Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Wild Birds & Recycling Art – August 22, 2012

CFN – My friend was sitting on her back porch, enjoying the outdoors, relaxing when she noted her cat was posed to pounce on something.  On closer examination, it was noted that the cat was eyeing a duckling.  After shooing away her cat the hunt was on for this duckling’s family.  Sadly there were no other Adult ducks or siblings to unite this young one with.  The duckling was picked up and comforted and quickly fell asleep in my friends lap.  And so the question was asked…”What to do with this young feathered duckling.”  After consulting with various resources Pierrette was directed to the Wild Bird Care Centre in Nepean, Ontario.

So Pierrette packed up her new feathered friend and headed to Nepeon.  This centre cares for and rehabilitates all birds and waterfowl.  Owls, turkeys, blue birds, starlings, turkey vultures…birds and water fowl are their “raison d’être”.  This Centre routinely cares for and releases over 2,000 birds (which consist of over 100 different species) per year.  Imagine the challenges involved in this venture.  The medical know how.  Feeding the birds a diet consistent with what and in a state that they would find in the wild.  The grocery list to feed our feathered friends is extensive.  Including eggs, baby food, grapes, corn, liver, worms and fish (live and frozen).  According to information read in the Centre’s Newsletter, entitled “Wingbeats, fish eating birds are will “refuse to eat portions of fish, or fish without heads”.

This facility operates year round.  Certainly any injured, sick or week birds that are brought in the late fall are usually over wintered and released in the spring. My friend was very, very impressed with this organization.  It is a registered non-profit organization which has facilities maintained and designed for the health and welfare of the visiting birds.  Facilities include cover, perches and a tub room for the waterfowl.  This keeps their swimming muscles in shape.  Of special note and worthy of discussion before transporting any injured bird to this location is “the type of enclosure that is best for transportation”.  Kindly discuss this with the centre.  My understanding from reading their literature is that is best to transport in a box, animal carrier that is just the perfect size for the animal.  Too much room can allow the bird to injure/damage its wings in transport which can severely prolong the time required for release.

The Wild Bird Care Centre offers tours and presentation from September through April.  To book your tour or presentation, kindly contact Patty Summers by phone 613-828-8-2849 or email at  More information about this non-profit can be found at or

On a recent visit to an Eastern Ontario Art Festival I met an Area Artist, Kate Dwyer of Kate Dwyer Designs whose moniker is “Recycle, Restyle, Repeat”. Kate recycles and up-cycles found objects or items that would normally be destined for the garbage dump into useable Art.  I purchased one of her magnets (pictured above) which was created by using a bottle cap.  With the addition of an image or found object, some epoxy and a magnet…voila…a fun and funky fridge magnet.  For more information about Kate and her various projects, kindly visit   Up-cycling and repurposing is a great way to make use of the resources and energy that have went into the manufacture of the original product.  We at Earth Matters invite you to support the varied projects by area artists such as Kate…because this is “Where conservation meets Creativity”.  How cool is that!

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