Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pileated woodpecker rescue

Today I rescued a pileated woodpecker. This is not it. This is Mac, one of our 5 cats, napping on what I call the 'mother' blanket. There is a beige blanket under him on this couch. He kneads it and then falls asleep like a kitten finished nursing. Just thought he may be having 'pileated' dreams...

I found the bird down near the creek at ice bottom. I spotted it on the edge of the creek on the ground, and went past it on my 4-wheeler , got off, and walked back to it. Belle was crouched trying to figure out what it was, and I shooed her and Penny away. The bird was hurt and it flopped its way into the creek and across the small expanse into the roots of a tree and hid up under it. Naturally I had no gloves and no camera. I left it alone and took the dogs home, got my boots on, got Bob, gloves, a tablecloth and a box and went back. It was still half in the creek and it looked like it was sleeping.Probably really cold. I pulled it out and we wrapped it up, boxed it and came home and called the wildlife rescue number I got from the internet by Googling bird rescue. Next thing I knew, we were in the H with a woody woodpecker inside a kitty litter box, heading for the hours ride to Roanoke. Good thing Jill could come stay with Mom.

Poor Woody looks bad.

Sabrina, the rescue lady, took him right out bare handed and stretched his wing...she said it was broken, she wasn't sure if it was a 'joint break' or not, so prognosis wasn't available yet. He was strong enough to try to peck her and he hung on to her fingers with his talons.She took him in and gave him some medecine for swelling, then came back out to have us fill out an information sheet. She said I did all the right things; wrapped him loosely, put him in a box with air holes, kept him warm and gave it no food or water.

Sabrina said these birds sometimes forage on the ground and he may have been grabbed then, or he could have been fighting with another woodpecker and hit a branch that knocked him down or it could have been a hawk or owl, she just couldn't tell.
Bob and I are hoping he will make it so they can release it back here on our land. We have seen a pair of Pileated's that we believe are nesting here, in past years, and we always enjoy seeing these big beautiful birds.


Becky Mushko said...

Wow! I'm glad you were there to take him to the rescue.

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

He's gorgeous. Looks just like the cartoon. You're wonderful for rescuing him.

Amy Tate said...

What a gorgeous bird! I'm so glad you were able to help him.

Anonymous said...

So glad you helped the pileated. I really love this bird and without you he probably would not have made it. They do forage on the ground for bugs in rotted trees that have fallen.

Thank goodness for you and your kindness.

The Blue Ridge Gal

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union hall, S.W.Virginia, United States
Newly retired from Franklin County Public Schools.Prior to that I was a cosmetologist for several years.