At Le Nichoir, we save birds. Even when our resources are stretched thin, and even when our enormously powerful volunteer program is temporarily suspended, we continue.
We are committed to keeping the doors open to care for the more than 2,000 anticipated bird admissions this year. The busy season is now upon us and we’re bracing for a challenge! Many of you have realized this. We are most thankful for the generous donor support received since the pandemic began.
The first sign of spring at the Centre usually comes at this time, with the loud and chirpy chatter of orphaned nestling birds demanding to be fed. But this year we experienced something a little bit special: a surprise mid-April visit from a beautiful Belted Kingfisher that was brought to us by a caring citizen. Showing symptoms of a collision injury, the bird was likely completing a long migration from Mexico or Central America, urgently looking to establish a territory and replenish much-depleted fat reserves.
When found, the Kingfisher was in shock and using its wings to drag itself along the ground. Our staff performed a medical examination and the prognosis was that although the bird had been temporarily stunned, it was in otherwise good health.
Although Kingfishers don’t generally do well in captivity, as a precaution, we administered pain medication and kept it overnight for observation. The next day, it took a test flight in one of our large aviaries, and we then released the bird on the shores of the Ottawa River.
We admit thousands of birds in a typical year, but each bird’s story is important to us. Case histories such as this are constant reminders of the impacts humans have on wild birds, and why Le Nichoir’s conservation work is so important.
A lesser-known aspect of that work is our promotion of certified Bird Friendly® coffee. Did you know that many of the species of birds found in our back yards spend the winter on coffee farms in Central America? As part of World Migratory Bird Day on May 9th, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center launched a campaign to promote the benefit certified Bird Friendly® coffee plays in wild bird conservation. We are proud to promote the initiative here in Canada. If you haven’t tried Le Nichoir’s locally roasted Bird Friendly® coffee, we encourage you to do so. The coffee you drink can change the world! (cafebirdfriendly.org)
The Conservation Centre, normally open to visitors, is presently closed to the public. This saddens us and is in stark contrast to last year when we received close to 7,000 visitors. To partially compensate for our closed doors, we created a virtual visit video that we hope you will enjoy. Click here.
Our organization is built on compassion, and we strongly believe it is our responsibility not only to take care of birds, but also to help take care of people. These are difficult days for all of us. Please stay safe and please consider making a donation to Le Nichoir if you are comfortably able to do so.
In sincere appreciation,
Wendy Dollinger, President
Susan Wylie, Director of Bird Care