|Chompy –and what a beak!|
There were mistakes.
Firstly, they told me it had to go to the Wild Bird Centre in Napanee. I checked with hubby. It's only a 90 minute drive, and the sun was out. Sure.
Then, when I made the phone call to the Nepean centre in Ottawa, they said it had to go to Nepean. No worries. That's only an hour away.
I asked the Nepean Wild Bird Centre if there was anything I needed to know. Did I need to wear gloves, as was suggested by the rescuers? It's not good to get human and/or foreign goop on their feathers. The person answering the phone told me no. No special instructions. She gave me their address, and I wrote it down. We'd often driven that way to visit the kids.
The rescuers said they would put it in a box, since it could get its neck stuck in a dog crate's bars. They didn't have a box, but it was sitting in a dog crate. We had a cat crate, and that wouldn't be a problem. I put towels in the bottom. When we arrived to pick it up, they corrected us. Not going to Nepean. No nice lunch in the city. We were off to Napanee. Sure. Change back to Plan A.
|My video of Lake Effect Snow|
Along we drove on centre bare highway, with storm clouds looming from Lake Effect Snow. After 20 minutes Chompy seemed rather upset. We were miles from anywhere. It seemed as if Chompy had thawed out and was good to go. My instinct was to stop at an open river, there were a few on the way, but not many, and throw it in. They need open water to run fast enough to become air borne, the lakes are mostly frozen over. But what is it WAS injured?
|Powerful wings - on Lower Rideau lake|
Eventually, it calmed down. During another pit stop I was afraid to look. I regretted our decision to volunteer. When we arrived in Napanee, a staff member picked the crate up and took it into the back room. She said that she needed to know where it was found, and that we should return it to the open water. We had to stop twice for pit stops. It was a terrible drive. It was happy in the enclosure. What was I thinking to put hubby through this? He adores animals of all kinds.
The staff member called in her supervisor, who inspected the bird in the private back room. She came back out to lecture me, telling me that I should not have used the crate. Chompy had smucked her beak and wing on the bars trying to get out. Lesson learned. I was just trying to help. The boss was terribly harsh. Yes, it had blood on its beak from trying to escape.
No, I didn't mean for this to happen, but how could this have been prevented? It just shows me that we shouldn't interfere in wild life. We rescue so many wild things, hopefully take them to registered wild animal sanctuaries (it's illegal to keep them otherwise), but are we doing them a favour?
Someone with knowledge and education could have told the people who captured it to bring it to some open water after checking on its condition before we spent three hours on the highway.
Or, on finding it seemed OK after it thawed, taking it to the nearest open water, which is where the Centre said it had to go back to eventually. I'm not so sure. It's supposed to fly south across hundreds of miles, surely it could find its way south? There was no way we were making that drive back. Why didn't someone tell someone? Why didn't someone, with information and authority, tell me what to do properly before we left the house? I asked.
Why did they let me use my time, gas, and energy, only to chew me out upon arrival?
|Happily fishing in summer|
Loons at the beach
Let them use their anger on those who abuse animals, seniors and children. This bird could have frozen to death in the field, or been eaten by the wolf or coyotes. That would have been nature. The people who run these non-profits need to read the recent literature on how to treat volunteers. We retired volunteers and shadow boomers (at 43% of the population) carry the weight of many programs. My hubby has had worse injuries trying to get our rescue cat, Mitzi, into this crate to take her to the vet. Abused by one family's dog, she had huge mental issues. She eventually died of aspiration pneumonia, but after some good years with us. R.I.P. dear Mitzie. Hubby had to go to the doctor to get a tetanus shot.
The things we do for animals!
|calm in the crate|
|They change colour in winter|
|Arrival in Napanee|
Loon on Otty Lake, Lanark County from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.