The Easton Animal Control Officer was wrong (“Easton firefighters rescue ducklings from storm drain,” Easton.wickedlocal.com). It is legal to keep wood ducks in Massachusetts, as long as you have the proper permit from Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife. There are still members of the Northeastern Avicultural Society, and a number of others, who have valid permits to keep listed game birds, all of which are captive bred.

This kind of poor education of animal control personnel, and the resulting publication of such misinformation, is a continuing threat to the safety and security of all such farms and the breeders and animal keepers who treasure these creatures.

That said, most such permittees would not take in wild ducklings, for fear of introducing disease into their carefully nurtured flocks. The right thing to do for any rescued wildlife is to get them to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, as happened in this case.

Denise Cabral, director, Northeastern Avicultural Society, and president, Massachusetts Cage Bird Association