With the cold temperatures we have been having, many waterfowl are running into trouble.
Many waterfowl are depleting energy reserves in an attempt to find open water; energy they otherwise need to stay warm. Many of the waterfowl arriving at our wildlife rehabilitation facility are underweight, or even emaciated, and many are injured.
Another issue we deal with right now is stranded waterfowl. Several species of water birds such as Loons and Grebes can’t really walk. If you look at them closely you will see that their feet are placed really far back. Those feet are great for swimming and diving, but not for walking.
We are currently getting a lot of calls for these types of birds. They get exhausted and are forced to make an emergency landing. They are subsequently unable to take of in flight from dry land or walk their way to open water. They are also unable to find a viable food source on dry land because many of them are strict piscivores (fish eaters).
So how can you help? You can help stranded water birds by safely containing them in a cardboard box lined with a towel, and contacting an Authorized Wildlife Custodian (licensed wildlife rehabilitator) near you. Make sure to keep the box with the bird in a dark quiet place while making your call. Your local Animal Control/Humane Society/SPCA or a veterinarian might also be able to assist, but ultimately all the birds will end up at a wildlife rehabilitation facility.
All wildlife rehabilitation facilities operate as a non-for-profit. Please consider making a donation towards the care of these birds as resources are being stretched due to yet another cold winter.
Make sure to use caution when you attempt to handle any of these birds, always wear gloves, and remember to remain cognizant of potential traffic around you; so that you can avoid dangerous situations.
It is important to note that under no circumstances should you attempt to feed these birds. It is a delicate job to re-hydrate an emaciated bird, and this is best left to professionals. Solid food could be lethal, and to feed a piscivore anything but fish can also be lethal.
As a side note, bread is never a healthy or useful food source for any type of water bird at any time.
For more information you can visit our website @ www.hobbitstee.com