Park rangers and bird lovers in Central Park are on an urgent mission to find a big duck who can’t eat because of a rubber band around his mouth.
A female Merganser, which is a rarity in Manhattan despite its name, was first seen in mid-February in iconic New York Park.
While birdwatchers were initially overjoyed to catch a glimpse of the duck, panic began to spread as more and more photos appeared on the social media of a rubber band that held its mouth and prevented it from eating.
The Parks department of New York City has now drawn up a rescue plan to find the duck, but there have been no sightings since Tuesday night.
Birders went to social media to share their concern about the duck, who has now caused a desperate hunt to locate him
“The behavior showed that it was not good, that it was starving,” said the birch David Barrett from Manhattan New York Times.
On Monday, park rangers began using kayaks hoping to find the bird, but according to Manhattan Bird Watch they “didn’t find her.”
“They’ll search again later. If you see her, let us know! “they added.
“Sad to find this bird with a plastic ring around her neck and lower beak,” birdwatcher Sandra Critelli posted on Twitter on Sunday and shared some heartbreaking photos of the bird with its beak held open by the band.
“Here’s a better look at issues caused by our actions,” she added.
“Plastic is already a big problem for the planet, if we could only remember that we had to cut plastic rings before throwing them in the trash, this duck wouldn’t have to be saved.”
Several photographers were able to take pictures of the duck, but none of them could get close enough to try a rescue
Speak against Gothamist on Tuesday, Critelli explained, “I saw the duck while I was taking a bird walk in Central Park,” and it “clearly looked into trouble with that plastic ring around its lower mouth and neck.”
“She eventually dies from a small plastic ring,” Critelli said, “and that’s really sad.”
Critelli added that the duck seemed active on the weekend, but would eventually struggle because his mouth is prevented from moving.
Earlier photos were posted on Saturday by Bradley Keane, who commented that he had not seen the bird “dive” once, indicating that he may not have been able to feed.
‘Female common sawdust that has just returned to the island in Lake Central Park. I was able to get a good idea of the rubber band / plastic ring that is caught around his lower jaw and prevents the bird from eating, “Keane wrote.
He explained to the New York Times: “It can’t close his throat, so when it dives, water flows in and prevents it from feeding. It is a wild bird – it does not take bread from strangers’.
The Common Merganser has been spotted on Central Park Lake, but has not been seen diving for food
The concern grows because the duck was first noticed on February 19 and may not have eaten for nearly a week
Birdwatchers such as Bradley Keane warned of the dangers of plastics to animals such as ducks
The bird was first noticed on February 19, when a sighting was reported to bird watching site eBird.org, meaning that the duck may not have been able to feed for nearly a week.
It was last seen on Sunday at 5 p.m. on the island by Bow Bridge on approximately 72nd street.
According to NYC Parks press officer Megan Moriarty, urban rangers will continue the quest to “save the bird, remove the plastic and transport the animal to the Wild Bird Fund so that they can assess overall health.”
“The Urban Park Rangers were unable to locate the bird, but they continue to follow the area,” she added.
Birder Bradley Keane claimed he hadn’t seen the duck diving “once” while rangers release kayaks to facilitate the search on the lake
A Common Merganser may be spotted in Manhattan only once a year during the migration season, but this duck is thought to have landed in Manhattan because of the stress caused by being in the rubber band and unable to feed
Central Park is one of the best bird spots in the country where different birds have become a social media sensation. However, it is rare to see a common saw-jaw at this time of year because they tend to spend colder months in southern states and then fly to northern states or Canada.
An ordinary merganser is spotted perhaps only once a year in Manhattan during the migration season.
As Barrett, who also manages the Manhattan Bird Alert Twitter account, explained to Gothamist: “Brooklyn and Queens have had one to eight Common Mergansers residents all winter … [as they] are more common, usually only in small numbers, in adjacent boroughs. ”
Central Park Rangers have so far been unable to locate the bird after it was last noticed on Sunday around 5 p.m.
The Common Merganser was last seen on Sunday around 5 p.m. on the island by Bow Bridge on approximately 72nd Street
The rangers of Central Park encourage everyone to keep an eye on the duck and to help with the rescue.
Also known as a Merganser, the Common Merganser is a large duck that is common in forest areas in North America and Europe.
The female duck can be recognized by the gray body with a white breast and a rusty cinnamon head. During the flight it will show a large white spot on its upper wings.
It adds that it is hoping for all the flying New Yorkers to keep an eye on our feathered friend. If you see the bird, contact the NYC Parks Urban Park Rangers directly at 212-360-2774 or call 311 after 5 p.m. ”