Jane Sproull Thomson
Special to Black Press
In spring the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) Wildllife Hospital is busier than ever, as orphaned and injured youngsters are brought in, adding to the animals already under care.
Baby birds need to be fed every 15 minutes and are extremely demanding of MARS resources. Chatting with one unlucky chick the other day, I learned that she and her siblings had been rescued by a concerned neighbour after their nest was razed by careless hedge clippers - a reminder that nesting season is not the time for such jobs.
Not all nestlings or older chicks need such extreme rescues. If you can find the nest, try putting a nestling back and then watch to see if mom returns. If you find an older chick on the ground, watchful waiting from a distance may reveal a parent returning to feed it as it learns independence.
We don’t want to break up happy families, so before ‘rescuing’ an animal that may not need it please check the MARS advice on our website at marswildliferescue.com Go to Learn – If I Find a Bird or Animal – and read the sections about nestlings, branchers and fledglings, or fawns and seal pups whose parent may be feeding nearby.
Spring is a critical time to keep your cat indoors. In Canada, it’s estimated that cats kill between one and four million birds every year. Bells, fancy collars and other “bird warnings” do not prevent your cat from killing birds and other animals but keeping it inside protects both the pet and the wildlife.
MARS is grateful in this stressful time that your generous donations allow us to continue our work. Please give what you can. Our raffle tickets are now on sale, with great prizes! (You can check out some cute videos and photos while you’re on the website: marswildliferescue.com.)