The following is a monthly update providing readers with a glimpse of what the Mounttainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) deals with, the most common causes for birds and mammals having to be brought to MARS – and what happens to them.
Here is a snapshot of the month of August – intakes, causes and outcomes.
Small birds: At least 43 intakes – including doves, thrushes, swallows, flycatcher, spotted towhees, hummingbirds, warblers, crow and belted kingfisher.
Causes: Trapped in a rain barrel; stuck in industrial contaminate pond; nine window hits; cat attacks; car hits; entanglement.
Outcomes: One DOA; 28 died in care or euthanized; 10 in care; four released.
Large birds: Total of 17, including six eagles, three Canada geese, storm petrel, raven, gull, mallard and merganser ducks, trumpeter swan, a great horned owl and a western screech owl.
Causes: Eagles – one hit by car, four unknown trauma, one fell from nest. Raven – found with cooler can caught on beak. Gull – entangled in fishing line. Trumpeter swan – found on road, did not migrate with others, feathers not normal. Merganser and mallard ducks – one car hit, one unknown trauma. Great horned owl – window hit. Western screech owl – window hit. Canada geese – one broken leg, two unknown trauma. Storm petrel – unknown trauma.
Outcomes: Eagles – one DOA, two died in care and three remain in care. Canada geese – one in care and two died in care. Raven – died in care. Gull – released. Trumpeter Swan – in care. Western screech owl – released. Storm petrel – in care.
Eleven of these birds, both large and small – came to MARS because of window hits. This can easily be prevented with the purchase of clear vinyl type shapes that can be inexpensively purchased both at the Visitors Centre gift store at MARS, and other pet stores in the Valley. We can not see anything, but the birds see bright colors of these shapes and avoid the windows, which just look like large open holes to them. Considering that some of these birds are rare and threatened (like the western screech owl ), it is an excellent way to prevent injuries to birds.
Mammals and reptiles (24): Four deer, two big brown bats, three little brown bats, a harbour seal, two red squirrels, a Douglas squirrel, one raccoon, nine eastern cottontail rabbits, and one yellow-bellied slider (turtle).
Causes: Deer and fawns – three car hits, one unknown trauma. Big brown bats – one trapped in house, one trapped in a chimney for two to three days. Little brown bats – one unknown trauma, two had broken wings. Harbour seal – abandoned. Red squirrels – unnecessary human intervention. Douglas squirrel – cat attack. Raccoon – predator attack. Eastern cottontail rabbits – mostly cat and dog attacks. Yellow-bellied slider – misplaced pet.
Outcomes: Deer and fawns – three euthanized, one in care. Big brown bats – one released, one died in care. Little brown bats – one DOA, one died in care, one remains in care. Harbour seal – transferred. Red squirrels – both in care. Douglas squirrel – died in care. Raccoon – in care. Eastern cottontail rabbits – five died in care, four remain in care. Yellow-bellied slider – transferred.
Total birds and mammals brought to MARS so far – 761. Total just for August is 85, with 28 in care.
MARS now has a total of 65 various birds and mammals in their care. These creatures all require care, treatments, medicines and food. The group relies heavily on the generosity of Vancouver Island residents, and any donations are greatly needed and gratefully accepted.
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.