Perfect timing

Canada Goose ReleaseWith summer upon us, the Centre is now in full swing and caring for over 150 songbirds. That’s in addition to 100 abandoned and orphaned waterfowl, such as ducklings and geese, currently under our care.

Earlier in the season, Le Nichoir received seven nestling Canada Geese, mostly from different clutches. Geese can be difficult to care for because they become habituated to people very easily. And once that happens, the birds cannot be released into the wild.

So in this particular case, staff and volunteers tried to make sure the goslings were disturbed only to be fed and cleaned. Still, there was some concern that, even with the young birds almost completely isolated from people, they would become friendly and approach us. What they really needed was a mother goose.

A short time later, the Centre received a female Canada Goose who had been hit by a car. [Read more…]

How to Help Baby Birds

Robin - Merle d'Amérique Every spring, Le Nichoir sees a spike in the arrival of young altricial birds to the Barn. Yet these baby birds don’t usually need help.

“Most of the fledgling birds, including American crows, that we receive at this time of year are taken from their parents by people with good intentions,” says Susan Wylie, Le Nichoir’s executive director.

People out for a stroll often believe these birds are injured or abandoned. Out of the 775 nestling and fledgling birds that were brought to Le Nichoir in 2012, about 588 were either unintentionally or intentionally taken from their parents, with the remaining birds admitted due to injury. Le Nichoir has been working to bring down that number.

“By providing good information to callers, every year we’ve been able to drastically reduce the number of healthy baby birds being brought in,” says Susan. [Read more…]

A special visitor at Le Nichoir

SoraThis past September, Le Nichoir received a very special guest from Dorval: a frail juvenile Sora who had been running around frantically in a shopping mall parking lot, unable to fly. Upon arrival at the Centre, the Sora was immediately weighed, warmed and rehydrated. We assumed that the bird had been hit by a car based on where it was found. The Sora was struggling to walk and could not put full weight on its right leg. Its wing was also broken, and hanging slightly. The bird was also very thin as a result of not being able to fly around and find enough food on its own. [Read more…]

From house pet to soaring raven

Common ravenIn late summer 2011, Le Nichoir received a juvenile Common Raven that had been found as a fledgling and kept as a house pet for three months. The bird was habituated to humans, so the Centre could not release it until it developed a fear of people.

Although Le Nichoir does not usually transfer birds to foster homes, it was in the best interest of the raven to place it in the care of Jim Doyle, a professional licensed falconer who has worked closely with the Centre in the past. Le Nichoir was confident that Jim had the skills and training to do a successful slow release. In his care, the bird could fly free during this process instead of being in a flight cage at Le Nichoir.

Over the next several months, [Read more…]

Northern Quebec Crossbill Released

Crossbill at Le NichoirOn a clear spring-like day this March, Le Nichoir released a healthy White-winged Crossbill in a large spruce stand, ending a two-month stay for the injured bird originally found 1,200 km north of Montreal, in Waskaganish, Que.

The female Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera) had made the nine-hour journey to Le Nichoir last December in the care of the couple who spotted the juvenile bird and looked after it until they were able to make arrangements to travel to Hudson.

After a full examination, Le Nichoir confirmed that the bird had had a fracture of the coracoid (part of the scapula), sustained from a dog attack. The fracture was calcified, so the bird had complete mobility in its wing and was able to fly extremely well. [Read more…]