Duck and Goose Wing Survey

Please collect duck, goose and woodcock wings this season.

If you have collected any wings over the season, please wrap them securely in a plastic bag, then put them in a cardboard box or padded envelope and post to DWS2019, BASC, Marford Mill, Rossett, Wrexham LL12 0HL. Please post on Mondays or Tuesdays to avoid the wings being held in a sorting office over the weekend.

We are asking shooters to collect duck and goose wings from each bird they shoot to help us demonstrate the sustainability of our sport.

Duck, goose and woodcock wings can provide us with invaluable information on the age and gender ratios of our wild duck populations and, over time, can help us to demonstrate that we take a sustainable portion of the population. The information can also help us to identify where potential issues may be causing problems. For example, declining proportions of young birds in the bag might indicate problems on the breeding grounds.

Every wing submitted will be aged and sexed using characteristics of the feathers. Once we have that data the wing will be destroyed by incineration and will not be used for any further testing. A small proportion may be preserved for demonstration and education purposes at shows and events. We are not conducting any tests including, but not limited to, DNA analysis or chemical analysis on any wings you have sent us. If in the future, we wish to conduct further tests (for example, stable isotope analysis to assess where ducks are migrating from) then we will seek your explicit consent for these tests.

How can you help?

  • Remove one wing from each duck or goose that you shoot, as close to the body as possible using either a knife or secateurs, ensuring you get all the tertial feathers, and ideally the axillaries too (see images).
  • Place each wing in its own zip lock plastic bag and write the date and the county where it was shot on the bag in permanent marker.
  • Seal the bag and place it in the freezer.
  • Then, either:
    – Arrange with your club or joint council to collect your wings and for your representative to bring them along to or arrange collection from one of our regional offices.
    – Email to discuss alternative arrangements.

Results (2018/19 season)

Species Number of wings
Canada Goose 9
Common Snipe 9
Egyptian Goose 1
Gadwall 24
Golden Plover 1
Goldeneye 6
Greylag Goose 41
Mallard 247
Pink-footed Goose 68
Pintail 16
Pochard 2
Shoveler 13
Teal 588
Tufted duck 19
Wigeon 662
Woodcock 342
Total 2048

Guide to the sex and age of European ducks

You can find out about the ageing and sexing ducks in a newly-released guide by the ONCFS available online here.

This book is also available in hard back. Please complete the Duck wing guide order form and return it to ONCFS.

PEDS Poster

Related pages

Severe weather and waterfowl shooting

Severe Weather and Waterfowl Shooting In periods of prolonged severe weather (typically persistent freezing conditions) the relevant government ministers have the power to make protection

Shot sizes

Shot Sizes Traditionally, different pellet sizes in lead shot have been favoured for different types of shooting, such as: Geese – BB/1/3 Grouse – 6/7

Duck and goose wing survey

Duck and Goose Wing Survey Please collect duck, goose and woodcock wings this season. If you have collected any wings over the season, please wrap