From the Crow`s Nest


From the Crow`s Nest
From the Crow’s Nest
Volume 6 – Winter 2014
Our annual newsletter is just a small token of
thanks to ALL of our supporters. We hope
through these pages you will enjoy reliving
our year with us. From all of us at Maynard,
including our feathered friends, THANKYOU and enjoy!!
Maynard Avian Rehabilitation Centre
is a non-profit group that helps several hundred birds
return to the wild each year. The birds that come to us
are sick, starving, orphaned or injured and in order to
survive they require specialized medical care. We
provide this. Our on-site wildlife custodian, Joanne
Siddall is certified by the International Wildlife
Rehabilitation Council and is licensed by the
Ministry of Natural Resources. The facility itself is
inspected and monitored by the MNR.
Dear Supporters;
One of my jobs around here is to update Maynard’s web page. So it was with great sadness that I
had to remove the following paragraph from our website. "One of our longest standing partnerships is
with our local OSPCA. We work very closely with the Chatham OSPCA and often enhance each others
capabilities. Injured birds are often on private property and it is best to have an OSPCA agent deal with
the situation. On the other hand, our expertise in rehabilitation provides care otherwise not available in
the OSPCA animal shelter. It is a pleasure to work with such wonderful and dedicated people that share
common interests.“
Unfortunately, the Chatham-Kent OSPCA Branch has made some big and very unfortunate changes
in their operations. They have made it clear that they no longer respond to ANY wildlife or bird calls.
Prior to this year, the Chatham-Kent OSPCA Branch worked in partnership with several authorized
rehabilitators in this area by picking up and bringing various types of injured wildlife to the
appropriate facility. This partnership provided the best possible outcome for wildlife, the rehabilitators
and created tremendous goodwill in the community for the OSPCA, often with follow-up donations.
When speaking to local groups, I would proudly state that this should be the model for other
communities to follow.
I have personally contacted the provincial board chair of the OSPCA with our concerns about this
change in policy but have received no reply. The response from the local branch is simply, “We don't
do wildlife". This decision by the OSPCA throws away a partnership of many years. One that was
good for everyone, especially the birds. Maynard must now ask people to transport birds to us. Failing
that, I try to pick them up when I am available. Maynard will of course continue to help birds in
distress but our work has become much more challenging with the loss of support from the OSPCA.
Rick Siddall, President
Saturday May 30th, 2015, 2:00 – 4:30p.m.
Chatham-Kent Public Library
120 Queen St., Chatham
Please join us at the Chatham Public Library Meeting
Room for our Annual General Meeting. There will be
snacks and drinks, a power-point presentation with
Q&A period, followed by a meet and greet with the
people behind ‘Maynard’. EVERYONE IS
WELCOME. Hope to see you there!
If you find an injured / orphaned bird place
it in a warm, dark and quiet place such as a
cardboard box. Do not put it in a birdcage.
Do not give it food or water. The stress of
handling is very traumatic and often fatal
for wild birds, so keep children and pets
away. For large birds such as Cormorants,
Blue Herons, Hawks and Owls do not
attempt to handle them yourself.
Over the past 20 years I have raised up hundreds of starlings. They
are a delightful bird to work with. From birth to about six weeks of
age they are tame and can be handled easily and taught to eat on
their own. Then suddenly they become wild and fearful of humans
and you know they are about ready to be released. However, this
summer one starling decided to remain tame. In all the years I have
worked with starlings I have only ever had this happen once before.
He sits on my head and arms while I’m working in the clinic. He’s
quite the little assistant. He even sticks his beak up my nose! I have
named him Sparky, after Sparky Anderson from the Detroit Tigers,
my all-time favourite baseball player. Hopefully with more
exposure to other starlings Sparky will discover his true roots and
be released.
Stories by Joanne Siddall
This spring, the Ministry of Natural Resources brought me a pigeon with fishing line tangled tightly
around his wing. The wing had suffered a lot of muscle damage and was very swollen. I was concerned
that it might not heal properly with all the bruising to the muscles. His wing drooped for about two
months. Gradually he got stronger, until finally he was able to lift and fly. He perfected his flying in
our larger outdoor aviary for awhile and we were able to release him shortly afterwards.
Pictures by Carmen McCauley
Early in January we got a call about a Tundra Swan that
needed help. He was found lying in the snow, frozen, starving
and dehydrated. He was given fluids every hour for a few days
to re-hydrate and given a calorie paste until he could eat on his
own. He could barely hold up his head. It was touch and go the
first week and I thought he would die. Thankfully he didn't. He
was slowly getting stronger, so when the weather warmed he
was able to go out to the large outdoor flight. Four months
later we were able to release him, just as his fellow swans
passed through on their way north for the summer. Three other
swans that came into our care did not survive despite our best
efforts. The past winter has been brutal for birds and other
wildlife. We received many more birds than usual for the
winter months. Mostly consisting of mergansers, ducks, and
hawks. All coming in cold and starving. With the lakes and
rivers completely frozen over many birds were doomed. Here's
hoping for a milder winter this year!
We get our share of Canada Goose goslings and this summer was no different. Separated from their
families they come to us in all different sizes. We keep the small ones on heating pads or under heat
lamps until they are a bit bigger. They then going to outside pens where they can eat grass, see other
waterfowl and swim in the kiddie pool. When the geese are fully feathered and ready to fly we take
them to Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation in Kingsville. They have a wonderful pond there that is
open year round and is visited by thousands of geese and ducks every year. The geese are banded and
get to perfect their flying skills in a safe place. When the migrating geese come through in the fall the
young geese are ready to go with them on their journey south. We are so thankful to the wonderful
folks at Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation for their help and support. THANK-YOU!!!
We received a call last summer from some concerned people at a small local business located next to
an abandoned factory field. They had noticed an injured chicken up against the fence inside the locked
up factory property. The folks at this business had contacted the Chatham OSPCA for help only to be
informed that “they don't pick up birds” and to contact Maynard Avian Rehabilitation Centre. I called
the Chatham OSPCA only to get the same response from them. I explained to the OSPCA that it was a
domestic animal and was in distress and on private property. The person on the phone told me “the
OSPCA doesn't do birds”. I asked to speak with the manager but she was not available.
Realizing that none of this was going to help the bird I drove over to the spot to see what could be
done. The people that had called were very concerned about this bird which we could see on the other
side of a 8 foot chain link fence. They had even called the security company that was responsible for the
property. The security company had said just go in and get the bird it was OK with them. I went to the
gate that the security people had said was accessible but it was chained with three heavy duty padlocks.
Stumped by this I went all around the property checking gates for access, all were locked. The man who
had called said the security company had insisted that you could access the property from that gate and
they did not need to send anyone to unlock it. I went back to the gate and took another look at the three
heavy duty padlocks chaining it shut. Then I realized that you could bypass the locks and just lift the
gate right off its hinges. So, I did. I don’t think that was what the security company had in mind, but it
I walked through the overgrown field to approximately where I thought the chicken was, through
weeds up to my chest. The people on the other side of the fence directed me as I went. At this point, I
am really hoping that it doesn't run off into the weeds because I would never be able to find him. The
bird was pretty beat up and luckily did not run far and I was able to catch him pretty easily. The poor
bird was missing feathers, missing all of it's tail and had injuries to the neck. A pretty sad looking
specimen all in all.
Walking back to the truck was a challenge carrying all my equipment and the bird who was getting
friskier by the minute but we made it. I thanked the people for helping out, put the gate back on it's
hinges and headed back to Maynard to get the birds injuries treated. It took many weeks but his feathers
did grow back. We named him Beethoven because, well you can see why…
Story by Rick Siddall
For those of you not familiar with this
type of chicken (most of us weren’t),
we believe Beethoven is a Polish
chicken. They are typically show
birds however they can be good,
although unpredictable, egg layers
and are generally quiet and docile
pets. However, their ‘unique’ head
ruffle can make it difficult for them to
see and this can make them shy and
‘spooky’. Because of this they tend to
be at the bottom of the ‘pecking’
order. Beethoven will always have a
place at Maynard and will get to live
out his life being a happy rooster.
We got a call from a retired teacher who was involved with the environmental studies group at
Chatham-Kent Secondary School in Chatham concerning some ducks at the school. It turned out that a
female mallard had made a nest and had her babies in the courtyard. The staff had fed the ducks all
through the summer and even gave them a small wading pool to swim in but school had started and the
young ducks were not able to fly well enough to manage the steep flight they would need to leave the
court yard. I was concerned if we started to catch the young ducks that the mother would fly away and
we would not be able to reunite her with her babies. So with some assistance from the school staff I
was able to set up a large cage that I planned to herd all the ducks into. Well, things never seem to go
as planned but thankfully I was able to catch the mother duck first. Another twenty minutes or so of
chasing ducklings through the shrubbery and around and under garbage bins we managed to gather
them all up and took them to the Thames River to release them. The ducks all started bathing and
preening in the river like nothing had happened and I was just amazed we could pull in off and keep
the family all together. A big thank you to all who helped with the rescue.
Story by Rick Siddall
By Carmen McCauley
I have been volunteering at Maynard for about a year now. I go one afternoon a week and help clean
cages. It is a lot of hard work. I can’t see how Joanne and Rick could ever find the time to give the
birds the care they need if they had to scour all the cages as well. Each bird must be transferred, if
stable and strong enough, a couple of times a week to a clean cage. Sometimes cages must be
disinfected to protect the next patient. The tall rooms for large birds must be scraped before I can wash
them. The waterfowl room with the bathtub for sick and injured ducks and geese is a huge challenge. I
rake up the straw first. Then I scrape off as much bird poop as possible and then I start the process of
soaking and washing and soaking and washing until it is sanitary enough for the next injured or sick
You can’t imagine all the effort required to rescue wild birds until you see it first-hand. Joanne and
Rick must have on hand all the medications, bandages, heating pads, foods, cages, bowls, blankets etc.
that they might need in each emergency for dozens of different breeds of birds large and small.
What do I get out of my efforts? Well I have stood beside a heron. I have been startled by an angry
swan as tall as myself. I have chatted with pigeons, ravens, starlings and doves. Joanne even taught me
how to gently, quickly and confidently grab a bird, holding its wings down tightly to transfer it from a
dirty cage to its nice clean one with the fresh water bowl and food bowl. I have been granted a new
appreciation for the birds who we share this planet with. Although I have no knowledge as to how to
save an injured bird, I feel that I am at least doing a little something to help.
Wild Bird Seed
Cracked Corn
Science Diet - Adult Cat (baby birds)
Polysporin / Antibiotic Ointment
Insulin Syringes and Syringes (1ml/cc)
Heating pads (baby birds)
Puppy / Adult pee pads (cage liners)
True Flex Elastic Bandage (at TSC)
Self-adhering flexible bandage (PetSmart)
Canadian Tire Money
To become a member or renew your membership please
send us a short note, with your personal information
and payment of $20, to the address below. Thank-you
in advance!
23846 Baldoon Road, RR#7
Chatham, ON, N7M 5J7
(519) 354-7114

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