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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Nov 1, 2012

What to do with an injured Bird

Tuesday morning was cloudy and windy but I went out on bird watch for a little while anyway hoping to catch a straggler or two, but didn't see much more than Chickadees and Blue Jays, which is not surprising at this time of year.  Tuesday night the temperatures began to drop to more seasonal levels and snow began to fall, and by now I was kind of resigned to the fact that, with the exception of possible irruptive bird species, I wasn't likely to see anything new or unusual til spring.

My son handling Mr Mallard very carefully

So I was completely shocked when my son arrived home very late from work on Wednesday evening carrying a Mallard duck.  The poor bird had an injured wing and seemed half frozen, or shocky.  I didn't know what to do.  We discussed how to care for the bird, and I even researched what they eat, but I really wasn't comfortable with the idea.  What if we did all the wrong things and the bird suffered for it?

Covered with a towel

So while my son showered I Googled and  called Wildlife rescue, who transferred me to wildlife rescue for the city of Edmonton.  They gave me explicit instructions on what to do and not to do for this bird.  I thought that I would pass this information along here, as it is very important to remember if you ever encounter a situation such as this.

1. The instructions were to place the injured bird in a box with a towel beneath it for warmth and to cover him with another towel to keep him warm. 

2.  It is also important to keep the bird quiet and calm, so less light and noise is preferable. 

3.  Do not feed or water the bird

4.  It was then explained that a bird's bones begin healing very quickly, and can be completely healed in as little as two weeks.   So it was imperative to get him to a vet right away.  If it is left too long, the bones heal all wrong which would be very bad for the bird.  He could end up being grounded for life, and his chances of survival would be very low.
The kind lady then explained that because Wildlife Rescue is a volunteer operation there was no one to pick up the bird.  However there is an Emergency Veterinary Clinic in the city, which would take care of the birds injuries free of charge.  The bird would then be transferred to a wildlife rehabilitator or sanctuary from there.  All I had to do was get the bird to the Vet. 

Mr Mallard resting
We didn't have an easy time of it getting the Mallard into a plastic tote.  We didn't have a box.  He was very frightened and despite his injured wing, jumped out of my sons arms almost as soon as he got him in the door.  It took some time to calm him down and then my son gently picked him up off the living room rug to transfer him to the tote.  He didn't enjoy being covered with a towel either, we ended up just draping a towel over top of the tote so he could rest.

I'm glad Mr. Mallard's injuries weren't worse.  Because it took us a while to find a ride to the Vet.  My daughter, sweetie that she is, came to the rescue with her hubby, but we had to wait until she was off work.  It turns out the tote was perfect for the ride to the vet.  We drilled breathing holes in the lid and the dark inside kept the bird calm during the ride.  I'm happy to report that Mr. Mallard is now safe and well as can be.



1 comment:

  1. Susan, thanks for the tips on what to do with an injured bird and for being the helpful, compassionate person that you are that gives me hope for humans taking care of nature.