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Donations sought to drive bird to California

The Wildlife Rescue Association is looking for financial donations to pay for the transportation costs of re-locating a white-throated swift to California. The bird was was found in Coquitlam Nov. 4 and nursed back to health. But it won
The Wildlife Rescue Association is looking for financial donations to pay for the transportation costs of re-locating a white-throated swift to California. The bird was was found in Coquitlam Nov. 4 and nursed back to health. But it won't survive if released to this cold climate.
— image credit: WRA/Paul Steeves

Taylor Swift needs a ride to California.

No, not the American mega star who can afford her own limousine. This bird who needs a ride is a white-throated swift that was found scared and starving on a sidewalk near Coquitlam Centre.

The young bird was brought to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Burnaby Nov. 4. It was in bad shape and suffering from Central Nervous System (CNS) trauma but, after being fed mashed bugs by volunteers for six weeks, is now ready to be returned to the wild. Problem is the bird is in the wrong place at the wrong time and needs a more southern climate to be able to feed itself and survive.

"Ordinarily the bird would fly with its flock," explained WRA communications coordinator Yolanda Brooks, but it's too late in the year to begin the 3,000 km flight to Northern California, where it stands the best chance of survival.

To raise funds for the trip, including transportation, gas, accommodation and food, WRA has started "Operation Taylor," to raise $1,600 in donations. Brooks said it's rare that the society has to fundraise for transportation, but this is a special case, and the non-profit organization needs the financial support.

"This year, we've just had over 4,000 animals in care, and it's kind of been expensive to look after this long and the costs of transporting down are so expensive we were hoping to cover the cost," Brooks said.

The plan is to drive the bird down to Sebastopol in California where it will be handed over to staff at the Native Songbird Care and Conservation centre, where it will be released with a local flock once it has acclimatized.

“After caring for the swift for so many weeks, we want to ensure that it has the best chance of a long and healthy future and a road trip to California to be reunited with its own kind is the best option for its long-term chances of survival,” stated Linda Bakker, the WRA’s Team Leader of Wildlife Rehabilitation in a press release.

Donations will be accepted on line at www.wildliferescue.ca or by phone at 604-526-2747.

 

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