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To TAWhatley,

I don't expect people to agree with me simply because they have another point of view, mistaken or not.

For instance the federal regulations governing possession of migratory birds do not set any time limits at all as to when, if ever, a rescued bird must be taken to a vet or licensed rehabber. Reading the Act in isolation, one could conclude that migratory birds are best left to die, rather than being helped. However, if you read the Congressional declaration concerning the Migratory Bird Act and its related history it is clear that what is intended is the prevention of commercial exploitation of migratory game birds, commercial hunters in a word. The Act has really done nothing much as commercial hunting has now moved over into private shooting where land owners bait game birds during the year so that the private hunters can come and kill as much as they like or can afford. I notice that each year wardens regularly find refrigerated trucks prowling around the national forests and other areas stocked with illegal kills. In that context, threatening someone who takes in a disabled dove or finch, is rather stupid, wouldn't you agree?

The problem is that the so-called licensed rehabbers are a very officious group who appear to be more interested in protecting their "turf" such as it is, than the welfare of birds. As littlebird's story amply illustrates, it was the petty jealousy of a so-called licensed rehabber who managed to find a couple of cops with nothing else to do, to threaten her to stop helping injured and sick birds. If that is an example of what licensed rehabbers are all about, all of us, the birds included, would be much better off without them. While I certainly understand the need for information sharing and mutual support in dealing with sick and injured birds, that does not mean that one's common sense has to be left at the doorstep.

The provisions of the migratory bird Act and the wildlife conservation Act should be recognized as exactly what they are and what they are about. Fundamentally the route to a license means business for the veterinarians; but when there is no money in it, pigeons for example, there is also no interest in it either. Let each of us be guided by our conscience and act accordingly; we have hung people and executed people for their failure to do so in other contexts.
 

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I have little doubt there are some fine decent people who become rehabbers with nothing more than an interest in helping wild birds. However I can not recount the number of times people have told me they have taken injured or sick birds to a certain well known rehabber here in the Chicago area just to be told it would have to be put down. Of course they end up wondering why they went to all the time and trouble in the first place.Those decisions may or may not have been justified by the condition of the bird, but unquestionably the economics of treating that bird appear to play a major role in the decision making, and when making money comes into the picture, for good or for evil, the rules of the game change. Yes they are all supposed to be charitable non-profit organizations, but some I notice are more non-profit than others. The truly unprofitable are usually more concerned with the bird's welfare than disposing of a case.
 

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I`m a rehabber that struggles with funding,but I always find a way to provide the songbirds my best expertise and medical care.One problem I often have(and have right now) is what to do with unreleasable Mourning doves.Although I have sent many songbirds to AZA-accredited zoos,they don`t want mourning doves.It is a difficult choice for me to make to euthanize a bird,but since F&W will only allow me to rehab a bird for 5 months,I have to either find placement or euthanize.This could be why those places that PTS do this.
BTW- I know that F&W required me to send photos of my outdoor aviary to get my federal license.A federally-permited songbird rehabilitator is required by federal law to have an outdoor flight pen.
 

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Like I said, there is no requirement that a person must park their brains and common sense on the doorstep if they want to help birds.

If you want to play in the government's bailiwick, you must play by the government's rules.
 

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Discussion Starter #65
As I mentioned before.... most rehabbers are between a rock and a hard place .... and that is exactly what I meant. It is so unfair to work so hard to save a life and then have no place for the bird to live out it's life. I cannot understand why the authorities do not make an exception for non-licensed people to harbor the healthy but flightless rehabbed birds ... especially those who lose their flight abilities as a fledgling. I understand a rehabbed adult not being able to accept confinement but a fledgling or younger usually has no problem in an aviary as they have never known freedom.
I agree It's crazy, If the bird can no longer fly and a non-licensed person wants to give it a home to live out it's life then why not? What is wrong with this Government! These rules need to change I would have taken care of that little guy for as long as I needed to. We should write our lawmakers to change these dumb, cruel rules!
 

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I`m a rehabber that struggles with funding,but I always find a way to provide the songbirds my best expertise and medical care.One problem I often have(and have right now) is what to do with unreleasable Mourning doves.Although I have sent many songbirds to AZA-accredited zoos,they don`t want mourning doves.It is a difficult choice for me to make to euthanize a bird,but since F&W will only allow me to rehab a bird for 5 months,I have to either find placement or euthanize.This could be why those places that PTS do this.
BTW- I know that F&W required me to send photos of my outdoor aviary to get my federal license.A federally-permited songbird rehabilitator is required by federal law to have an outdoor flight pen.


Hi tms,


Where you located?


Phil
lv
 

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Like I said, there is no requirement that a person must park their brains and common sense on the doorstep if they want to help birds.

If you want to play in the government's bailiwick, you must play by the government's rules.


Quite so...



Within this, possibly, there is away in which a Licenced Rehabber can call upon outsouced care-giving for non-ctirical Birds, under their supervision...which could allow non-releaseables to have good Homes with private people, or in 'Annexes', and having some Memorandum if necessary to formalize the arrangements or understandings...'possibly'...

I do not now the ins and outs, and I have not read the endless texts associated with it.


I did fill out and send in my State and Federal 'rehabber' Applications some time back, so, I guess I could say, my 'License' is 'Pending'...and I know Paperwork can take a while...


But the Federal Application forms were massive, and the Texts which went with them were like a couple LA Phone Books...I just do not have those handy now to refer to them, but, I guess, if one wanted, one could send off for the Texts and read up on how these Laws and guidelines are written and what have to them in that sense.



Phil
l v
 

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Hi tonyb,

The laws don't need changing, they work just fine. It is the citizen's obligation to understand what they do exactly and what they do not do. Most people approach the MBA and the CA like a cook book looking for a short simple answer. It is not the easy and the enforcement people know less than you do and care less than that.


To pdbbison,

It is intended to discourage people from applying, obviously. Not many years ago it was illegal to brew home made beer in any amount for any reason. If you wanted a license you had to post a copy of the license on your door, submit to unannounced inspections, renew every year, submit to personal interviews, all of which was intended to discourage people. People with any brains in their heads just quietly made their homebrew and kept their mouths shut about it. As long as they were not making truck loads of the stuff. IRS just looked the other way. After Congress changed the Code, a small lucrative industry grew up which finally died out for lack of interest.
 

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What an interesting thread. I'm behind in reading so just saw it.

Years ago, the Dept. of Interior would grant permission to keep a non-releasable bird. We found a wing injured Evening Grosbeak in our yard and took it to a vet. The vet said one wing was injured so badly he could never be released. He put us in touch with the Dept of Interior who granted us permission, in writing, to keep this bird. But you know what - their explanation was they were trying to compile information on all birds and that, when and if our "Starsky" died, we were to give them his body. Starsky lived three plus years and when he died I contacted them and they checked their records and said they had received the body of another EG and would not need ours.

I wish the law could be clarified and written so rehabbers can keep non-releasables if they wish to. Based on my experience in rehabbing both songbirds and pigeons, I think all birds can adapt to captivity and live good, happy lives. To me, it is a shame and disgrace to euthanize a bird that has say, a broken wing, when it could stay alive with a caring person. Some facilities go exactly by the law with no deviation. There is a wildlife center on the coast of NC that we periodically took birds to while we were at the coast. Invariably, they told us that if they couldn't get the birds back to being releasable they would be euthanized. Thankfully, the few we took to them had minor breaks or boo boos. I expect though, that in order for them to keep their facility going, they have to do this.
 

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It is all a matter of executive discretion, it has nothing to do with the laws as written. The Secretary of the Interior is a cabinet officer, he reports to the president, and I would think that by now people would understand what that means. But in case they don't or if they harbor some illusions about this administration's policies, take a look at the USDA website. (Also another cabinet post). They take great pride in the fact hey have poisoned over 5 million wild birds, starlings, blackbirds and other indigenous species this year alone. Why? Because the little rascals dared to eat some of the cattle feed that the big feed lot beef farmers put out for thier cattle and because they decided to help themselves to some of the farmer's sunflowers, that is why. Now compare that with this silliness about rescuing a mourning dove or a bluejay or two.

If you don't like that, vote in November and try to pay attention to what the candidates are saying. Better still the next time someone tells you it is illegal to rescue a baby bird and you need to deliver it to a licensed rehabbe, tell them to look at the USDA website.
 

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Discussion Starter #71
I am aware that my advice did result in the death of tonyb's bird and believe me, it is advice I will NEVER give again.
Nona your advice was good and correct. The only thing that was overlooked was the fact of the broken wing. Before we give advise to take birds to vet's or rehabbers we must first have them send pictures of the wings to determine if the bird can or will fly again and go from there accordingly. I don't promote going against the law but if I would have had the chance I would have ran out of the office with that bird and not thought twice. That's also not to say if I find another healthy baby dove I would not hesitate to bring it to Animal General. The Key word here is Healthy! So my advice to all that read this is make sure the bird's wing is not broken! If it is it's up you to decide what to do with it.
 

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I just cam back from Animal General and Rita examined the dove and said it had pox and had to be euthanize because the wing was was fractured ( that red spot on the picture above) and she would not be able to fly again I am very sadden by this, I should have just kept her. Rita said the pox will go away over time and I could have just let her live her life out in my house rather then being euthanize just because it can't fly. I'm not sure when they will do it or if it is done already but if anyone wants to know it's being held at Animal General 646-306-2862. That will be the last time I bring any of my backyard doves to any Wild Bird Fund. or any rehab! I'm sure they could have kept her around hopping or what not. From now I will do as I have always done it myself. I had a robin redbreast back in 1998 it took her 4 years and she was able to be set free again! I'm sure I could have done it with this one as well.
Tony
Tony, just wanted you to know how sorry I am about your little dove but to also mention that it would probably have been virtually impossible for AG, or for that matter, any vet or rehabber to keep non-releasable birds and I'm not talking about Federal law. I'm talking about volume. AG probably wouldn't have the space or staff to devote to keeping the little one because of the sheer number of birds that come in. As far as rehabbers go, they are usually a one man operation, or two, and some can get in birds in the hundreds if not thousands in any one year. I expect that every year at least one or two birds are non-releasable and that adds up. It is also a long term commitment.

I also suspect that many non-releasable birds quietly wind up living a good life in the care of someone who loves them.
 

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Discussion Starter #74 (Edited)
I also suspect that many non-releasable birds quietly wind up living a good life in the care of someone who loves them.
Yes as was the case with the robin I had that had a broken wing. We had him in our care for twenty years, it past away in 1998 after living a full life. We fed it a mixture of dog food, carrots, and eggs she loved it.
Tony
 
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