Bird Conservation Story Number Six

Purple MartinSpecies: Purple martin (progne subis)

Case:The fledgling bird was found fallen from his condo after a large thunderstorm. The bird was cold, very dehydrated and thin. The bird also had some abdominal bleeding. The parents had abandoned the bird.

Treatment: The fledgling was stabilized by providing it with heat and subcutaneous fluids multiple times a day. The bird was also weighed on a daily basis. It was fed a variety of insects and vitamin supplementation every hour. It was also provided with live house and fruit flies.

Outcome: The bird was banded by McGill Bird Observatory and released three weeks later at the location where it had been found – the Purple martin condos at Valois Park in Dorval, Quebec. Luckily, the bird was released just before the martins migrated south.

Did you know?……. Purple martins are the largest members of the swallow family in North America. Purple martins nest mostly in man-made houses that can hold hundreds of birds; they have been doing so for the past 100 years!

Ring-billed Gull Release

On July 12 2011 over 170 Ring-billed Gulls were banded and released into an existing colony at Beauharnois, QC with the help of researchers from UQÀM. The group are studying the behavior of Ring-billed Gulls in urban and suburban settings. The released gulls had come to Le Nichoir as days old nestlings several weeks earlier after having fallen from the roof of an industrial building on Montée-de-Liesse in Ville Saint-Laurent.

The gulls were cared for by Le Nichoir staff and volunteers until they were deemed able to integrate into the existing colony and care for themselves. Many concerned individuals and companies made generous donations that allowed Le Nichoir to take on the challenge of caring for these birds.

Visit the reseach team’s website at goeland.uqam.ca and please report any sitings of these banded gulls to the team via their website. (July 2011)

Photo Album

Bird Conservation Story Number Five

Cedar WaxwingCedar waxwing (fledgling)

Issue: This healthy waxwing was captured by a well meaning person.

Treatment: Le Nichoir first tried to reunite the waxwing with its parents but was not able to find the exact location where the bird was found. The Centre decided to care for this fledgling until it was mature enough and able to fly.

Result: The waxwing stayed at the Centre for 3 weeks. It was placed in one of the outdoor aviaries where it was able to fly and was fed a variety of different naturals foods, similar to those found in the wild.

Did you know? That baby birds that fledge (fledglings) fall or are thrown from the nest even though they cannot fly? They will roam around, on the ground, for up to 3 weeks before they can fly away. During this time, the parents will feed them every couple of hours and protect them from predators. If you find a fledgling bird, the best thing is to leave it be. This is part of their growing process, and part of nature.

First published in the Hudson/Saint-Lazare Gazette and are reprinted here with permission.

Bird Conservation Story Number Four

Chipping Sparrow (adult)Chipping Sparrow (adult)

Issue: This sparrow was brought to the Centre because it flew into a resident of Hudson’s bay window.

Treatment: The bird was not moving and in shock. It was placed in the Bird Protection Quebec’s “Quiet Room” to recuperate where there is minimal noise and no visitors. It was given pain management and within 48 hours, the sparrow was flying normally and ready for release.

Result: A young volunteer released the sparrow back where it was found, near Cameron Street, and it was able to rejoin its small flock.

Did you know? You can prevent wild birds from hitting your windows by hanging ribbons, drawing designs with a yellow highlighter (birds can see ultra-violet light) or by putting silhouettes of birds of prey in your window. You can also spray soapy water on the glass to reduce the reflection.

First published in the Hudson/Saint-Lazare Gazette and are reprinted here with permission.

Bird Conservation Story Number Three

Canada goose (gosling – approx. 2 months old)Canada goose (gosling – approx. 2 months old)

Issue: This gosling’s mother nested beside Highway 40 in Pointe-Claire. Once the gosling hatched, the mother got scared off by traffic and abandoned her young. Someone found him (or her), on the service road, and brought him to Le Nichoir.

Treatment: The gosling was immediately rehydrated, fed and weighed.

Result: With the help of a couple from Hudson, Le Nichoir reintroduced the gosling to a pair of Canada geese and their two goslings (who were about the same age). The adult pair accepted the new gosling. The new family grazed then swam away together.

Did you know? Feeding all birds with bread can be dangerous for them. Bread becomes extremely sticky when wet and it can cause crop (food storage pouch in neck) impaction, which can result in death. Bread is very filling and it stops birds from eating more nutritional and natural foods which provide them with the essential minerals and nutrients they need to grow and be healthy. Instead of bread, consider feeding ducks and geese wild bird seed, dry cat kibble, greens (lettuce, broccoli, etc) and corn.

First published in the Hudson/Saint-Lazare Gazette and are reprinted here with permission.