December 20, 2013 5:59 pm

Stranded ‘Taylor’ swift needs funds to find flock after missing migration

The Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C. is raising money to return a white-throated swift to California after it missed its migration window recovering from injuries.

WRA launched “Operation Taylor,” named after pop superstar Taylor Swift, to get the bird back to warmer climates after it was found in distress on a Coquitlam sidewalk in November.

White-throated swifts never land on the ground voluntarily and only use their short legs to cling onto vertical surfaces or wires.

Taylor was suffering from central nervous system trauma and was underweight, needing 10 days of medical treatments and supportive care.

However, while the bird was recovering, it missed its migration window and is now thousands of miles away from the nearest flocks of its fellow white-throated swifts.

GALLERY: White-throated “Taylor” swift recovers from injuries 

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“The bird was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and releasing it  around chilly Vancouver would be a death sentence,” the WRA said. “White-throated swifts are not usually found this far north at this time of year and it needs to be released in central California where the weather is milder, the food sources more abundant and other white-throated swifts are present.”

To save the bird, WRA staff plan to drive 3,000 kilometres to a rehabilitation centre in California where the bird will be released.

The bird can’t fly in an airplane because it needs to be hand-fed every hour from dawn to dusk and kept in a quiet and warm environment.

Staff said Taylor has a good chance of survival and since they can live for up to 20 years, it is worth the trip.

The association is raising $1,600 to pay for the trip, including wildlife permits, border brokers, accommodation and meals.

Anyone who wants to donate to Operation Taylor can visit the WRA website or call the office at 604-526-2747.

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