Windsor photographer helps save geese in foul climate

After the snow, ice and cold winds hit Southwestern Ontario, photographer Donny Moore wanted to go out to get shots of the winter scene.

He and his friends went out to Point Pelee National Park in Leamington, Ont. to capture the view. Dressed in a snowsuit, face mask, goggles, gloves, and spikes on their shoes, they ventured into the park Saturday as the winds whipped at the shoreline.

“It was quite intense. On one side of the tip, you had just pure ice and quite a few birds kind of trying to hunker down behind blocks of ice,” said Moore.

On the east side of the tip, he said there was still quite a bit of open water and there were ducks enjoying themselves, but because of the temperature drop some that were sitting overnight on the ice shelf got stuck.

“There’s a few ducks that we saw, a few geese. We tried to get whatever birds we could get to along the ice edge,” Moore said.

Adding that he only was able to help because they were prepared and dressed properly for it, including those spikes which provide grip on the ice.

“We try to release them from the ice and having the spikes on our boots we were able to for kick off the the ice from around the ducks and then sort of warm them up a little bit and put them back in the water,” said Moore.

After the drop in temperatures ducks sitting on the ice shelf were stuck Saturday. (Gerry Kaiser, ©gkaiserphotography)

After they warmed the couple of ducks, he said they happily joined the rafts of ducks further out on the water. Moore said he wasn’t able to help all the fowl, as some were out further on the ice, which wasn’t safe for him to go to.

“Some that were a bit too far out, close to the water’s edge for us to know whether that would break off. So you know unfortunately as life goes you know you can’t save everyone,” he said.

Moore is hopeful that as the temperatures rose the next day that they were able to get free. After the rescue Moore posted his and his friend Gerry Kaiser’s photos on his social media, which prompted many thanks for saving the ducks.

“They understand that I’m a wildlife and nature lover,” he said. “So you know, it resonates with me. So I’m not going to walk past the bird struggling or any kind of animal struggling if I can help. And the fact that people appreciate that. You know, it’s always heartwarming.”

Point Pelee National Park has closed the tip tower since June 28 due to possible safety issues. The park is open for people to walk to the tip, but will be closed January 5 to 20, 2023 for the deer cull.

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