Wildlife is pretty spectacular. Not just the majestic things like a whale breaching, but every little thing. Right in your back yard. Ants and bees, for instance. Complex creatures engaged in great efforts.
Living smack in the middle of a large city, I am constantly amazed by how well the local creatures adapt to city life. Coyotes are on the comeback. Critters of all sizes and shapes can be found taking advantage of their surroundings, including people who struggle to carve an existence on the streets. They eat what we leave untended and unwanted. They use the detritus of our lives to make their nests more comfortable. A man beds down on a pile of cardboard. A bird winds a colorful trifle through its nest.
The result isn’t always as pleasant to see. As we expect of everything. Action and reaction.
I met with an unfortunate Canada Goose during my morning run. Its leg entangled with fishing line. Not at all how I want to kick off my mornings. I would like to say it was an accident of fate. That fishing line thrown away in the readily available trash bins had managed to get loose. Perhaps during trash pickup. Having seen the way people treat their environment, it’s difficult to believe that explanation. We are really shitty stewards of this rock we live on.
Not having any tools with which to help and having a dog with me that would like nothing better than to tussle with a goose, I went home and called the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors hotline. Should you find yourself wondering how to help an injured bird, check the Wildlife Rehabilitation Information Directory for someone near you that can help.
It may not look like a huge problem, but the goose was alone (pretty unusual at this location) and clearly distressed, not wanting to go into the water even as I approached with my beast.
On the positive side, the fine folks at Chicago Bird Collision Monitors were able to track down and help this goose and one other that was apparently entangled even worse.
Side note: While searching for info, I ran across the Fatal Light Awareness Project. We all know that birds smack into windows. I was still surprised at how quickly that counter moved on the FLAP site.
An estimated 1 to 10 birds die per building, per year. The City of Toronto has over 950,000 registered buildings that could potentially kill over 9 million birds each year. Across North America, the estimated number of migrating birds killed annually in collisions with buildings ranges from 100 million to 1 billion birds.
Dangers abound for everyone. Let’s not make survival harder than necessary.
- Endangered Herons Move to Lincoln Park (lspaul13.wordpress.com)
- BirdLife welcomes tough talk on illegal hunting (timesofmalta.com)
- Ground-nesting bird species endangered in Tamil Nadu (thehindu.com)
- The Goose Story (heatherlee5.wordpress.com)