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A Happy Ending for a Goldeneye

At the beginning of June, Wildlife Rescue received possibly the cutest little duckling. Found orphaned on the side of the highway with no parents or siblings in sight, this little one was transported all the way from Whistler to Wildlife Rescue hospital. After a thorough health inspection, it was determined this bird was healthy, just slightly dehydrated from its long journey from Whistler to Burnaby.

In circumstances like these, the best plan of action for healthy ducklings is to return them to their parents or foster them with another family immediately. Wildlife Rescue Support Centre staff and volunteers worked diligently for 7-days straight trying to find a suitable family to foster this little duckling with, even venturing back out to Whistler to look for a family, but there was no hope.

The orphaned duckling remained at Wildlife Rescue, where it was raised by Wildlife Rescue staff and volunteers. To provide a supportive family group environment for this duckling, they were housed with Wood Ducks who make great companions.

Caring for Sea Ducks is complicated and intensive due to their unique biology and natural behaviours. 

Care for Sea Ducks Includes…

  • Continous access to water in specialized enclosures
  • Expert monitoring of feather quality & waterproofing
  • Seafood including krill, fish, and small invertebrates

Watch how quickly this duckling grew up:

June 18th, 2021

July 2nd, 2021

July 23rd, 2021

The Barrow’s Goldeneye (previously thought to be a Common Goldeneye) now looks like a completely different bird! Duckling Goldeneyes have dark heads with fluffy cream-white throats (as seen above). This juvenile duck lost its baby colouring, and developed mostly brown plumage! Immature Goldeneyes still lack the namesake golden-eyes of adults.

Released Back to Nature!

After almost two months in care, our Goldeneye was released back to nature. She took off immediately, spreading her wings out, happy to be back in nature where she belongs. Good luck little one!

 


Long Road to Recovery for Common Raven

After an extended stay in care, the Common Raven from Haida Gwaii has been successfully released back to nature.


Gull Nesting Season

Every July and August, “Gull Season” occurs in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Gulls like to nest on flat rooftops in Vancouver. To stay close to their main food source of fish, gulls will nest in areas near water. These rooftop sites are typically safe from predators – humans included!


Helping Wildlife During a Heatwave

How can I help wildlife during hot weather?

How do birds stay cool in this heat?

What impact does excessive heat have on wildlife?

How do I know when wildlife needs help?

How does Wildlife Rescue keep its patients cool?


How can I help wildlife during hot weather?

During hot weather events, you can help wildlife out by putting out a birdbath for them to cool off in and drink! Don’t have a birdbath? A shallow dish, such as a plant saucer, will suffice!

For their safety, please ensure that:

  • The dish is shallow enough that the smallest of birds won’t drown (1-2 inches of water is sufficient).
  • Refill the water as it evaporates quickly on hot days!
  • Clean and change the water daily, more frequently if you have lots of visitors using it!
  • Put it in a safe location, away from outdoor cats and other pets, and preferably in the shade!

Offer shade using what you have available:

  • Flattened cardboard boxes (secured so they don’t move in the wind and scare birds)
  • Pieces of plywood (affixed to ensure it doesn’t become a hazard)
  • Rearrange potted plants to provide shade on patios and balconies
  • Umbrellas, sheets, etc.

 

How do birds stay cool in this heat?

Did you know that birds lack the ability to sweat?! So how do they stay cool during these HOT summer days?

Birds have developed their own mechanisms for keeping cool, such as panting, puffing up their feathers, and fluttering their wings. They also like to do what we humans like to do – splash around in the water to cool down!

For wildlife in an urban setting, water and shade may be limited. Help wildlife stay cool by providing a safe, shallow, source of water. Keep an eye out for all types of wildlife seeking water bodies in unusual places, such as pools and water fountains, which can trap and potentially drown the animals.

What impact does excessive heat have on wildlife?

Very few animal species can sweat, so animals struggle to lose excess body heat during extreme weather events. Heat stress can cause animals to have difficulty breathing which may appear as panting, an increased respiration rate, loss of appetite, and drooling.

 

How do I know when wildlife needs help?

Signs of overheating in birds include panting, open-mouth breathing, fluffed-up, and lethargy. Some nestlings may jump from their nest due to overheating, and fledglings may wander away from their parents in search of water. Dehydration is a big concern during hot days. If you find a bird that is easily approachable (won’t fly off when approached), looks sleepy (lethargic), is fluffed up, or has any visible injuries or blood, please contact our Support Centre for assistance.

Signs of Heat Wave Induced Distress:

  • Open mouth breathing for extended periods
  • Gular fluttering (see video of Heron displaying gular flutter)
  • Lethargy
  • Sunken eyes (due to dehydration)
  • Adult birds abandoning nests in hot locations (e.g. exposed roofs)
  • Baby birds prematurely jumping from nests to escape heat i.e. nestling-aged birds that are still fully or partially downy and unable to stand and jump around on the ground (still hunker down on hocks)
  • Young birds perishing in the nest with no obvious signs of trauma

If you find wildlife in distress, please contact our Support Centre at (604) 526-7275. Please be aware that on busy days, our helpline staff and volunteers can have a backlog of calls exceeding two hours. If the situation is dire, follow instructions on this page on how to safely contained an injured animal.

How does Wildlife Rescue keep its patients cool?

Here at Wildlife Rescue, we work hard to keep all of our patients comfortable during these uncomfortably hot days by providing…

  • Splash pools for all patients housed outdoors to cool off in.
  • A sprinkler system set up in enclosures to provide automatic misting during the hottest hours of the day.
  • Manuel misting every feeding round for young patients.
  • Air conditioning and fans for our indoor patients.
  • Shade panels on enclosures to provide a reprieve from the sun!

 


Determining When Baby Crows Need Help

Finding a flightless baby crow is totally normal between late May and July. It does not imply that it has been abandoned or fallen out of the nest. If you come across a baby crow on the ground, stop, take a step back, and observe before intervening!


Help! I found a baby bird!

So you’ve found a baby bird… now what?

Is the bird hurt? Are there any visible injuries or blood? Is it cold, weak or lethargic? Has it been attacked by a predator? If so, call our Support Centre immediately at (604) 526-7275 for directions on how to safely bring the bird in.

If it is not obviously injured, assessing the age of the bird can help determine the next steps. 


Fledgling Raven Reunited with Family 

Spring is baby bird season! With an abundance of life outside, it is a great time to go birdwatching and enjoy nature’s busy season!  

Recently, a wildlife lover came across a Fledgling Common Raven. The sight of the big beautiful bird caught their attention and they stopped to watch for a while. However, the bird started to concern the individual as it seemed as if the bird may be injured. It was hopping on the ground, unable to fly off so the concerned individual caught the corvid and brought it to Wildlife Rescue. 


Helping Hummingbirds – Feeding Hummingbirds Properly

While planting a native flowering garden will provide the best natural source of food for hummingbirds, supplementing with a properly maintained hummingbird feeder can provide additional sustenance to local hummingbirds. However, in order to help and not harm, you must ensure your feeders are properly maintained.


Easter Egg Challenge

Easter is an exciting time for the re-emergence of plants and wildlife, including the arrival of baby birds.

With more babies comes more danger. Momma birds work hard to keep their babies safe, but living in an urban environment brings a lot of challenges. That is why Spring and Summer is the busiest time at Wildlife Rescue. Every year we admit thousands of nestlings and fledglings in need!

Different species have different methods of keeping their eggs safe. Birds like Bushtits build pendant nests –  elaborately woven sacks that dangle from branches, giving the baby birds in the nest great protection from predators. Conversely, some birds aren’t that good at making nests. A nest made by a Pigeons could easily be mistaken for a few misplaced sticks and straw!

During Spring, it’s important to be on the look-out for baby birds and their nests and to avoid disturbing them!

Think your bird ID skills are expert? Test your wildlife knowledge with this Easter Egg Challenge!

Guess the species these eggs came from!

Easter Eggs #1 Hint: These beautiful little blue eggs inspired a colour name! The colouring comes from pigments within the mother’s blood! Talk about putting in blood, sweat and tears into raising your young!
Easter Eggs #2 Hint: This species typically lays two eggs which are about the size of navy beans! They are laid in a soft nest made from plant down and spider webs.
Easter Eggs #3 Hint: These speckled eggs provide great camouflage against the environment of the nest. These chicks are born with their eyes open and are capable of leaving the nest soon after hatching!
Easter Eggs #4 Hint: These eggs are laid in large nests, typically in wetlands. Once hatched, the offspring will stay with its parents all through the winter, only separating the following spring!

Scroll when you’re ready for the answers! No peeking!

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Answers

Easter Eggs #1 Answer: American Robins!
Easter Eggs #2 Answer: Hummingbirds!
Easter Eggs #3 Answer: Gulls!
Easter Eggs #4 Answer: Sandhill Cranes!


Hummingbird FAQ

What are the best techniques for maintaining my hummingbird feeder in the winter? What exactly is torpor and how do I know when a hummingbird is in distress?


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