Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nature Notes: Not easy to be a bird

This poor nuthatch was probably in shock. I heard a bang so I'm guessing it hit something and made it to the ledge to recover.
They are usually so fast flitting in and out that when it let me get close I knew something was wrong. I photographed it intending to see if I could seek advise from a rehab person in the area because I was afraid if I handled it, I might make it worse.
I think something was wrong with the leg that's dangling on the wall. However, by the time I downloaded the shots, hoping to email them to a wildlife rehab person, the bird finally flew off. This was after about 15 minutes of not moving hardly at all.
The shot above and below are female cardinals. Back to the injured nuthatch, I found very contradictory information online.
I read that you shouldn't touch a bird in shock as it can make it worse, which is what I was afraid of. Then I read about a light touch in circular motion that can help a bird in shock, hmmmm.
The shots above and below are of a titmouse. I also found contradictory information about the way to deal with a wild bird with a broken leg.
I read that an adult wild bird can recover from a broken leg without help and it's better not to do anything. Then I read a detailed instruction somewhere else about how to tend to a bird with a broken leg. Below is an American Robin.
The first aid was so involved that after reading it, I knew I wouldn't be able to do it anyway. The shot below was going to be of the sparrow on the branch above the American Robin when the robin popped into the frame before I clicked. I liked getting both birds.
I have only recently bothered to find out how to tell which rufous-sided towhees are male and which are female.
The bird above is the female towhee and the one below is the male towhee. Now that I know, it's certainly easy to tell them apart.
The carolina chickadee always makes me think of a child in a tuxedo.
I guess that's silly but there is something about the mix of black and white that makes me think of a miniature tux.
Sometimes when I first catch a glimpse of the red-bellied woodpeckers, I think they are a white dove.
They don't look anything like a dove, but when I see the flash of white out of the corner of my eye, that's what I think.
Then I note the red cap, pointy nose and zebra jacket and I know it's a red-bellied woodpecker.
I enjoy watching the way squirrels eat. They will sit up sometimes eating with their paws, almost delicately.
I'll stop with the male cardinal below. Not much new here. We keep flip flopping between very cold and then milder weather.
naturenotes card2554
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Cezar and Léia said...

They are adorable!
I guess that female cardinal is enjoying a lot posing for your camera! Cute!

??? said...

Injured wildlife always puts me in a difficult situation, but most times I decide to leave the animal alone. Very often, trying to help them causes them even more problems, especially when you don't have experience with wildlife rehab. I hope the best for the nuthatch.

Rambling Woods said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rambling Woods said...

First Aid for Injured Bird

(1)Have a small container ready. A pet carrier, paper bag or a box that is upside down. Make sure that the bird has sufficient air by putting holes in the bag or box

(2)Place a piece of cloth in the bottom. It should be cloth with no loops that the bird can get caught on or be able to eat. An old T-shirt or fleece shirt would work fin

(3)Put a couple of twigs in the bottom of the bag. Perching birds need to perch as standing flat may put too much stress on their internal organs.

(4)Gently pick up the bird with a pair of gloves and place it into your container. Clip the bag with a paper clip or close pin.

(5)Place the container in a quiet place away from noise and especially pets as it needs time to recover

6)Sometimes heat fights the shock and they come out of it. You can provide some supplementary heat by placing a heating pad on low setting covered with a towel under half the container. Never put anything hot on the bird just near so he can get close to the heat or move away from it.

(7)Wait one hour. Don’t keep checking on the bird as that can cause more stress. It needs a quiet, warm place to overcome the recent shock.

(8)After one hour, take the container outside to check on the bird. If the bird flies that is good.Or he may not be ready.

(9)If he isn’t ready put him back in the dark, quiet place for another hour and try again. If he doesn’t fly by the 3rd hour, contact a rehabilitator

Rambling Woods said...

I found the instructions that my rehabber friend gave me regarding a window strike, but it is very nerve racking picking up a little bird. It seems that it needed time to recover before taking off. I would have watched too unless it was cold. I am not sure about the leg. I hope it wasn't injured as well. Poor little nutty....

NicoleB, Kuwait said...

I always love to see what birds you come up with!
Gorgeous - again!

I think / hope, the nuthatch will be fine.

I picked up a sparrow once.
He would have been cat food otherwise and it would have been hard for him to get out, he got trapped in our big hallway, surrounded by big glass windows.
I put him in a card board box on our balcony and after about 30 minutes or an hour he recovered well enough and took off.

MyMaracas said...

It is so tempting to swoop in and rescue an injured bird. But unless it's in danger from a predator I always just leave them alone. They nearly always recover on their own and fly off.

Leora said...

You captured so many birds this week! I'm glad the little nuthatch was able to fly off.

I like all the comments about helping an injured bird.

Mª Zélia said...

Adorei ler este post, pois já passei por situações semelhantes e sempre fico indecisa em ajudá-los... Moro em uma zona urbana e por ter muitas plantas eles vêm procurando água e abrigo e alguns até mesmo ajuda. Já salvei rolinhas com linhas enroladas nas patinhas, beija-flor com pedaços de bolsas plásticas no bico mas quando se trata de trauma, aí não sei o que fazer... Grata por compartilhar este tema tão interessante!

KaHolly said...

It's so very frustrating to want to help but know you shouldn't. I had a similar experience this past summer. Wish I had towhees to watch.

EG CameraGirl said...

I'm so excited to see the Carolina chickadee! I didn't even know about them. What a cute bird!