Surge in recent bird rescues prompts warning from Metro Vancouver group

Click to play video: 'Burnaby wildlife rescue sees 74% spike in bird admissions' Burnaby wildlife rescue sees 74% spike in bird admissions
It appears to be another one of the unexpected results of the pandemic - birds finding themselves in trouble. A Burnaby rescue centre has seen a staggering increase in animals being brought in. Linda Aylesworth now with more on how you can help keep our feathered friends safe this spring – May 7, 2021

A recent surge in bird rescues has a Metro Vancouver wildlife group urging the public to take care when working on their properties this spring.

The Wildlife Rescue Centre at Burnaby Lake says it saw more than 500 birds brought in last month — an increase of 74 per cent over April last year, which was already busy.

Read more: Bird feeders blamed for deadly salmonella outbreak, says B.C. wildlife rescue group

“We don’t know for sure what the connection is, but we do know a lot more people have been spending time watching wildlife. Birding has been high popularity during COVID,” wildlife hospital manager Jenelle Stephenson told Global News.

“Spring at wildlife rescue means high volume, because all of the babies are being hatched and born and birds are mating, they’re interacting in gardens and the green spaces we use together.”

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It’s a time of year when Stephenson said birds are particularly vulnerable, and that residents are starting to get out into their yards to garden and do home improvements.

Read more: Animal-lovers step up to save beloved Okanagan bird sanctuary

The biggest risks this time of year include accidental nest removal and attacks by domestic cats, she said.

Stephenson is asking people to take care to check for nests before taking down a tree or doing construction work, and to keep cats indoors at dawn and dusk when birds are most active.

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