in cases it is best to leave a duck family alone. The mother duck will know where she is going and is best placed to rear her young.

If you are ABSOLUTELY SURE that the ducklings are orphaned or abandoned then please contact our 24 hour emergency line 01481 257261.  In the meantime, however please keep the ducklings contained, warm and dry and NEVER put them on water without their mother.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said “Every year we are asked to help hundreds of ducklings that members of public are concerned about.”

“If ducklings are with their mothers then this is the best place for them to be reared so that the mother duck can teach them the life skills they need but if they become sick, injured or orphaned then we are always here to help at the GSPCA.”

“We do often get calls from people concerned about mums and ducklings and we are always happy to give advice but they are always best left undisturbed wherever possible.”

“We also regularly get calls from people upset about ducks in their pools or on their patios.”

“Ducks are wild animals although we do get called in regards strays from time to time but we have put together some helpful advice but it is important to remember the Animal Welfare Ordinance prohibits interfering with wild animals but if you have specific concerns we are happy to discuss or call the States Vet Department.”

“This year we have already helped 20 ducklings, with 16 currently in our care.”

To see VT’s of some of our ducklings check out

The GSPCA always encourages kindness to animals and supporting those living in the wild but we do get regular calls from members of the public about the appearance of unwanted ducks which can be problematic, especially when they arrive in large numbers. The reasons for the calls can be due to ducks depositing faeces in gardens or pools or things like their large, flat feet trampling tender seedlings. Convincing ducks to leave often involves a multipronged approach, but the solutions are, fortunately, simple and inexpensive.

  • Remove all bird feeders from your garden or ideally place in a location accessible to the ducks or using seed catchers so it isn’t deposited on the ground.  Removing access to birdseed that dropped to the ground under the feeders helps remove the attraction to visit your garden for food. Avoid growing strawberry plants (Fragaria x ananassa) and lettuce plants (Lactuca spp.). Birdseed, strawberries and lettuce attract ducks, so ideal if you do want to attract or feed them.
  • Hang streamers and windsocks from poles or trees throughout your garden. Their movement will scare away ducks. Place a life-size swan statue in your garden, or float an inflatable swan in your swimming pool, if you have one. Swans are natural enemies of ducks.
  • Install a fence or natural hedge around your garden or yard. This method is especially useful if your property sits adjacent to a douit, pond or reservoir which all attract ducks. Low hedges can deter some ducks from entering your yard or garden and won't obstruct your view and will help many other wild animals like hedgehogs, insects and song birds.
  • Keep a cover on your swimming pool if you have a pool. An uncovered pool attracts ducks, which may nest nearby. Unfortunately, ducklings frequently fall into swimming pools and can cause them a real hazard if there is nowhere for them to easily escape if they have high sides.
  • Rake
  • Bucket or bag
  • Streamers
  • Windsocks
  • Poles (optional)
  • Shovel
  • Life-size swan statue or inflatable swan
  • Fence or hedge plants
  • Swimming pool cover

Things You Will Need


  • If a duckling finds its way into your swimming pool, then provide a ramp to help it get out of the water. Don’t pick up or handle the duckling because its mother may fly away and not come back.
  • Reconsider your decision to remove ducks, especially if their number is few. Ducks eat insects, slugs and snails, and so they can help keep your garden naturally free of pests or greatly reduce pest populations if allowed to stay in your garden.

Some Guernsey duck facts

  • Did you now that ducks and ducklings are the second most popular species that the GSPCA rescues with an average 100-200 birds a year.
  • During the Summer months the GSPCA often have 30 to 50 ducks and ducklings in our care.
  • Ducks have large broods of young as sadly they are predated on by other species of animals which rely on them as a food source for themselves and their young.
  • Currently the largest brood of ducklings recorded was 24 in Arundel, Sussex from a Mallard mother earlier last year.
  • A Mallard has an average clutch size of 8–13 eggs, which are incubated for 27–28 days to hatching with 50–60 days to fledgling.
  • Ducklings are precocial and fully capable of swimming as soon as they hatch.

Steve continued “There are many ways you can help support our vital 24/7 work and donate or raise funds for the hundreds of animals in our care.”

“With nearly 100 hedgehogs, 9 seal pups, loggerhead turtle, dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, reptiles and many birds we help over 3000 animals through the doors every year.”

“With so many animals in our care we would love you to join our sponsor scheme to help us each month.”

“Just a couple of pounds each month can make a massive difference in helping the animals in our care and to find out more please go to .”

“To make a donation you can go to .”  

“We are about to go to tender for our BIGGEST BUILD which will include a new Wildlife Hospital to help ducklings and for ways to support this much needed build please visit .”

“We couldn’t do so much without your support and here a few ideas of how you can help us help animals in Guernsey.”


Donate by calling  01481 257261, by post to GSPCA, Rue des Truchots, St Andrews, Guernsey GY6 8UD or online


The GSPCA have the BIGGEST BUILD APPEAL in our 150 year history and to find out more please visit

GSPCA Celebrates 150 years in 2023 and 151 years in 2024

This year the GSPCA celebrate 150 into 151 years and to find out more please check out

Sponsored Event

Why not create your own sponsored event or challenge -

For lots more ideas why not visit our fundraising page

Wish List

Check out our wish list page from the smallest of items to our biggest of projects there are many ways to support us -

To visit our Amazon Wish list to see some of the items we need to help the wildlife please visit -

GSPCA Wildlife Hospital Appeal

To make a direct donation please visit -

To Buy a Brick in the new Wildlife Hospital and download a leaflet please click here -

Larger donors or corporates may want to make a larger donation and become an Exclusive Build Partner and to find out more please visit -

Legacies & Bequests

By leaving a gift to the GSPCA in your Will really helps us to improve the lives of animals into the future.  After providing for those you care for, please consider leaving a proportion of what remains to the GSPCA it is so appreciated and makes a real lasting legacy.

A gift like this to the GSPCA ensures our animals and those in Guernsey will always have someone to keep them safe. To find out more please 

Gift Aid on Donations over £500

To find out about the States of Guernsey tax relief information on gift aid up to 2020 on donations totalling between £500 and £5000 please see the details by going to

2021 gift aid is from £500 and up to £7500 and here are the details -

To download the form to claim for 2020 or before please follow this link

Become a sponsor and GSPCA member

Why become an Angel Pen Pal Sponsor and support our work each month please visit -

To become a Corporate Angel Pen Pal form for your business to sponsor animals in our care each year please click here  

Share our posts and follow us on social media

Many of you will have seen us on social media and your support liking and sharing our posts is really appreciated, and to visit our social media pages please go to





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Below are our usual opening times but these are occasionally adjusted to ensure we provide the best of care for the animals and those needing our 24/7 help, in an emergency please call 01481 257261


Reception & Shop area

Collecting/Dropping Off Boarding Dogs & Cats

Viewing animals for adoption

Emergencies Call 257261 or the Shelter is manned 24/7

GSPCA Charity Shop in Smith Street


9am – 5pm

11am – 4pm

11am – 4pm


8am - 530pm


9am – 5pm

11am – 4pm

11am – 4pm


8am - 530pm


9am – 5pm

11am – 4pm

11am – 4pm


8am - 530pm


9am – 5pm

11am – 4pm

11am – 4pm


8am - 530pm


9am – 5pm

11am – 4pm

11am – 4pm


8am - 530pm


9am – 5pm

11am – 4pm

11am – 4pm


8am - 530pm


11am – 4pm

11am – 4pm

11am – 4pm



Bank Holiday’s

(**Varied times**)

**Possibly 11am – 4pm**

**Possibly 11am – 4pm**

**Possibly 11am – 4pm**


Closed unless advertised


Upcoming Events we are at and need your help -

Tuesday 16th April 2024 630pm Volunteer Induction Evening

Sunday 5th May 2024 - EDABL Seafront Sunday -

GSPCA Animal Welfare Seafront Sunday 19th May 2024

Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th May 2024 Guernsey Together Festival – to be confirmed

Sunday 9th June 2024 – Arts Seafront Sunday

Wednesday 12th June 2024 630pm Volunteer Induction Evening

Sunday 16th June 2024 - Guernsey Classic Vehicle Show at Saumarez Park

Sunday 16th June 2024 - EDABL Seafront Sunday -

Sunday 14th July 2024 – Motor Seafront Sunday -

Tuesday 23rd July 2024 630pm Volunteer Induction Evening

Summer Tours – to be confirmed

Sunday 28th July 2024 - EDABL Seafront Sunday -

Saturday 10th August 2024 – South Show -

Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th August 2024 – West Show -

Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd August 2024 – North Show -

Sunday 25th August 2024 - EDABL Seafront Sunday -

Tuesday 10th September 2024 630pm Volunteer Induction Evening

Wednesday 2nd to Sunday 6th October 2024 - Skipton Swimarathon -

October Half Term Tours – to be confirmed

Tuesday 5th November 2024 630pm Volunteer Induction Evening

Dog First Aid 6.30pm - 8.45pm Tuesday 12th November 2024 - Ref - Dog 12/11

Cat First Aid 6.30pm - 8.45pm Tuesday 19th November 2024 - Ref - Cat 19/11

Christmas Tours – to be confirmed

February 2025 Tours – to be confirmed

Easter 2025 Tours – to be confirmed

Many more events will be added and dates to be confirmed and if you have any events or ideas to please get in touch…………..




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