Thursday, July 28, 2016

An unexpected visit to the Atlantic Wildlife Institute

This morning I was sitting at my desk looking at my work plans for the day when I happened to notice a movement outside.  I realized that there was a bird flopping around under the bird feeder and it wasn't looking at all well.  I ran outside (no, I didn't take my camera for this part) and went to investigate.  I found a young grackle who was unable to fly but was able to hop away from me, but not very well.  It seemed very unsteady.  Of course, being a soft-hearted bird lover (even though grackles are definitely not one of my favourite birds), I had to attend to its needs.

I caught it with a bit of difficulty (it scurried off into the underbrush at my approach) and brought it inside.  I carefully checked it over for visible injuries and checked for broken legs, wings, or other parts.  I couldn't find any kind of visible injury.  The bird had a tremendously strong beak grip on my finger, so I knew it had a good energy level and that it wasn't lethargic or drowsy.

The adult male grackle has a yellow eye, so I think this one might be female, but I'm not sure.

I decided that the best option for my little friend was to take it to the Atlantic Wildlife Institute, which is not far from my home - just about a 20 minute drive.  I happen to crochet nests for wildlife rescue organizations as a result of the Wildlife Rescue Nests organization, and I had a couple that were ready to go, so I took them with me, putting my little friend into one of the nests for the journey.  I tried him in this nest first, but I felt it was a bit too small.

I tried a larger nest and that seemed right. I also put the nested bird inside a box, for its own safety of course.

The folks at the Institute were very helpful and immediately determined that the bird had concussion. It is likely he collided with my window.  They said it was a juvenile, so not surprising in some ways - they are still learning about windows.  It was either blind or severely visually impaired based on its reactions and behaviours, which is probably a result of the head trauma and will likely be temporary. Whether the bird will ultimately survive or not is dependent on the extent of its concussion.  I shall hope for the best.  I feel good that I did what I could to help it.  I'll be crocheting some more nests to take up to the Institute soon!

While I was there, I was able to see a juvenile peregrine falcon, a porcupine, some juvenile crows and Eastern bluebirds.  The porcupine was definitely my favourite little critter - what a cutie-pie!  I didn't have my camera there, but he climbed the wall of his cage and showed me his big claws.  I wouldn't want to touch him, but he really was cute.  You can see a video of a porcupine eating an apple on the Institute's Facebook page.  I'm not sure if it's the same one or not.  They make very cute noises when they eat.

In other bird news, I'm having continued success with enticing the chickadees to take seeds from my hand.  There are several who will now cooperate with this morning ritual of mine!  I finally managed to coordinate myself sufficiently to hold seeds and take a picture at the same time.  Here are a couple of pictures of this morning's brave little souls.  I just love them!  They are really fast, so it can be difficult to get good pictures.

This is the best picture I was able to take.  I'm quite pleased with it.  You can see this bird already selected a seed and it's about to take off!

Bye-bye birdie!  (that greyish blur in the middle of the picture is the chickadee, and is representative of many of my pictures this morning!)

1 comment:

porkpal said...

Claire, I am so glad your are keeping up your blog again. I find it a refreshing little excursion to brighten up the day! I hope you stay inspired for us.