A Bird In Hand
Greetings. I hadn’t planned to be away for this long, but I needed the time off. As some of you know, outside of my day job, I am a wildlife capture & transport volunteer for The Aark Wildlife Rehab Center. I regularly receive calls to pick up injured, sick, or orphaned animals, usually located as far as possible from wherever I happen to be at the time. It’s often challenging and very rewarding to help animals in need.
In early January, I was notified of a lone goose hanging out near a shopping center. Unable to fly, the bird was easily captured—this isn’t typically the case for waterfowl, which tend to be slippery buggers. In the same town, I had been monitoring another grounded goose who eluded me twice before, taking refuge on a park pond. Thinking I might get lucky, I stopped by the park to check on him and have another go.
I found the goose sitting at the center of the pond, which had completely frozen since my last visit. As I cautiously walked onto the ice, the goose immediately reacted and started walking away. Upon hastening my approach, the bird took off—able to fly for a few feet before skidding back onto the ice. My literal wild goose chase went on for a while, until at one point the bird approached the edge of the pond, which is lined by bush and tree branches. With no chance for the fowl to fly off, I moved quickly to net him, but slipped and landed hard on my hand. The extreme cold must have managed my pain as I continued the pursuit, and ultimately cornered my fine-feathered friend against a fence.
After dropping both birds off at The Aark, I made my way to the emergency room of a local hospital. Thankfully, x-rays revealed my left wrist to be only sprained and not fractured. Unfortunately, that hand wasn’t going to be of much use for several weeks. Despite the sprain, I continued receiving calls about wounded wildlife, and felt obliged to toughen up and keep at it, especially given the brutal winter weather conditions that we’ve been experiencing lately. Last month, I rescued four Canada Geese, three Black Vultures, two Red Tailed Hawks, and a Screech Owl in a snow storm.
Although not yet 100% recovered, my wrist is much better—certainly well enough to type again. Injury aside, I needed to unplug for a while anyway. Not sure how frequently I’ll be blogging going forward, but between here and The Bank you’ll see new posts soon enough.