By Irene Perry
Sponsor Your Bird for Education
It’s a cold winter’s day. You’re cozy and warm indoors enjoying the perfect view of your bird feeder when suddenly tragedy strikes! A Cooper’s Hawk swoops in and sends the birds fleeing for their lives. Bam! A bird hits your window. Oh no, time to grab a jacket to go out and search for the bird. Was the hit fatal or is the bird just stunned?
This is a scenario I have lived more than once. Most often the bird is just shaken and within a few minutes able to fly away. If I find it on the ground, I always try to place it in a bush far from the reach of my neighbor’s outdoor cat. Occasionally, the hit will be fatal. The bird is then collected in a zip-lock bag with the date, my name and address, and the best ID I can assign. Next, it goes to my freezer so I can forget to bring it to the next Audubon meeting. Better leave myself a reminder before my husband Mark asks if we’re having sparrow for dinner.
This time of year many dead birds are found near our homes in good condition. Skagit Audubon has a program where these birds can be used for scientific study and education. Each month Pam Pritzl brings a cooler to our monthly meeting to collect frozen birds. These birds are then given to the University of Puget Sound. Our chapter now has an opportunity for you to sponsor a bird for our education programs. These sponsorships start at $25.00 for a songbird study specimen. You can also sponsor a bird for taxidermy. Please contact Sheila Pera, firstname.lastname@example.org or Pam Pritzl, email@example.com for more information.
So the next time tragedy strikes your window, you can make a difference collecting the bird and going through the few steps to preserve and bring it to our next meeting. If your bird is in good condition, consider sponsoring it for our chapter’s education programs. The small things we do together can make a big difference connecting people to nature.