Bird rescue story has unhappy ending

Dear editor,

This is a sad story but other stories might be happier.  I saw a distressed webbed footed bird in my yard one evening after work.  My dogs were curious but thankfully not more than that.

I caught her easily next to the fence and put her in a clean cardboard box with a towel.  She was grey and though I have some bird interest and bird books I couldn’t identify her.  I called MARS and they were so helpful, they accepted the wee thing and gave me a number so I could ask about her.

They identified her as a juvenile and yes female hooded merganser, with an eye problem and an infection.  They started treating right away and then sent her to Victoria where there were more resources.  I am quite sure the $50 I left that night contributed little to the care she got, including medicine, transportation, infrastructure and more.

Sad to say she could not survive the eye injury and so they had to let her go.  I am sure her passing was humane and gentle.  MARS is a fantastic resource for all of us, not just the birds and other creatures they help.  They teach children about the fabulous bird species here, give volunteers the opportunity to care for and learn about veterinary science, and give people like me some hope that the birds we rescue might survive.

Today I saw a small card at a local retailer with the Mayday for MARS contact information.  I went to the site only to see that it closes in five days and has raised less than 10 per cent of projected need.

Please people, support this very worthwhile cause.

P. L. Lupton

Courtenay