Every year International Bird Rescue takes in more than 400 young, and often broken, Herons and Egrets.
Heron and Egret chicks start to leave the nest and perch on branches less than two weeks after hatching, and with all of the chaos in their crowded rookeries, many lose their balance and plummet to the ground. As our cities expand over more and more natural nesting areas, Herons and Egrets are left with the dangerous option of raising their young in places like street medians, where branches stretch out over cleared, hardened earth – and bustling streets – and after hard falls, fledglings face broken bones and no chance of returning to their nests. Without your help their odds of survival are grim.
Late last month a fallen Black-crowned Night Heron chick was rescued from Sonoma County. He was found to have a badly broken right leg, blood in his right ear, parasites, dehydration and a low body temperature. Once International Bird Rescue staff had splinted his leg under anesthesia, his complex rehabilitation plan included expensive medication to fight infection, inflammation, and parasites, doses of calcium to help form a callus over his break, vitamins A and D to help absorb the calcium, and a regimen of a few hours of sunlight each day to help metabolize it.
Young birds have especially voracious appetites – and this one has been eating up to a pound of fish every day. Our staff and volunteers are closely monitoring his progress, administering radiographs and changing his splint as he heals and grows. Since he has gained strength, he has been moved to an aviary with other Black-crowned Night Herons to allow him to develop the social and developmental skills he will need to survive. Once he is able to fly well and forage on his own, International Bird Rescue will release him back into the wild.
When you give generously to International Bird Rescue, you are giving birds like this young Black-crowned Night Heron the priceless gift of a second chance at independence. Please help us raise $20,000 by the Fourth of July and give birds like this fledgling Heron all of the medical care, medicine, and food that they need to grow up strong and make it on their own.
Heron and Egret patients that were rescued and released as chicks have been re-sighted thriving – and even breeding – in the wild years later. Reports like these remind us of the true value of our lifesaving work, and we can only hope that you are as inspired as we are to help every bird that needs us.