Even orphaned baby otters turn up at Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society’s facility. MARS has been extremely busy this summer. File photo

Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society monthly update

More than 170 birds and mammals brought to Merville centre in July

The Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society monthly update provided readers with a glimpse of what MARS deals with, the most common causes for birds and mammals having to be brought to MARS, and what happens to them.

The numbers of birds and mammals taken in at MARS Wildlife Rescue Centre in Merville are increasing rapidly during this busiest time of year. These hurt, sick, orphaned and frightened creatures need care – and MARS needs donations to help the society care for all of them.

Here is a snapshot of the month of July – intakes, causes and outcomes.


Small birds: At least 109 intakes – including flickers, two kingfishers, hummingbirds, cedar waxwing, red crossbill, red breasted sapsucker and many other varieties.

Causes: The most common causes of death and injury are car and window strikes and cat or dog attacks. Window strikes can be easily reduced by purchasing special window decals that look invisible to humans, but are easily visible to birds.

Outcomes: DOA, died in care, or euthanized – 70. In care – 29. Released – seven

Large Birds: Total of 21, including seven bald eagles, pileated woodpecker, two great blue herons, two merlins, three mallard ducks, one great horned owl, one ruffled grouse, one muscovy duck, one turkey vulture and two ravens.

Causes: Eagles – lead poisoning from ingesting shotgun pellets, falling from nests, and unknown caused injuries.

Great blue herons – orphaned, unknown trauma.

Merlins (beautiful little falcons) – hit by car, unknown injury. Ducks – unknown injury. Great horned owl – car strike. Ruffled grouse – orphaned. Pileated woodpecker – abandoned. Muscovy duck – hit by car. Turkey vulture – hit by car. Ravens – car strike and abandoned.

Outcomes: Eagles – one euthanized, six in care. Great blue herons – one released, one DOA. Merlins – one released after care, one in care. Mallards – two released after care, one euthanized. Great horned owl – released after care. Ruffled Grouse – in care. Pileated woodpecker – died in care. Muscovy duck – DOA. Turkey vulture – released after care. Ravens – died in care.

Mammals: Total of 43, including 11 Racoons, 13 deer and fawns, two brown bats, one northern long-eared bat, 12 eastern cotton-tailed rabbits, one young American beaver, two harbour seals, one American mink.

Causes: Deer and Fawns – mostly struck by cars. Raccoons – mostly orphaned. Rabbits – mostly unknown injury, cat and dog attacks or abandoned. Beaver – unknown injury, found far from the family dam. Bats – unknown injury and found trapped inside a pool cover for two days. Harbour seals – abandoned and unknown injury. Mink – abandoned.

Outcomes: Deer and fawns – 11 died in care, euthanized and DOA. two admitted to care. Raccoons – six died in care or DOA. Five remain in care. Rabbits – six died in care, euthanized or DOA. Beaver – Released to the family at dam. Bats – one in care, two died in care. Harbour seals – transferred. Mink – in care.


Total birds and mammals brought to MARS so far in 2019 – 676. Total just for July is 167, with 52 in care.


We hope this helps our readers see a little of what we deal with routinely. Unfortunately, most of these birds and mammals come to us injured and sick, so our survival rates reflect this.

Right now, just finding the foods all these birds and animals need is a real challenge. If you want to help – call or look on our website (marswildliferescue.com/) to see some of the things we need. Donations are really needed, and our Visitors Centre is open to show you more of what we do and what we need. We can not thank those of you who have come by and donated enough. Without all of you, it would be impossible to save all of these critters!

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