Presentation on theme: "Capture and Transport Carolina Raptor Center. Introduction Frequently, when a bird is found, the finder is either unable to capture the bird, or is."— Presentation transcript:
Capture and Transport Carolina Raptor Center
Introduction Frequently, when a bird is found, the finder is either unable to capture the bird, or is afraid to approach it. It is therefore up to a volunteer to safely capture and transport the bird.
Equipment Always use proper equipment for the size and condition of the bird.
Equipment for small birds Lighter, gardening-style gloves can be used for small species such as NSWO (Northern saw-whet owl), EASO (Eastern screech owl), AMKE (American Kestrel), MIKI (Mississippi kite), SSHA (Sharp-shinned hawk).
Equipment for most larger birds Heavier, welders’ gloves can be used for most other species except for eagles
Equipment (Contd.) Larger gloves make it more difficult to feel how well the bird is restrained. However, not using thick enough gloves will result in handler injury. Gloves that fit too well may also compromise handler safety. A looser glove will make it more likely that a bird only gets glove in its grasp rather than crushing your fingers.
Equipment (Contd.) Check your gloves frequently for wear and damage, such as split seams, thin spots in the leather, etc.
Other Supplies CRC Nametag CRC “packet” to give to public Flashlight Long-sleeved jacket (in case you have to chase the bird through brambles or underbrush)
Safety First! Safety equipment: Leather gloves Current tetanus shot Goggles Evaluate the situation Is traffic a danger? Are you uncomfortable in the neighborhood? If you are meeting the finder, are they behaving oddly?
Capturing birds Equipment needed: Gloves Net – fishing nets from Target or Wal-Mart will work Something to contain the bird in after it is caught These particular nets have been modified ( rim padded, netting replaced with pillow case)
Capture – contd. In some cases, where the bird is seriously injured, very weak, or very young, it may simply be a case of walking up, picking up the bird, and placing it in a box.
Capture – contd. If the bird is still able to run, corner using structures or vegetation, or with assistants helping to distract the bird. In the case of most birds except vultures, “rushing” the bird quickly will cause it to roll over on its back with its feet in the air, making it easier to capture. This is a defensive posture – be cautious of the talons! Cover the bird with blanket or net to keep from running/flying away or grabbing you with its feet
Capturing birds (contd.) This method does not work well with vultures. Vultures are very fast runners and must either be cornered or surrounded by assistants.
Building captures Occasionally a bird will be trapped in a garage or other building. If the ceilings are low enough, a fishing-type net with a 3-4’ handle can be used. If you have an assistant, have them flush the bird towards you; this makes it easier to anticipate where the bird is going and get it in the net. Hint: the bird will almost always fly as close as possible to the ceiling
Building captures (contd.) Once the bird is in the net, immediately place the open side of the net against a wall or the floor to prevent the bird from flying back out
Chimney rescues Some birds, especially cavity nesters, will become trapped in chimneys
Chimney rescues – contd. Supplies: Old clothes Old blanket or towels to put around fireplace to avoid getting soot on the floor Goggles to keep soot out of your eyes Ski mask or cap to keep soot out of hair Pole with noose on the end
Chimney rescues - contd. Simple pole “noose” 3-4’ of flexible plastic tubing 6-7’ Rope Tape or otherwise secure one end of rope on the outside near one end of the tube Run the free end of the rope through the tube
Chimney rescues – contd. Put down towels Carefully look up through flue – is the bird visible? Grasp by feet/legs with a gloved hand if you can reach the bird. Otherwise, use the “noose” to hook around legs. Pull bird down through flue (wings will fold up, allowing it to pass through) Chimney birds often have damage to the eyes and lungs from soot; may be starved or dehydrated if have been trapped for long
Unusual situations Adult Eastern Screech owl
Capture - handling Treat bird as if any limb may be broken Always wear your protective gloves
Full Body Grab This is the safest grab for a very weak or lethargic bird, where its injuries are unknown Using both hands, grab the wings and fold them against the body. Your thumbs will be on the bird’s back, palms over its wings, and fingers wrapping around the front of the body Note that this will leave both legs unrestrained
Full Body Grab
Full Body Grab (contd.) Use this method on Small birds All babies Bones are still soft and fragile, and so are easily broken Birds where you suspect there is a broken leg or pelvis Vultures (weak legs)
Capture contd. Med / large birds: wrap in towel and pick up by entire body if possible. Make certain that the legs are restrained, however – these are the bird’s primary weapons.
How to Restrain the Legs The strongest and safest method of restraining the legs for most birds is to grasp both legs in one hand, just above the feet. One leg should be held between the thumb and index finger, the other between the index and middle fingers.
Capture – contd. Once the legs have been restrained, use the other hand to fold its wings against its body Hold the upper portion of the wings so that you are restraining shoulder and wrist
Vultures Because vultures have very weak legs, always use a full-body grab when capturing They will try to bite and/or vomit, so hold them so that the head is as far away from you as possible.
Capture – contd. In all cases, be sure to restrain / support all limbs. Flailing a broken wing can increase tissue damage. Using a broken leg to support the bird’s weight can also cause further damage
Removing Stray Talons Birds will generally try to defend themselves; this can result in the bird grasping the glove – or you! – very tightly. If the glove is loose enough, slide your hand out of the glove and let the bird have it for the moment. If the bird has too strong a grip on you (or a talon in you), there are two potential methods to get it loose.
Removing Stray Talons Method one: Force the hock joint straight. This will frequently force the toes to either let go or at least loosen.
Removing Stray Talons Method two: Toss the bird in the air as if you are going to let it go. Don’t actually let go! Thinking it is about to escape, the bird will frequently release its grasp in preparation for flight. Be very careful to use this method away from furniture, walls, cars, or anything else a bird could injure itself or break feathers on. For obvious reasons, you would not want to use this on a bird where a broken bone is suspected
Biting Many birds, particularly owls and vultures, will also bite, so keep the head away from your body as well
Transporting the bird Place the bird into a secure carrier. Plastic pet carriers work well. Will hold most raptors except eagles Unlike cardboard carriers, can be cleaned Also unlike cardboard carriers, the bird probably can’t chew its way out Place a clean towel in the bottom
Transporting the bird Cardboard boxes can be used as well Be sure to put in air holes before putting the bird inside Add a clean towel for the bird to rest on
Transporting the bird Kennels can also be used during transport. Be sure to place a towel over the door and any “windows” in the sides to keep the bird calm during transport No radio, limited human voices while transporting
Transporting the bird (contd.) If you have to keep the bird overnight Room temperature Quiet and dark area— a closet or “extra” bathroom works great if you don’t have a spare room No food or water
Engaging the Public Marketing, marketing, marketing! Optimal time to get finder excited about CRC Transporting can be just as much about educating the finder as rescuing the bird Many finders may become donors and will tell others about our organization
Engaging the Public What to give to the finder: 1. A CRC brochure 2. A “Free Admission” pass 3. A Volunteer business card when available (you can put your information on here if you would like) If you run out, be sure to pick up more next time you are at CRC!
Engaging with the Public Explain to them that we are a nonprofit organization Encourage finders to visit CRC and walk nature trail Explain that they will not be able to visit “their” bird while it is in the rehabilitation program, but we can invite them to the release if they are interested
Engaging the Public You are representing CRC, and the public sees you as an expert. Giving incorrect or contradictory information will reflect badly on their perception of the entire organization Do not speculate on cause of injury if you do not know. Do not speculate on the species if you do not know. Reassure the finder that the bird will be identified and given a thorough exam at our facility
Quiz Time! Tell me one thing that is different about vulture capture and handling!
Conclusion Thank you for becoming a transport volunteer! With almost 700 birds admitted to CRC in 2008, we could not do it without you!