PROWLS: Rescue of the week

White-crowned sparrow nestlings receive treatment at Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society

From two different clutches, one near Assumption School and another above Town Centre Mall, six white-crowned sparrow nestlings were found on the ground calling for their mother. They had all abandoned the nest, which is built on the ground, possibly because they were acutely uncomfortable, being infested with maggots.

When the mother is out gathering food to feed the nestlings (the father has long since disappeared), they are exposed and vulnerable.

article continues below

One danger is flies laying eggs on the nestlings’ tiny bodies. These eggs hatch into maggots which then burrow into and under their skin.

PROWLS president Merrilee Prior removed more than 50 maggots, pulling them out with tweezers, especially from the heads and shoulders. The parasites are not keen to be pulled out and so it must be done slowly and carefully. It took at least six hours.

After this traumatic experience, even though the nestlings were now more comfortable and seemingly ready to survive, out of the initial six, three thrived and three died.

The survivors grabbed onto life. Extremely scruffy looking and remaining so as their feathers slowly filled in the bald spots left by the maggots, they were incredibly active and longing for release. That was a happy day.

Contributed photo

 
Copyright © Powell River Peak

Comments

NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Powell River Peak welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

PEAK POLL

How do you dispose of your organic kitchen waste?

or  view results

Curbside organics grant application approved by council in Powell River

Popular Community

Community Events Calendar