Wildlife group calls on bird lovers for help

| 15/07/2010

(CNS): As a result of the departure of a number of their valued volunteers, Cayman Wildlife Rescue urgently needs people to hand raise rescued baby birds for release back into the wild. The group needs people who can be at home with the birds all day and can feed them every hour from sun up-to sun down and can house them in a quiet secure environment. A two month commitment is needed and once the birds are raised they will be released into the wild at the volunteers’ homes. Alison Corbett, Programme Manager said it is hard work but very rewarding and called on the community to help.

“The programme has recently lost some valued volunteers and is in urgent need of new volunteers who have the time to hand rear nestlings. Although we have an extensive volunteer list we do not have many volunteers who are free during day time hours,” she explained. “We’re looking for individuals who work from home, are retired or are on summer break. Raising wild birds for release is hard work, but very rewarding and generally the birds can be released onto the volunteer’s property.”
Cayman Wildlife Rescue makes every attempt to restore nestlings to their wild families, but Corbett said it is not always possible. “Fallen nestlings are a growing problem, mainly due to lack of good nest sites in urban areas. Birds are often using palm trees, which do not provide a good nesting platform. Trees are also cut back at this time for hurricane preparedness,” she added.
The requirements for volunteers to hand raise baby birds are: availability to feed nestlings every 30-60 minutes from sun up to sun down; baby birds must be housed in a quiet and secure environment; volunteers must be able to commit to 1-2 months of care; volunteers will conduct the care from their home; volunteers must be of 18 years of age or older; volunteers who rent property must have the written authorization of their landlord.
Corbett also reminded people to look for nests before pruning trees or shrubs, and if anyone finds a baby bird, they are asked to call the LIME sponsored Wildlife Emergency Hotline 917-BIRD (2473) for help and support. 
CWR has a tall ladder to assist with nest and nestling restorations and has trained wildlife rehabbers. Never attempt to care for wildlife yourself. Wild animals have special diets and demanding feeding schedules. They need the expert care of a trained volunteer.
The volunteer organisation also urges pet owner s to be responsible, noting that cats and dogs running free can easily kill baby birds learning to fly. Keep your dog safe in your yard and your cat inside to protect Cayman wildlife, they say.
Cayman Wildlife Rescue is a program of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands tasked with the rescue of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife for release back into the wild. It is financed by donations from the public and staffed entirely by volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Alison Corbett at caymanwildliferescue@gmail.com, you can also visit www.caymanwildliferescue.org.
For more information on volunteering to raise baby birds, please email Alison Corbett at caymanwildliferescue@gmail.com.
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  1. Ken P says:

    Let’s get the kids involved since they have holidays also put up a notice in the airport, condos and hotels as many tourist I’m sure would be happy to assist. Our wildlife is facing a serious loss of habitat and are victims of over development and traffic. More residents need to support to great work of the National Trust and Wildlife Rescue.

    • Cayman Wildlife Rescue says:

      We only allow those over the age of 18 to care for animals.  This is in order to comply with internal standards for wildlife rescue.  There are other ways though of course for children to show their support of our program and to get involved.  We recently completed a Wildlife Read a Thon and would like to do more next school year.  For more information please contact caymanwildliferescue@gmail.com.

      We also have wildlife adoption kits available at the National Trust Gift Shop for $30.  They make wonderful gifts for children of all ages and come housed in a reusable bag with a plush toy, symbolic adoption certificate and information on their animal and how to help native wildlife.  We have two choices for adoption kits: Cayman Parrot or Bat.  All proceeds benefit Cayman Wildlife Rescue.

      The response so far has been wonderful though.  Through CNS we are now reaching out to people who do have the time to give our animals.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps teachers who are on summer holiday could help out?