Monday, June 23, 2008

Rescuing Robin

Last week, Fischer and I were out playing in the yard early in the morning, when we noticed a slew of birds in the garden... eating. I am convinced that they ate many of our seeds before they had a chance to sprout, and now they are eating our strawberries that are starting to turn red. I yelled at them, but they didn't budge, the dogs barked at them... didn't phase them. They have come to realize that the chain link fence around the garden protects them from being bothered while feasting at our salad bar. So... (now look away if you don't want to find out what kind of cruel, thoughtless and horrible thing I did next)... I opened the gate and sent Kaia in to chase them away. They were suppose to startle and fly away.

One baby robin was not so quick and instead hurled herself through the chain link fence and across the yard. But, Kaia is quick for a 92 pound slug... she chased the little bird all around until she finally heard me screaming "STOP!!!!!!" Kaia backed away and the bird didn't move. Oh no! I went to look at it and its wing was splayed funny and it was frozen there staring at me. Oh crap! Kaia broke it! So I put Kaia and Sophie in the house and Fisch and I went to get a box and call the vet. The vet is licenced to deal with it. They told me to call the aviary. We grab a box, paused for a moment to decide whether to grab the camera (as any good blogger would) and ran back out. It was gone! Fisch and I searched the yard... nothing. I brought the dogs back out to search... nothing.

One week later (today), Andy spotted the poor baby in the weeds by the basketball court (not far from the last place I saw it). I grabbed the box and some gloves and scooped it up (very easily) and brought it into the house. Called the Aviary, they told me to call a nature center over an hour away. The nature center has a wild bird rehab and asked me to bring it in as soon as possible.
Fisch and I jumped in the car with the scared little robin and 2 hours later (traffic and construction) found ourselves at the giant nature center. The rehab part was so small. I mean, closet sized. It was a tiny narrow room with three workers and oodles and oodles of cages covered partly with towels. (It was surprisingly quiet in there). They opened the box and checked out the babe, to find that she had puncture wounds (bite marks) in her chest muscle, which is why she couldn't fly. The wound was already infected. They gave her antibiotics while I stood there and spend some time cleaning her up. They said she'd rest there and heal, and then they'd set her free. She was almost old enough to be on her own.

Happy ending? Sort of. Although the little bird will probably be just fine I couldn't help but worry about the rehab place itself. It runs solely on private donations. There were hundreds of birds in there being treated. The staff works tirelessly to give them the care that they need. The rehabilitation specialist had gone home the night before at 2am and was expecting to do the same today. This is the ONLY wild bird rehab in the North half of the state and possibly in the entire state. I had found an exotic pet hospital that would have taken the bird, but I would have had to pay for it. $40 for the exam, $60 for the x-ray, let alone the treatments to follow.
After we walked out the door of the rehab, a woman followed by a herd of kids walked in each carrying a very tiny sick duckling. A few minutes later, we passed a man heading that way carrying another robin in a box.
The rehab accepts monetary donations (of course) but also had a long list of donate-able supplies. I'll be getting the word out to put a package together for them. If you live by me, expect an email. If you don't, check into your local shelters and wild rehabilitation centers and see what they need. Seriously the list had paper towels, cotton balls, tweezers, towels, sheets, etc. I'm sure we all have something at home to help. I was just kicking myself for giving our kennel carriers to the thrift store recently. They can always use more cages to give the birds a place to get well.

This is one of those times when, no-you can't fix the problem, but every little bit helps.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Was it the good old Ogden Nature Center ? I have been on many a field trip there! Let me know what you need for your kit. I would be happy to help out!