Be a Bird Hero This Spring!

Note: Call Safe Wings Ottawa for any bird emergency at (613) 216-8999.

My name is Tamara and I’m passionate about birds. Did you know that owls, hawks, and falcon species nest right here in Crystal Beach Lakeview (CBL)? More than 150 species of birds breed around Ottawa. Around CBL, we mainly see so-called “backyard birds” such as robins, sparrows, cardinals and finches.

Here’s how you can help them.

I volunteer for Safe Wings Ottawa and the Wild Bird Care Centre and hope to spread the word around CBL about what you can do and how they can help if you find a bird in distress.

If you find a baby bird, injured bird, or a bird that hit a window, you can find some tips here about what to do and not do, as well as some of the most common mistakes and misunderstandings. For example, touching a baby bird will not make the parents reject it.

If you find a baby bird: Check out the handy chart below! Fledglings have most of their feathers and can hop around. Nestlings are helpless and have very few feathers or none at all. If you’re still not sure what to do, can’t find the nest, or the nestling is at risk from cats or dogs, call Safe Wings or take it to the Wild Bird Care Centre on Moodie Drive south of Hunt Club.

If you find an injured bird: If you find an injured bird or you see a bird hit a widow, try to capture it and put it in a box or even a paper bag. Don’t give it food or water.

If you see a bird hit a window (don’t let it fly away!): If it is not moving, it needs your help. Don’t wait to see if it flies away. Window collision victims may sustain internal injuries and often die soon after flying away. Put in a box and call Safe Wings or take it directly to the Wild Bird Centre.

What else can you do to help baby birds — and their parents — survive?

  • Keep your cat indoors during the day; use a harness and tie-out or consider a pop-up sun room. No judgment here, just the facts: birds evolved before cats were introduced so they have no natural defences against our stealthy furry felines.
  • Keep the Safe Wings number handy and pass it on to your friends!

Want to help even more? Consider making a donation to the Wild Bird Centre or Safe Wings.

If you’re interested in learning more about birds or bird watching, reach out to me on Messenger or send a note to tamaradebra@gmail.com

—Tamara Bloom

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