We are waterlogged here at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science. Nope, it's not the heavy rains we've had lately -- it's the plentiful waterfowl patients in our care. As of today, the VINS Wildlife Services staff is caring for 2 orphaned mallard ducklings, 8 orphaned wood ducklings, 1 baby common merganser, an adult mallard and an orphaned Canada gosling!
See a video of this baby merganser.
The tiniest waterfowl patient we currently have is an orphaned common merganser, pictured, who was found along the road in Windsor, VT. The person who found the baby was unable to locate its parents, so the VINS rehabilitation staff is going to raise the baby here on site, releasing him when he's fully feathered and ready to fend for himself.
While he is growing, we will keep our eyes peeled for baby mergansers in the wild who are about the same age. If we find any, we'll try to unite this little guy with a new family. Sometimes mom and dad waterfowl will take orphaned babies in as their own. That's certainly what would be best for the merganser, but if we can't find foster parents, we're happy to raise him ourselves.