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The Buzz

Intoxicated Man Has Uber Deliver Orphaned Bird to Rehab




We've seen a lot of strange things when it comes to wildlife in need of a helping hand, and now we know that heroes come in all different stages of sobriety.

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah was in a little bit of disbelief last week when a lesser goldfinch rolled up to its facility in an Uber. Oddly, it was the only passenger.

"While we feel we've seen it all and can't be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong," WRCNU wrote on Facebook.

The unusual situation arose when an intoxicated man found the orphaned bird struggling on the ground and called the center to find out what could be done. In no shape to drive, the man who had "a few too many" made the right decision and got an Uber for the bird. 

"Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well!" WRCNU said. 

The bird, which has been named "Petey" by staff, was thin and dehydrated and it should be released within a few weeks.

What should you do if you find a bird that you suspect is orphaned?

Most baby birds we find on the ground do not need help. These birds, called fledglings, have just left the nest. They can’t fly yet, but their parents are taking care of them. 

Younger baby birds, however, do need help if they are away from their nest. These birds, called nestlings, are too young to be out of the nest.

You can tell a nestling from a hatchling because they have sparse or no feathers and cannot hop, walk, or flit. 

If you find a nestling, its nest is usually close by. You can simply carefully place it back in its nest. (Don’t worry about leaving your scent on the bird.)

Only in a few circumstances does a nestling require help from a wildlife rehab center. Contact the Willowbrook Wildlife Center at 630.942.6200 in the following instances:

  • Both the bird’s parents are dead or you’re certain it is orphaned.
  • The bird is injured.
  • You cannot locate a nest.

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