Last night, into early morning, I took over fifty phone calls, texts and Facebook messages. Most were about weak and dying warblers, robins and woodcocks. Please understand this is an extraordinary situation. More snow and cold temperatures are predicted for Wednesday and Thursday. The birds require your help. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! We are in desperate need of volunteer drivers for this event specifically. Please call 715-623-4015 or leave a message on Facebook if you can help us. Birds are coming from Marshfield, Stevens Point, Pittsville, Adams Friendship, Wausau, Shawano, Marion and all of the surrounding areas.
This is not a normal spring. The birds can deal with some snow and cold, but not deep snow (30 plus inches) and sustained cold. They have slipped into hypothermia, unable to maintain their own body temperature or keep themselves warm any longer. Birds that eat insects cannot find natural food. They are starving.
If you see a bird that you can pick up, PLEASE do so. Put it in a cardboard box, not a cage or a carrier. Put a towel in the bottom of the box and bring them into a warm area. Put a heating pad on low under part of the box. Cover the box to create an "incubator" of sorts. You are looking for a temperature of about 80 degrees. Put food in the box. Live or dried mealworms and live waxworms work. (obtain from Wildbirds Unlimited ,Gas station/Fleet Farm/Walmart anywhere that sells fishing bait) Keep bird/box away from family pets. Transport the bird as soon as you can to our facility or your local avian wildlife rehabilitation center. 715-623-4015
If you cannot transport the bird, we will try to find a volunteer transporter. If weather again becomes hazardous call for more instructions. Keep the bird warm, well fed, a small non-tip dish of water in the box in the meantime. Do not release while weather conditions remain challenging.
AGAIN: Please keep your bird feeders full. Robins can eat cut-up raisins, dried mealworms, shelled sunflower-seed pieces, frozen blueberries, crumbled suet blocks. Put food on the ground where you see the birds. Robins congregate along rural roads, near stands of pine,spruce or other conifers. You can also feed them in those locations, Make sure the food you put down is off the roadway. If you see a bird in need, PLEASE pick it up and put it in cardboard box with a towel in the bottom. Bring it into a warmed area. Birds are dying of malnutrition and hypothermia and need assistance to get through this horrific weather. Call REGI at 715-623-4015 or your local avian rehabilitator for guidance. We continue to operate without full staff due to weather conditions.
Thank you for your help. Our thanks to the Marshfield Police Dept. for their help last night and to Antigo Police Departments own Officer Bruce Brown for taking the time to help REGI staffer, Ashley, when she got stuck in the deep snow.