Just watched a duck die in front of my eyes today on the farm - it was pretty traumatic.
As I got there today, David and Kathleen (farm owners) had just gotten home from the store and they found Buttercup in the pond - lifeless. They pulled her out and put her body on a rock in the sun while they unloaded their stuff.
When I got there, Kathleen just came outside to mourn her baby, saw me, and said "Buttercup just died."
I looked over at the bird on the rock, and she was breathing and moving her head.
"She's moving," I said, and we immediately started getting towels, paper towels and the heat lamp ready so we could dry her off and warm her up - she was soaking, almost dripping, and extremely cold.
Kathleen got her stethoscope and listened to Buttercup's heart - there was a faint pulse!
We sat with the duck for almost an hour, watching her breathe and slowly move her head back and forth.
She kept moving her head around, which gave us hope, and she seemed to like it when I rubbed her chest with a paper towel to get her dry and warm.
We just sat there in the sun, trying to think of what else we could do to help her. Then after a little while, she just stopped moving completely, and she was gone.