Other Voices: Thanks for making the call to save wildlife
As the busy spring and summer seasons of wildlife rehabilitation comes to a close, I want to thank all those Nevada County folks who called our Wild Life Rehab and Release hotline (432-5522) and who brought us injured and orphaned wildlife.
As a songbird rehabber, I want to especially thank those people who called us immediately upon finding a cat-caught bird. Cat-caught birds usually need antibiotics within hours to survive. Even a tiny puncture wound inflicted by a cat can kill a bird as they have very delicate immune systems. They also try look as normal as possible for as long as possible, instinctively knowing that predators will first choose an injured or sick bird.
It is so rewarding to treat a bird and have it live to fly wild again. So many times we have the heart-breaking experience of getting a cat-caught bird (or any injured or orphaned bird for that matter) a day or two later only to have it die in our hands. It is particularly sad knowing the bird could have been saved if the caring people who found it had brought it in right away.
Bird care is very delicate business. It takes hours of education and years of experience to be good at it. Many well-meaning people have no idea what is involved and most birds die in the care of untrained people.
Did you know that baby birds need to be fed (the correct food) every 15 minutes or that a bird can drown if fluid enters a broken bone? Did you know it is illegal to try to rehabilitate a wild animal or bird without a license? A bird can die if it eats or drinks while it is too cold. Birds can die from fright.
If you find an injured or orphaned bird put it in a box with ventilation, place the box in a warm, dark, quiet place and call the hotline immediately.
Thank you to all those people who called us right away! Thank you so much to the answering service and the phone volunteers who connected you to the rehabber on call. May next year be even more successful.
If you are interested in be coming a rehabber and or a phone volunteer please let us know. We always need more help and we want to have someone on call every day of the year. You can find our training schedule at http://www.CaWildlife911.org. It usually comes out at the beginning of the year. You can also call Nina Allen at 478-0508.
Nina Allen lives in Nevada City.
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