Please read the following letter from Chris Soucy, director of The Raptor Trust. mocosocoBirds wholeheartedly supports The Raptor Trust and the great work they do as one of the premier wild bird rehabilitation centers in the United States. It has been a tough couple of winters for wildlife and The Raptor Trust is in need. Consider making a donation by clicking on The Raptor Trust logo and banner above.
Better than that, don’t just consider it. Donate! The birds need it.
From Chris Soucy, Director of The Raptor Trust:
The very harsh winter this year (and last) has really put a strain on wildlife, and consequently on wildlife rehabilitators. Waterfowl have been hard pressed to find food with many bodies of water frozen solid for weeks or months at a time. Predatory birds like raptors have had a difficult time as well. With fields and farmlands covered in snow, small rodents can remain hidden under the snow. Many birds (and other wildlife) have been forced to find food along roadsides where the snow melts first. As a result, more animals have been struck by vehicles. Also, the harsh chemicals and salt used to melt snow and ice on roadways build up in the animals systems when they feed in those areas. In high enough concentrations, the chemicals are toxic and some of the birds we have seen have arrived in advanced stages of renal failure, anemic and with various other maladies.
Here at The Raptor Trust’s infirmary we have already admitted more birds than any other year in our 30+ year history. This is historically our slow time of the year when we catch up on cleaning and maintenance. Instead, our staff is working overtime just to care for the huge numbers of injured and starving birds which have been admitted. Our costs for food (mice and rats for raptors, live fish for some of the waterfowl and eagles, live insects for songbirds, etc.) have gone way up.
Of the hundreds of birds we have admitted already this year, we have seen larger numbers than usual of some of the common residents in the area – many, many Red-Tailed Hawks, Mallards and Canada Geese. Even some of those birds make for interesting stories though. One Red-tail, for instance, came in that was banded over 20 years ago.
Among the more interesting and/or uncommon waterfowl we have cared for:
2 Ruddy Ducks, a Red-throated Loon that was frozen to the ground and had to be chiseled out, a Black Duck, 2 Red-neck Grebes, one Gadwall, and a Lesser Scaup.
We have also admitted some uncommon raptors. More Red-Shouldered Hawks than usual, a Rough-legged Hawk, 2 Merlins, and a Saw-whet Owl.
All in all, we have already admitted close to 300 birds this year in what is normally the slow season. Add in the strain on the maintenance staff to deal with snow removal, frozen water in the bird cages, heaving and shifting ground underneath the cages, and flooding when the snow melts…well, it’s already been a heck of a year. – Chris Soucy