By Joanna Fitzgerald | Director of the von Arx Wildlife Hospital
A brown thrasher was among the 96 animals admitted to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida this past week. Other admissions include a northern cardinal, a common gallinule, two eastern screech owls, a chimney swift, a chuck-will’s-widow, two Florida box turtles, and a marsh rabbit.
Kevin Skidmore from BB Locksmith in Naples heard chirping behind his place of business and realized a bird was trapped in a drainpipe. He constructed a tiny ladder made from scrap metal to provide the bird a means of escape. Upon arriving at work the following day Kevin still heard chirping from the pipe and noticed an adult bird frantically flying near the pipe opening; he was determined to rescue the bird and called the von Arx Wildlife Hospital for help. Wildlife Hospital Volunteer, Tim Thompson, was dispatched to assist.
Kevin attached his phone to a pole and was able to video the situation occurring in the pipe. A fledgling brown thrasher was situated three feet into the pipe. Kevin devised a plan; he attached a spaghetti strainer to the pipe opening then coordinated with the three other businesses in the strip mall. They all turned their water on at the same time hoping to flush the young thrasher from the pipe.
The plan worked and the young thrasher was successfully retrieved. The fledgling was weak and obviously exhausted; Tim transported the bird to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital for care.
Wildlife rehab is often challenging, both physically and emotionally. It isn’t often that we encounter people like Kevin; failing to rescue the fledgling brown thrasher just wasn’t an option for him. His determination and genuine concern for the baby bird was incredibly inspiring for everyone at the Wildlife Hospital and well worth the effort – he saved a life.
Four gopher tortoises, three raccoons, a red-shouldered hawk, a brown thrasher, a marsh rabbit, two fish crows, two royal terns, two mourning doves, a loggerhead shrike, four northern mockingbirds, a blue jay, an eastern screech owl, a boat-tailed grackle, a Florida softshell turtle, two common grackles, an osprey, an eastern cottontail, a black racer and a Florida box turtle were released this past week.
Opportunities to Help
Visit the Conservancy website at www.conservancy.org to view the amazing volunteer opportunities at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s von Arx Wildlife Hospital. Volunteers help in many different capacities and are vital to the success of our work. If you think you could dedicate one shift a week to help in the hospital, complete the online application. Your volunteer time, donations, and memberships truly help us continue our work to protect Southwest Florida’s water, land, wildlife and future.