Fraiser the great horned owl, with her adopted chick at the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society wildlife rescue centre. Photo supplied.

MARS experiencing annual increase in UFO sightings

Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society wildlife rescue hospital has 50 baby birds in care

By Jane Sproull Thomson

Special to Black Press

We are seeing lots of UFOs at MARS!

When birds are very young and almost naked, it is often impossible to determine the species. Until they begin to feather out, the caregivers at MARS (Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society) wildlife rescue hospital therefore affectionately refer to rescued nestlings as Unidentified Flying Objects.

Currently, there are 50 baby birds in care, being fed pretty much continuously by our dedicated staff and volunteers. It takes a village to raise a bird!

Two leading causes of bird trauma and death are window strikes and cat attacks. If you view your windows from the outside, you’ll notice they reflect trees and sky, so you can see why birds are confused. A bird sees this and flies into it.

Some birds with head traumas currently in care include a Rufous hummingbird, a Swainson’s thrush, an orange-crowned warbler and a yellow-crowned sparrow. Window strikes are preventable, and to learn more about this and other ways you can help our feathered pals, please visit our website at marswildliferescue.com

Please keep your cat indoors! It’s safer for the cat and for wildlife. We currently have seven orphaned baby hummingbirds in the hospital, and several likely lost their parents to cats.

We are seeing adult birds poisoned by contaminated seeds, probably due to dirty feeders, so while you’re protecting your loved ones with plenty of hand-washing, how about giving those feeders a good scrubbing with a bit of bleach?

Fawns and other young animals continue to flood into the hospital and in this challenging time we need your donations more than ever. The ever-popular MARS raffle with its great prizes is on now, with tickets available online at marswildliferescue.com

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