802.359.5000 | WILD BIRD REHAB: x510
If you’ve never seen this type of bird, that is because they are extremely uncommon in Vermont. Individuals are spotted on rare occasions during the warmer months along rivers, lakes and other wetlands, and they may pass through on a migration route from breeding grounds in the central US to the coast, but they do not typically breed in Vermont or most of inland New England. They also prefer to spend the winters in places much warmer than here, migrating to Mexico, Central and South America. Certainly, just spotting a Great Egret in the middle of Vermont in the middle of December is the first indication that something is not right.
As the days went by, the improving condition of the bird was encouraging, but also had me worrying about the next step. What are we going to do with this bird, once it is healthy? We can’t release him here in the dead of winter, and unfortunately, we don’t have the space or proper set-up to keep him until springtime brings more hospitable weather. Am I going to need to fly this bird down to Florida?
You’ll find in the field of wildlife rehabilitation no shortage of kindness and generosity. People regularly go to great lengths, far out of their way, with no expectation of receiving anything in return, to help out an animal in need. One of our amazing volunteers here at VINS didn’t even hesitate before she offered to make the trip. From the people who first found this egret, to the game warden that drove him almost two hours, to the rehabber to offered to take him on for the winter, this guy had a lot of folks in his corner. I was, and am, so touched by the compassion shown by these people, and that I am lucky enough to see every day.
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