House Guest

by Kate
(Southern ontario)

My mom was out walking my dog this morning when she heard a series of loud piercing cries from the end of the street which piqued my dog and her interest. This sound eventually led them to a downed adult male yellow-bellied sapsucker who was unable to fly or use its legs. Worried about it being on a lawn close to a busy road she brought it home for me to look after (I have a great deal of experience raising hatchlings to adulthood when they are caught by cats). I have been trying to research them as much as possible to take care of this fellow. Tomorrow I plan to take him to my vet, and talk to the humane society about whether it will be best to locate a rehabilitation center or to keep him in my yard close to area he is familiar with. I have offered him a number of things which we had on hand (water, raspberries, and watered down maple syrup) He has had two raspberries so far, I don't think he has figured out the syrup or water yet, and I plan to get him some crickets, or meal worms from the pet store tomorrow (this is the closest substitute for ants that I can think of). He seems very chipper despite whatever is wrong with him, he is very alert and keeps flapping his wings and pecking at the cage bottom. The few times I have checked on him under his towel in my old birds cage he is very wary of me but he has not been able to fly away. It is April and in so I assume mating season is fast approaching, I am reluctant to hand him over to a wildlife facility as I don't want him to lose his territory and chance to mate this year.

If anyone has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated. Tomorrow I am going to consult with both my local animal shelter and vet as to what the best course of action will be. Any other suggestions are welcome however.

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