Caring for a Sick Bird
My dad used to be a seasoned falconer and I learnt a lot about caring for a sick bird; I learnt how to train them, to feed them, to use them in hunting and much more. I used to accompany my dad in his hunting trips. One day while we were hunting we came upon a group of mallards. When they noticed our presence, they took off except of large female mallard and two ducklings which we presumed that they were her kids.
Cautiously, as approached her we noticed that she was somehow weak and her left wing seemed to be drooping. She was scared of us and so were her ducklings. We knelt down to inspect what was wrong with her. That when we realized that she was severely wounded from what my dad concluded that she had been shot. My dad suggested that we her alone, but from the look at the poor bird, I felt that we needed to rescue her. I was ready to take care of her and maybe help her heal. There was no way that I could leave her alone when she desperately needed some care.
First Aid and Treatment
I took the injured mallard and her ducklings at home. Having been used to caring for raptors, I knew that I could try and save the bird. I performed first aid and cleaned the wound, and then found a suitable place in the garage where I prepare a box which would be home for the birds. However, after there day, I realized that the condition of the birds was deteriorating. My dad suggested that we call a vet.
When the vet came and examined the sick bird, he concluded that the bird had suffered from advanced sepsis and its wing had to be amputated. He also suggested that we take the bird to a wildlife rehabilitation center where she could get all the necessary care and attention that was needed. He gave the bird some shot of antibiotics and told us to call the wildlife rehab soon if we were to save the birds life.
At the rehab, the bird was operated and amputated and then hospitalized at the center. After three days a staff at the center called and told me that the bird was recuperating and that there were high chances of saving her life. I went to check on the bird after 10 days and found that the bird had already healed. I talked to the staff there and they told me that the bird would be released back to the wild but would be kept at the center and spend the rest of her life together with other disabled animals. However, the duckling would be taken care of and when they were mature enough, they would be released in the wild.
How to Help Injured Birds
I would have loved to keep the mallard myself but for the few days that I had her and her duckling, I learnt important lessons of how to take care of injured birds. In most cases, injured birds don’t survive. They need a lot of care and attention if at all they are going to get over there injuries. The first thing to do when you find such a bird, you need to gently examine her to determine the extent of the injury.
You need to be careful when inspecting it because you don’t want to cause further harm to her which would jeopardize her survival chances. If you know how to perfume first aid, do it gently, if you don’t find a person who knows. A vet is the most suitable person for this job. Always make sure that you used disinfectant to clean the bird and also yourself after the treatment.
If you take her home, find a suitable place where you can keep her. It is never advisable to keep the bird in the house. Most wild birds may have infectious diseases which can affect humans. Find a safe place outside. Then create a ‘nest’ for her. It could be a box with a warm towel in it. The bird should be kept in isolation from other domestic birds at home.
Make sure that you provide a lot of clean water for the bird and correct food. Here you will have to research on the specific food that the bird feeds. If you don’t know the species of the bird, its best to call a bird rehab center so that they can’t take of the bird. Otherwise, if you can take care of the bird yourself, ensure that she is feed and given enough water and stays in a warm place.
If the bird recovers after a day or two or shows signs of recovery, then it is best to release it to the wild. Wild birds belong to the wild and they can best recover when there than in your hands. This way, you will be a bird’s hero. Importantly, you need to realize that the best people who can take care of injured birds or any other wild animal are wildlife rehabilitation centers, hence always contact them.