Hi, my name is Craig Shepherd and in 2002 my partner Julie bought me 6 ducks of different domestic varieties to have on our small farm. Over the following years these ducks managed to breed prodigiously and consequently numbers around the property grew to several hundred.
As the numbers grew I developed an interest in avian care and have completed several courses on avian care and rehabilitation and oil spill bird rescue. (I have since worked at the Oiled Wildlife Centre in Tauranga as part of the Rena Oil Spill wildlife response team so have put my skills into real use).
Even though the numbers became high we started having a few favorites, especially those with quirky natures or unusual habits and stories regarding some of them can be found in the "Duck Tales" area of this web site.
We have now re-homed the majority of the domestic ducks to allow us to concentrate on the rehabilitation and care of incoming birds.
I specialise in the rehabilitation of waterfowl but also take seabirds and some other breeds of birds as required.
The birds mostly come from the SPCA and vet clinics but I also get a few from the Wellington Zoo and Massey University for rehabilitation. The majority that come in are orphaned ducklings and I deal with 300 - 400 birds per year.
Their time in care can range from just a few days to 6 months with the goal being to release them back to the wild as quickly as possible. A small number that are not releasable spend their days in our large outdoor aviary.
I have met some wonderful people and made some great friends through the birds that I care for and am constantly amazed at the effort that people will go to to get their birds to me with one having been sent 300kms.
I am presently Chair of WReNNZ (Wildlife Rehabilitators Network of New Zealand) and have been both vice-chair and Chair of Wellington SPCA and a trustee for Native Bird Rescue (Wellington) Trust.
I am part of the captive breeding programme for Brown Teal which are one of the rarest ducks in New Zealand with approx. only 2500 teal left. So far I have bred eighteen offspring which have now been released back into the wild.
I have set up a charitable trust Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust to manage the financial side of my bird rehabilitation.