Teenager Raises Orphaned Eider Ducklings Skip to content

Teenager Raises Orphaned Eider Ducklings

This summer, seventeen year old Baldur Björnsson, of the island Vigur in the West Fjords, continues his family’s decades-old tradition of rescuing and raising orphaned eider ducklings.

“These are ducklings we find in abandoned puffin burrows and out in the island where the biggest nesting colony is. The ground is very tussocked there and ducklings often get separated from their mothers,” foster-father Baldur told Vísir yesterday.

“This is my first year doing this. My cousin did this for a few years, and her brother before her. Before that it was my dad.”

Baldur has taught the ducklings to recognize his call and they now follow him wherever he goes.

Taking care of the little orphans is hard work—they need to be fed three to four times a day as well as taken out and taught the life skills their mother would have schooled them in.

“I take them down to the shore several times a day and let them swim and eat sand hoppers. By taking them out to the skerry I’m training them to find their own food,” Baldur added.

By late August or early September most of the ducklings will have become self-sufficient, at which point they will be released from their enclosure.

“Most of them make it to adulthood. This helps them get there.”

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