Another nearly-frozen bird has turned up in Ottawa, long after it should have flown south. The black-crowned night heron was spotted looking for food in open water last week, with ice forming on its feathers. Birder Bruce Di Labio managed to pick it up and brought it to the Wild Bird Care Centre on Moodie Drive. The little heron reportedly had frostbite on both feet, but is otherwise unharmed. According to caregivers, he’s on pain medication and antibiotics, but eating well and staying warm. This species of heron is a stocky bird, not tall and gangly like the more familiar great blue heron. It hunts mostly at night, and at this time of year, it should be in Mexico.
Ottawa birders have seen an odd assortment of birds that didn’t fly south this winter, and some that did fly south, from the far northern regions of the country – like snowy owls. Those that should have departed some time ago likely tried to migrate but went in the wrong direction. Others were probably lulled into a sense of security by a mild fall with plenty of food, delaying migration until it is too late.
If you come across an out of place or injured bird, you can contact the Wild Bird Care Centre at (613) 828-2849, or by visiting their website @ https://www.wildbirdcarecentre.org/
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-crowned_night_heron