Maritime animal rehab centres expecting an increase in injured birds following storm
Rehabilitation centres, like Nova Scotia's Hope for Wildlife, are expecting to receive many injured birds over the next couple of days after heavy rain and high winds made its way through the region.
“If you come across a bird that is acting kind of puffed up, really quiet, not wanting to move if you approach it, I would recommend trying to get it into a box if you can. If you throw a little towel over it and cover the rise, that calms them down and you can safely scoop them into a box,” says rehab expert Tessa Jackson.
Hope for Wildlife is also preparing to deal with a number of uncommon species to the area that have been blown off course by the high winds, particularly seabirds.
“There’s hardly ever a storm where we don’t get at least a dozen or so dovekies or petrels depending on the time of year,” says Hope Swinimer, founder of Hope for Wildlife.
There's also a good chance Maritimers will come across birds they don't typically see, in places they don't typically see them.
“Along with the sea birds, we often see very rare birds," said Swinimer. "Everything from white pelicans to brown pelicans. We’ve certainly had our share over the years of birds that aren’t normally here."
The opportunity to see such a rare species could attract a lot of attention, but the Nova Scotia Bird Society asks people to avoid getting too close to any bird that isn't injured.
“It’s fine to take a picture or two but giving them space, as far as distance and time too, not spending a whole lot of time with them,” says Diane Leblanc, president of the Nova Scotia Bird Society.
Swinimer says if you find a bird that seems to be in distress, it's best to ask for advice from the experts.
“You can also take a picture or a video and send it to a wildlife rehabilitator or the Nova Scotia Bird Society for identification and you get clear directions,” says Swinimer.
Swinimer adds that a lot of the birds that show up following a storm are simply exhausted and after a couple days rest are released to find their own way back home.