Conference on the Effects of Oil on Wildlife

This past week I attended the 11th International Effects of Oil on Wildlife conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. This conference was attended by a variety of professionals including government agencies, wildlife rehabilitators, veterinarians, biologists, researchers and oil response companies. (Generous donations to Le Nichoir’s Staff Education Fund allowed me to participate).

With oil spills occurring more frequently around the globe, I attended this symposium to acquire a better understanding of what is required to respond to oil spills and to determine where Le Nichoir would fit in if and when a spill occurred in Quebec. Sadly, oil spills happen every day and it is likely that the Centre will participate in this type of response at some point.

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2011 a Record-breaking Year for Le Nichoir

In 2011 Le Nichoir experienced the busiest year yet in its 17-year history, admitting a record 1728 birds for care and treatment. The Ring-billed Gull was by far the most common species we received, with 221 of them arriving from the SPCA of Montreal in June alone. In fact, June was our busiest month last year: that’s when we accepted a total of 658 birds.

The arrival of the Ring-billed Gulls in the summer prompted an unprecedented outpouring of support from the public. For several weeks, volunteers came to the Centre daily to help care for the Gulls while other volunteers built a new aviary to accommodate the injured birds. The new aviary, measuring 36ft by 12ft, will allow Le Nichoir to house aquatic birds in future emergency situations. [Read more…]

Basic Rehabilitation Course

Le Nichoir is hosting IWRC’s Basic Rehabilitation course being held on February 18th and 19th. Registration is now open. This course includes a half-day lab, and an exam.
Lecture topics include: introduction to wildlife rehabilitation, basic anatomy and physiology, calculating drug dosages, handling and physical restraint, thermoregulation, stress, basic shock cycle, initial care and physical examination, nutrition and associated diseases, standards for housing, zoonoses, euthanasia criteria and release criteria.

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Atlantic puffin at Le Nichoir

Air CanadaLe Nichoir sends plucky Atlantic puffin to the East Coast

Last December, Le Nichoir received a special visitor in the form of an Atlantic puffin, a first in the Centre’s history. Chantal Brault, a veterinary technician at Hudson Veterinary Hospital, found the bird on busy Guy St. in downtown Montreal. When she realized it was not a seagull but a puffin that usually makes its home near the ocean, Chantal took the bird to the veterinary hospital and then on to Le Nichoir.

At Le Nichoir’s winter quarters in Hudson, the bird was quickly set up in a freshwater tub and fed smelt (fish left over from last summer’s Ring-billed Gull episode). The puffin was also given a meshed area for resting, along with a mirror for some “company.” [Read more…]

December Newsletter Available

We have just published our year end newsletter full of stories and photos from 2011. Click the image to download. In this edition read about a summer student’s experience, an update on the New Centre Project, see pictures and read about our events over the year as well as the full story on the 221 gulls that arrived in June. Plus much more… Use the signup form at the right if you would like to receive future editions. Available in English and French.