Before I say anything more, I want to thank our readers that helped native birds enormously, both by responding to our post and feeding the birds immediately and for shared our post which resulted in many more wonderful people doing the same. I cannot adequately express how much your generous response helped mitigate the event. We were blown away when we learned every store in Central WI and beyond were sold out of dried meal-worms, live wax-worms and other insects as well as blueberries, within 24 hrs. Even wild bird seed was in short supply. The fact is, we can take care of birds that need captive care, but you, our readers, supplying wild birds with desperately needed food, saved many hundred, preventing them from slipping to a fatal circumstance. You are all beyond amazing! Thank you so much. We truly felt like we had fantastic partners during this difficult time. ❤️😇
We have had a very busy few days and nights responding to and caring for many starving birds of several different species including American Robins, Hermit Thrush, Fox and Tree Sparrows, American Woodcock, Northern Flickers, Pileated Woodpecker, Dark eyed Juncos and calls on Killdeer and other species. Most came in with weights less than 1/2 of their normal wt. They all required liquid tube feeding to re start their digestive system. Many individuals remain on a "re-feeding" regime but are making progress.
This situation with migratory birds and starvation, is complicated and multi-faceted. The immediate cause is the late aggressive snowstorm, depth of snow, very cold overnight temperature and duration of the event. Contributing factors are the migratory species may have arrived in Central WI in low condition. Migration itself takes a toll on birds. The term "migration exhaustion" is used by scientists to describe the calorie deficient that occurs during flight. Other complications occurred this winter. Many parts of the country experienced severe weather patterns including floods, severe cold, crop failure and high winds. These factors cause physiologic stress, interrupt the bird’s ability to find food and affect the ability to maintain body temperature. (104 F.) When the various species arrived in WI, having survived all the stated challenges, they were hit with a snow bomb cyclone. It was several months of an exhausting "perfect storm" for many species including native birds.
We've lost a few patients including a few female robins. Males fare better as their bodies have more mass. But for the most part many will see the wild world again.
Thank you again. We have always felt our readers where the best, a fact that has been confirmed with your generous and compassionate actions directly to and for native birds. Heroes all!