What Do You Do If You Find An Injured Bird In Massachusetts?
I'm writing this as more of a question for those who might have an answer, rather than as an informational article with answers. This is a situation I found myself in on Sunday at my home in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
One of my many hats is that of a musician. I had just finished playing a gig in Lee and packing up my gear, when I received a panicked phone call from my wife, Marianne. She told me that she had discovered a small bird that somehow got its little leg stuck between the slats of our neighbor's fence that borders our backyard.
I don't know much about birds and was not sure exactly what kind of bird it was, so I took a few pictures and then tried 'Google Lens' on my phone. According to the results that came back, it looks to have possibly been a sparrow. It was maybe three inches or so in length.
(Above: this little bird had its leg stuck in a fence on Sunday)
Marianne didn't know what to do to free the bird's leg and was afraid of injuring it further. I headed for home to see if I could help. Not that I felt I was any more qualified to figure it out, but off I went to see if I could help.
Its leg was broken...
By the time I arrived home, around 15 minutes later, Marianne had somehow freed the bird from the fence, but unfortunately - as we had feared - its little leg was broken. It didn't seem to stop the little guy from trying to get around, but it really couldn't go far.
(Above: This little guy was not about to give up after getting his leg stuck in a fence)
We started to call around to find help...
After searching for some sort of wildlife rescue, we contact Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary in Pittsfield to see if they could help. They were very helpful in at least giving us some general information regarding birds that lose a leg and how it does happen in nature all the time. There wasn't anything they could really do to help physically, but they pointed to a local rescuer, who unfortunately was not able to take in the bird. She did point to some local vets that might be able to give us more information.
The outcome was not exactly ideal...
In the end, we did try to move the bird to what we considered a safer location. There are after all some local cats that would find this guy very easy prey. However, in our attempts to gently pick up the bird to move it, it started to flap its wings and was actually able to fly off. It didn't go very far, but it did make it into the next-door neighbor's yard. That at least gave us a bit of hope that it might find a way to survive on its own, that is if a cat or some other predator didn't get it first.
My question to you...
So, the question is this. What do you do when you find an injured bird? We would really like to know in case we find ourselves in this situation, or a similar one, again. The fact that it was Sunday, certainly did not help. I did find this article today, but reading the information on a website and actually carrying it out effectively are two different things. We felt a bit helpless in the situation and since it flew off, we were just hoping that somehow the bird would find its way back to good on its own.
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