Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Please Never Do This!

We had a wildlife disaster in downtown Richmond today. A building put out a product called Tanglefoot on their rooftop. Tanglefoot is basically a glue trap. Whoever put it out intended in this cruel way to rid the building of Pigeons. Instead they caught Cedar Waxwings. Several of our rehabbers spent all evening and far into the night disentangling these lovely birds, ungluing them, washing them with detergent. The final count of injured birds was 49. It is going to take a long, long time for them to regrow their wings and recover - if they do recover. The next 48 hours will be critical for them.

The full horror of the situation can only be appreciated by clicking on these photos, to see them full size.


DebD said...

Anastasia, that is just horrible looking! Even for pigeons, why would anyone think this is a good thing??

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

This is **utterly** disgraceful.

As a longtime bird rehabilitator myself, I am so angry to see this .

Is it possible to report both the owners of the building and the contractors who used this noxious gunk for deliberate wildlife cruelty ?
Are these gorgeous little birds protected/vulnerable species ?

As Deb says, even for pigeons, which I agree can be a major problem, this is a vile and wicked way to meet one's end, by starving and stress.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Deb, I have no idea why anybody would be so cruel to any creature. There are also glue traps for mice that ought to be outlawed. (The product in these photos is actually USDA approved!)

One of the problems with any trap is, you don't know for sure what you will catch! I once had a Red Fox whose broken and gangrenous foot had to be amputated because he had been caught in an illegal steel-jawed trap set for rats. He was never releasable. Luckily, a very small, private zoo accepted him.

Elizabeth, no need to report anybody; the birds came to us from a State agency in the first place, (Department of Game and Inland Fisheries). So the appropriate authorities already know. Well, except they thought they were bringing us 32 birds; we will let them know it was actually 49.

Almost all birds in the U.S. are protected by State AND Federal Law, and some migratory birds, by international treaties as well. Their nests and eggs are also protected. The exceptions are "nuisance birds": Pigeons, Starlings, and House Sparrows.

Which brings us to another point: these Cedar Waxwings are presumably going to miss at least their first round of breeding and nesting this year. So even if they all survive, our local population of Cedar Waxwings will be significantly diminished.

So glad to have "met" a rehabber in the U.K.!