[Ontbirds] Mr. P
owletdb at hotmail.com
Sun Feb 14 23:40:18 EST 2010
Dear Fans of Mr. P:
I know that it's been a very long time since I have posted and there is a reason for that.
As the weather became increasingly colder and more winter-like, it became apparent that Mr. P went further and further afield to sustain himself and keep warm. Where he went on those numerous days and nights without being found, I have no idea. However, from time to time, he would show up at his usual haunts but those occasions were few and far between. Even though Sue and I continued to keep a watchful eye, there seemed to be no pattern to his habits, as there had been in the past. He would disappear for a week to 10 days at a time and therefore, one could not guarantee his whereabouts. He also became increasingly cautious ( a good thing ) and seemed to spook much more readily. His continued existence became the main focus as all of his resources were required to just keep him alive. Outside influences would have perhaps hindered his chance of survival. For all of these reasons I did not post and I hope that everyone will understand, that the life of Mr. P outweighed all else.
Up until Feb. 8th, I had not seen Mr. P for 2 weeks. As I set about my twice daily walks in hopes of once again sighting him, I came home after my morning walk 'without a bird in hand' and very disappointed. However, in the back of my mind I always thought "well he's surprised you before, don't give up hope". As I scoured his usual haunts, late in the afternoon of the 8th, I nearly missed him but there he was mingled with the late afternoon shadows, foraging for berries on the ground. I recall a quick intake of breath and then holding my breath for fear of alarming him into flight. I watched for almost an hour as he struggled to find food. A couple of times he ascended into the branches of a multiflora rose and took a few rose hips. Just before dusk he departed for his nightly roost but his flight was very low. I felt concerned.
The next morning Rick (my husband) and I were getting ready to go to the greenbelt to harvest more buckthorn berries and rose hips to stock up various feeding areas for Mr. P, ahead of the forecasted snow storm. Upon looking out our window to the backyard, there was Mr. P in the very multiflora bush in which I had very first spotted him. He was on a very low branch and made a few weak attempts to garner rose hips and was successful with 3. However, after sitting on the low branch once again, he then fell onto the ground. We watched and waited, with anguish and hoped that he would recover but it became obvious that he was too exhausted to remove himself from the snow and leaves on which he was laying. We realized that we must do our best to rescue him. Fortunately, we were able to do so. Rick, gently ensconced Mr. P in a light wrap, from which we transferred him to a rescue box. In so doing, I actually held Mr. P in my hands for a few brief seconds. What a moment.
We are pleased to tell everyone that Mr. P is alive and recovering wonderfully at SOAR. He's "eating like a madman" and needed to have his face washed because it was quite 'jammy'. He's also taken a bath that was offered to him and continues to eat everything in sight. His prognosis seems optimistic.
SOAR is an avian songbird centre, ( charitable foundation ) run by a wonderful, able, concerned , recognized woman who devotes her life to saving songbirds. We know that Mr. P is in excellent hands and will surely survive with the great care that is being given him. With all due respect and I totally appreciate how interested people are to see Mr. P, I humbly request that you do not visit or send emails to SOAR. It truly is a hospital for sick songbirds, that need calm, quiet and respite to ensure their recovery. The Lady that runs this facility is dedicated to her task and is humble in the wonderful work that she performs. For this reason we request that your desire to see Mr. P be put 'on hold'
In the meantime, I will be glad to post a weekly update of Mr. P's recovery. If any one feels inclined to offer assistance to the maintenance of Mr. P or to the other songbirds being rehabilitated, please contact me personally and not Ontbirds. I'll be glad to assist.
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