The Ducky Topp Twins.....
Over the past few months we have been witnessing this oily type of substance on some of the swans and ducks at Anderson Park, Napier. Members of the public were (and still are) fantastic at reporting these to us.
After observing them for a while, we decided to try the less stressful approach of being hands-off for a short time and place water trays down for them to support their own efforts to clean themselves.
We had discussions with the varying councils and it was decided to release some extra water into the pond to see if whatever was causing this could be flushed out. Unfortunately this did not help and nor did the birds efforts to clean themselves. We then uplifted the worst affected and discovered that this substance was very thick and sticky, preventing some of them from extending their wings and gluing multiple feathers together over their bodies.
Upon further investigation around the pond, we found where a lot of these birds rest at night and directly above them, some trees dripping sap!! This explained the thick and sticky substance!
The birds were taken into care and pictured and on the videos are two ducks that we nicknamed the Topp Twins! We used a solution that we have to gently break up the sap and soften it then full body washes were given. Then they were given the blow dry treatment and have been set up to rest and recover in a pool while their feathers are restored. We are hopeful to return them in the coming days.