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Hit & Run on Flock of Starlings: Rescuer Stops to Help Survivor

Hit & Run on Flock of Starlings: Rescuer Stops to Help Survivor

Written byAndrea Foxof 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 eventuallyfound 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 flashlightand 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

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Photo Credit: Mcwarrior |

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7:14AM PDT on May 8, 2013

thank you

12:24AM PDT on May 8, 2013

thank you for the nice story,thank you for sharing

1:55PM PDT on May 7, 2013

Tribute To Animal Rescuers DEFENDERS

10:44PM PST on Jan 7, 2013

While I grieve for those that died, I am very happy that at least Buster will get a chance at life. Thank you for saving this little starling.

1:28PM PST on Dec 4, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

1:00PM PDT on Oct 31, 2012

Wow, so many comments. I will just address a few issues that were mentioned; 1) yes I realize that starlings are an "invasive" species. So are many other things, in my opinion humans most of all. That being said, I would leave none of them hurt on a road to be run over by a car. An injured being is an injured being, and starlings are simply doing what starlings do. They did not relocate themselves here,humans did that. 2) by "bird friendly habitat" I meant the woods around my house. There are already starlings galore out here, and I seriously doubt that one extra will make a huge detrimental impact on the environment. As for all of the other birds here, and there are a lot, including flickers, bard owls, juncos, nuthatches, finches, wrens, 2 pairs of woodpeckers ( 1 red headed and 1 pileated), a whole community of turkey vultures, buntings, robins, etc. etc... They really did not seem to be disturbed by the extra bird either. I leave my woods they way it was intended to be, and i have wildlife of all types that choose to share this space with us. 3) I have no idea whether the person who hit the birds did so on purpose or not. I highly doubt it. The birds had been eating something in the middle of the street likely, and flew up when they saw the car coming. Would it have been nice if the driver had stopped? yes. Do most people when they hit an animal? No. It is our perception of life other than human that is the issue. Many people consider any life no human less important th

2:43PM PDT on Sep 16, 2012

Wonderful story. Thank you so much for saving Buster Beakman. You did a grand thing.

4:52AM PST on Feb 18, 2012


4:34AM PST on Feb 13, 2012

Great job Andrea for being a hero to poor little Buster. I am sure he/she appreciated what you did for him/her. I bet he/she had a fun time investigating your office until he/she was OK to fly again.

4:19AM PST on Feb 10, 2012

What a lovely story, well done :-)

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