WILDLIFE 911: Bird Unable to Fly
Some reasons a bird may be unable to fly are:
Loon with fishhook embedded in throat.
Injured birds should be caught and brought to a vet or rehabilitator.
Window strikes are estimated to kill around 25 million birds per year in Canada alone. If a bird hits your window it may just be stunned and simply need time to recuperate.
Unfortunately, electrocutions are common among large raptors such as owls, hawks, eagles, and falcons. Electrocution does much internal damage to a bird and it can take them many weeks to die. If you see a raptor on the ground in the same location and near a power line several times this could be an indication it has been electrocuted. If you are able to approach the bird and it does not take off contact the WRSOS Hotline for directions and see the Safe Capture and Transport section.
In Saskatchewan we are lucky to be a major part of the “Duck Factory” of North America. It is estimated that 70% of the ducks born in North America are born right here in Saskatchewan. Unfortunately, this also means we are one of the best hunting destinations for many people. “Hunting “misses” are quite common in the fall both during and for approximately 4 to 6 weeks after waterfowl hunting season. These are birds that were shot but, were not initially injured badly enough to be caught. After a period of time they become weaker and often get infections in the wounds. They are often too weak to migrate and can be found:
These wounds can be very hard to find even for a trained professional and are often only found after x-rays give an idea of where to look. These birds must have medical attention. Contact WRSOS for further instructions.
There are a number of species of water birds in Saskatchewan that are unable to take flight from land. These birds occasionally mistake roadways or frozen water for open water and land. Once they are on the ground, they are trapped. Some examples of these are Pelicans, Grebes, and Loons. Pelicans are so large they need a fairly big pond to take flight from. Grebes and Loons are classified as diving birds. Diving birds dive for their food. Their legs are placed so far back on their bodies that they are unable to walk on land either. These birds must be helped to water where they will be able to take flight. Caution - diving birds often spear their prey and will go for your eyes. Contact WRSOS and see the Safe Capture and Transport icon.