Busy days in our bird rescue center

End of summer and early autumn have been a busy period in the life of our bird rescue center. Inexperienced chicks often become the guests of Nimfea Environmental and Nature Conservation Association: unfriendly weather can be harmful for these young birds, but traffic and electrocution is also a frequent reason for bird injuries.

    Although most of the young storks left the nest by mid-August, and the first flocks of storks started their journey towards Africa around 20 August, in early September we were still called a few times to rescue late younglings, fallen out of the nest during heavy storms. Strong winds have regularly blown the chicks to the ground Ė in these cases it is sufficient to put them back to the nest or to a tree branch where cats and dogs cannot reach them. Then the parents can take care of the young ones, and lead them to a safe place. In certain cases the storks needed to spend a few days in our bird rescue center, but could be released soon after full recovery. In the case of fracture or electrocution, veterinary treatment and a shorter or longer period of rehabilitation is necessary before the bird is released to the wild.
Animal injuries are often caused by collision with different vehicles. In some cases the vehicle only slightly hits the bird crossing its way, so the bird can pass by after a short rest. Actually owl chicks are more vulnerable to road traffic, because they have less experience in flying as well as in catching their prey. At the time of harvest, when large volumes of crop are transported on the roads, lot of small rodents gather to feed on the seeds. Among others different owl species, such as Little Owls (Athene noctua), Barn Owls (Tyto alba), Long-eared Owls (Asio otus) are attracted by the presence of rodents, and they can be easily hit by passing vehicles. For example not long ago a young Little Owl was brought to our rescue center after a collision with a car. In a few days it regained strength due to regular feeding, and then flew away in full health.

    Young swallows (Hirundo rustica) are also often run over by vehicles, because the chicks are sitting in the middle of the road, waiting for their parents to feed them. During migration, vehicles may even drive into the flocks of swallows flying low, injuring several birds. Shrikes (Lanius sp.) also prefer to feed along the roads, picking up insects hit by road traffic. If you see an apparently disoriented, dizzy shrike or swallow sitting in the middle of the road, you can easily help by taking them to the roadside, so that other vehicles donít kill them. A short rest (from a few minutes to a few hours) in the shade and drinking water is enough for these birds to become active and lively again.
Please drive slowly and cautiously not only for your own sake, bit also because you might save the life of different animals, including birds, reptiles, turtles and small mammals. Keep in mind that roads are built at places which used to be the natural habitats of wildlife, so it is our responsibility to let them live, feed and breed.


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