Rescuing a Non-Feathered Friend
by Lee Chambers
It wasn't the typical request for help when a person who lives near our Springfield location came to the door and rang the emergency bell.
There was a baby bird in trouble in the neighborhood that needed help, we were told. Fortunately, Animal Resource Counselor Madeline Nagy was on duty that day. Madeline is also a MA Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator, and she and Dakin's Feline Success Coordinator Alanna Regan walked over to see what was happening.
The pair soon found the problem. A nearby brick wall that separated two businesses was missing a brick, and an industrious mother robin decided to use that space to build a nest. Unfortunately, her young nestling (a baby bird without feathers that needs to stay in the nest) was literally hanging by a thread, helpless, outside the nest. As the pair moved closer, they could see the problem. Mother robin (who was not there at the time) had chosen some unusual items to build her nest including tinsel and some string, and her baby got tangled in it.
“Since my nails were longer, I untwined the string and tinsel from the fledgling's legs,” recalls Alanna. “Right around then the mother returned and was squawking at us to get lost from a nearby tree.” Madeline returned the fledgling to the nest then began the delicate process of removing the hazardous tinsel and string without damaging the nest's construction. Mission accomplished! Their good deed finished, the pair quickly left so that the mother and nestling could be reunited.
Says Madeline, “Robins typically build their nests in trees using twigs and mud. In city environments where trees are not as plentiful, they'll adapt to building nests on man-made structures such as buildings and fences. It makes sense that in these environments they might also have to get creative with nest materials; I like to think that this mama robin wanted to add some bling to her digs and went a little overboard on the tinsel!”
If you happen to encounter any wildlife in danger, please check the information on our website here (https://www.dakinhumane.org/how-to-help-wildlife.html ) You can learn how to be a hero to an animal in need.