Wildlife Haven Animal Hospital is a busy place right now as the seasons change.
“With migration season right now, we're seeing a lot of car collisions, especially with Raptors,” says Zoe Nakata, executive director for the centre in Île des Chênes. “We're seeing window collisions with migratory songbirds.”
Nakata encourages people to call Wildlife Haven when they come across an injured animal.
“We’ve got a team of really dedicated hospital staff members, we've got some volunteers that are ready to help you,” she says. “So, the best thing to do is give us a call and we'll actually be able to assess the situation right on the phone with you.”
Nakata says the team may request a photo of the injured animal and decide on the appropriate response.
When it comes to rescuing injured wildlife, Nakata tips her hat to the rescue team she works with.
“They’re so amazing,” she says. “The rescue team is a mix of staff members, volunteers, people that really have no fear.”
Nakata says it takes a lot of bravery to work with injured wild animals and the situation can quickly change.
“They go out with masks and gloves and sometimes eye protection, whatever they need,” she says. “And sometimes they run, sometimes they climb, sometimes they have ladders.”
The animal hospital treats 150 different species. The team needs to be trained and ready for anything, Nakata adds.
“Because you're dealing first of all with wild animals,” she says. “That can be frightened wild animals, wild animals that are in pain, so the situation can change very quickly. So, they are highly trained in making sure that they remain safe, that the public remains safe, and that we're not creating any further harm to the animal that we're trying to rescue.”
An Orange-crowned Warbler was admitted to Wildlife Haven on October 4th after it collided with a window. The impact left it stunned with obvious neurologic trauma in the form of a head tilt and rhythmic eye movements. The Wildlife Haven Animal Care Team administered anti-inflammatory medications to help ease the swelling.
The release rate for window strike patients is low at only 32%. It is estimated that window collisions kill upwards of 25 million birds per year in Canada alone.
During the daytime, glass windows reflect the sky and vegetation, making it impossible for birds to tell there is a barrier. During migration, these numbers increase as nocturnal migrants will often fly into lit windows at night.
You can help reduce these numbers by closing your blinds at night and making your windows more visible to birds! By installing insect screens, tape or paint in 2x2 inch sections, you can make the windows much safer for migrating birds. The American Bird Conservancy has information on window collisions: https://abcbirds.org/glass-collisions/.
If you do come across a stunned bird, call our Wildlife Hotline team right away at 204-878-3740 for guidance. - Facebook.com/Wildlifehaven.ca