Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

December 26, 2011

A Canvasback Duck Dives Back In

A Volunteer’s Story

Dear Friends,

Hundreds of birds have inspired me during my 9 years volunteering at International Bird Rescue, but the story of one Duck captures, for me, what it means to contribute to International Bird Rescue’s rehabilitation efforts each year.

Several months ago we admitted a very thin adult male Canvasback Duck with a compound fracture on his foot, a comminuted fracture in his wing, and very poor blood values. He had been hanging around a construction site where workers fed him parts of their lunches for 5 days before they realized he couldn’t fend for himself and needed help.

International Bird Rescue performed critical surgeries to remove bone fragments and infected tissue from his foot. His only chance for recovery was to be in water and off the foot while it healed. This was a problem since his wing also needed to be immobilized, and a traditional wing wrap would misalign his feathers, taking away his waterproofing. After careful consideration of his predicament, the staff and one of the interns made him a specially designed band that minimized damage to his feathers and enabled him to recuperate in a temperature-regulated hospital pool.

The food and supplies necessary to nourish and provide individualized care for birds like this Canvasback Duck can be costly, but donors like you enable us to give them every possible chance.

Soon we were able to move him to a larger outdoor pool where he started to dive; he gained weight and his blood values improved. In about a month he was flying and ready for release into a thriving population of Canvasbacks at Oakland’s Lake Merritt!

The successful rehabilitation of International Bird Rescue patients like this Duck inspires my dedicated support of this incredible nonprofit. I have taken part in the treatment of hundreds of birds, and know that each one is special and deserves our help.

I would like to humbly remind you that time is running out to make your year-end contribution to International Bird Rescue. Please donate today. Together we can provide each avian patient with the best possible care in 2012 and beyond.

With sincere thanks, and best wishes for the new year,

Marge Elliott, R.N.
Volunteer
International Bird Rescue


photo by Marie Travers – International Bird Rescue
Help prepare International Bird Rescue for another year of aquatic bird and seabird rehabilitation. Your generous donation will matter. 

More About Marge  

• Prior to volunteering at International Bird Rescue, Marge worked as a Registered Nurse for more than 35 years.

• Marge’s daughter is a biologist for PRBO and worked alongside International Bird Rescue during the 2001 Luckenbach oil spill in San Francisco.

• Marge had no experience with birds prior to her first volunteer orientation, and upon reflecting on that day she recalled the impressive skill of the staff, “And the birds— Wow! — Where had they been all my life?”

• And how long does Marge plan on volunteering at Bird Rescue? “As long as I can!”

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