Sorry Girl

Flicker by Tygh
Flicker, a photo by Tygh on Flickr.

I found this Northern Flicker at the suet feeder today with an obvious trauma to her right wing. She seemed strong and was effectively defending her turf against the starlings, but there was no way she was flying anywhere.

I thought about it for a minute; should I leave her there to be easy prey for a cat or another animal, or perhaps to just freeze to death? It is the natural order, on the other hand, it’s hard for me to do nothing.

In the end, I decided that if she was able to recover, the Portland Audubon Society would take her and give her a safe place to recuperate. If she were doomed, then the trip to Audubon would still be her best shot.

I walked out, and followed her down the fence a few yards. She jumped on the ground where I was easily able to pick her up. I got a little bit of blood on my hands as I moved her into a box for transport.

In the end, her prognosis was very bad. her wing was broken at the wrist and the folks at Audubon said that she would never fly again. Their only real option would be to euthanize her.

I was sad to hear this, but the gentleness and professionalism of the staff made me feel better about bringing her in.

Our back yard will be just a little less colorful without her.

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