Hit & Run on Flock of Starlings: Rescuer Stops to Help Survivor
Written by Andrea Fox of Ohio
I had dropped my son off at his work one morning and was heading home. It is a busy street normally, and during rush hour it’s even busier. I had almost reached the entrance ramp to the freeway when I saw several birds lying in the road. Apparently someone had plowed into a flock of starlings. I swerved around the dead birds, and noticed one that was not dead, but had been hit. He was on his back flopping around trying to get up.
Fortunately, he had been knocked onto a side street, but it certainly wouldn’t have been long before someone turned the corner and ran right over him. I pulled into the parking lot just past the road he was laying in, and hoping no one turned that corner before I got to him, I ran across the road and scooped him up. I stuffed him in my shirt and got out of the road as quickly as possible, not wanting to get hit myself.
I didn’t have much hope that I could actually save him; it has been my experience that birds hit by cars are usually too injured to save, but I had to try. I made him a little nest out of my hoodie on the passenger seat and put him in it for the half hour ride home. After about 10 minutes, he seemed to be trying to move around. Unfortunately, he also started bleeding profusely out of his nostrils. Then he started trying to fly. On the freeway with a bloody bird flapping its way around my van made for a very interesting trip home. He eventually found a place to hide under the seat and settled down, and we made it home without any further incident.
I made him a box with some hay in it in my office, looked up what starlings eat and got him some suitable food and water. It seemed appropriate that we call him something, so he was dubbed Buster Beakman. He was very curious about all the little nooks and crannies in the office and was busy exploring for several hours. The bleeding had stopped, but he still couldn’t fly. I asumed he may have had a concussion, as he was very off balance. He stayed with us for several days until he could fly right again, and then we released him back into a much more bird friendly habitat than the one he was in before. PHOTOS HERE
Be Prepared Ahead of Time to Help an Injured Animal
Many animal lovers have a pet carrier (or cardboard box), a pair of heavy duty gloves, a flashlight and some spare towels in their car at all times. These items can be helpful in the event that you find an injured animal in the road.
If you have the time, it’s sometimes helpful to investigate the best resources in your area before a crisis occurs. You may want to carry a card in your wallet or program your cell phone with the names and phone numbers of your regional wildlife rehabilitators.
Brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase