The Wyoming woman behind a non-profit rehabilitation centre for birds of prey is asking backyard bird watchers to put aside their pellet guns and grab their binoculars instead.
Lynn Eves’ plea comes as a Cooper’s hawk came into her care last weekend, discovered in a north-end Sarnia backyard and unable to fly with a pellet lodged in its wing.
The bird, shy of two years, is on antibiotics and likely headed for surgery since the metal fragment is close to the bone, said the woman behind the Bluewater Centre for Raptor Rehabilitation.
“It’s so close to it and it’s just miraculous it didn’t break the bone,” Eves said.
Easily twice a year birds come into her care that’ve been shot by a homeowner trying to protect songbirds – the hawks’ natural food supply – at birdfeeders, she said.
“It’s just something that’s been created with the industry of feeding birds, which everybody enjoys,” she said. “It attracts other predators along with the songbirds.”
But there’s no threat to dogs or cats, and the hawks – and other predators – will generally pick off the weak, sick or old, only eating what they need to survive, she said.
“The songbirds are there for our pleasure and we just have to realize that with that comes other things.”
Beyond interfering with nature, discharging even a relatively benign weapon in a city neighbourhood is not a good move, said Lawrence Green, who found the flightless but fleet-footed hawk Saturday with his wife Leslie in their backyard.
They were able to corral and capture it in a neighbour’s garage, said the 56-year old, so Eves could take it into her care.
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