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When You Find an Injured Bird

My husband Marv and I had the privilege of assisting in a bird rescue this week. Kevin Gecha of Clarendon found a horned grebe on the exit off of Route 7 in Manchester. Grebes, like loons, can’t take off from the ground, only from water. We can only guess how it got there, but perhaps it saw the dark pavement of the exit and thought it was water. Fortunately, the bird appeared to be in good shape. 

So what to do? Kevin called his wife Casey, a birder lover. They knew to call the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS). VINS advised Kevin to bring the bird in. As he needed to be at work, my husband Marv and I volunteered to drive down to Manchester to pick up the grebe and take to VINS in Quechee. We kept the grebe in a box lined with a blanket on the way over.

Rutland County Audubon frequently receives calls about injured birds and other wildlife. Unfortunately, we are not rehabilitators so we cannot take in birds, only licensed rehabbers can do so. We have, however, included a list of rehabilitators on our website Resources section under Vermont Wildlife Rehabilitators. There are links to VINS and the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Both have excellent advice on how to handle injured birds and mammals.

Keep in mind that rehabilitators work from the goodness of their hearts (and donations!) so don’t be surprised if the rehabilitator asks you to bring the injured bird (or small mammal) to them. They can advise you how to best do this. 

Also, it doesn’t seem like it, but before long it will be spring and nesting season. That brings up another set of issues. What to do if you find a baby bird? Click here for a refresher on what to do in that situation.

And what should you do if you don't find an injured bird or mammal? Be thankful and make a donation to VINS or a rehabilitator near you!