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Everything Wants to Live

June 12, 2010

This note was left, along with an injured Eurasian collared dove  at the Wildlife Center in the overnight box. What touches me is the phrase  “this bird wants to live.”

This I know: Everything wants to live.

Sadly, I was not able to save the bird, which was euthanized. His wing was shattered, the bone protruding from its skin. Broken wings are the bane of the bird rescuer. Even if it is a fresh break with no splintering of the bone and no infection set in, and you’ve got a veterinarian willing to anesthetize the bird and set or pin the bone, the bird will be stressed and in pain and require long term care. Then there is  no guarantee that the bird will ever fly or fly well enough to migrate, hunt, or do what ever that particular species needs to do.  We do not have room to keep every permanently disabled bird who comes through our doors, and cannot ask our vets, who donate their time, to operate on them all.

The human arm is a blunt instrument compared to a bird’s wing.  A bird’s wing is a frigging masterpiece of engineering and when it breaks and does not get put back exactly right it doesn’t do what is was designed to do.

You cannot hit a bird with a car and expect it to fly. I have never understood why, when people see a bird (or any animal) in the road, they do not slow down.

Everything wants to live.


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