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Duck and goose wing survey

Please collect ducks goose and woodcock wings this season. Everyone that submits wings will be entered in to a prize drawer to win a pair of 8×42 binoculars.

If you have wings please wrap them securely in plastic bag, then in a cardboard box or padded envelop and post to DWS2019, BASC, Marford Mill, Rossett, Wrexham. LL12 0HL. Please post on Mondays or Tuesdays to avoid the wings sitting 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. This 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 and goose 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 from the first year of collection were presented at the 6th Pan-European Duck Symposium. A poster of our findings can be found below. We are still collating data from our second year, but will be reporting on it in the summer of 2019.

Guide to the sex and age of European ducks

You can find out about 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 to ONCFS


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