Alert Reader Jamie alerted me, alertly, that there was a gull in bad shape hiding in the jetty. He remembered that there were some bird emergency phone numbers once posted on the Readings.
Bird emergency indeed. Not only was this little guy in a heap of trouble, but there is strong evidence to suggest that this is Nacho CheezIt, one of Mac Daddy’s ‘lil ones.
As you can see, this fishing lure had connected his beak to his foot and every effort to move made things worse
And every effort by me to help only made things worse as he tried to fly and eventually squeezed his little injured self deep into the jetty.
A towel does the trick. I had tried approaching him gently, tried corralling him into a laundry basket… the secret is to throw the towel on top of the bird from a distance. Once the bird is covered they can’t do much and you can swoop in and pick it up. Don’t forget that lesson. Get as close as you can without making it flee and throw the towel.
An old laundry basket covered with a towel: success.
Our hero! The Barnegat Animal Clinic on Rt. 9. Believe it or not, I had to Google Readings From The Northside from a cellphone on the beach to find their name & number. I had remembered a post listing important emergency numbers. I am now adding then to my contacts and I suggest all beach goers do the same.
These have to be the greatest people on the planet. Even though they had a packed office on a busy Saturday afternoon, they let crazy old me bring in a Herring Gull, and they fixed him up like new. They were genuinely happy to do so and sincerely sympathetic to poor little CheezIts’ situation. They refused to accept any money for what they did. I strongly suggest you send these people extravagant gifts and thank you cards for all they do and their willingness to do it. I know I’m going to.
We arrive back at the beach
Free at last, free at last
CheezIt awaits Mac Daddy’s return. The Doc said he was OK, except for a small mouth laceration that should heal quickly.
Put it in your beach bag, add it to your cell phone, tattoo it on your forehead if you have to. You never know when you might encounter a friend in need and not knowing who to call for help can be heartbreaking. I can’t tell you what amazing people these are. In a world where we are all to busy to care, these people care, and they help, and they do it purely because it is the right thing to do.
Barnegat Animal Clinic at 530 N. Main Street, Barnegat, NJ 08005
(609-698-2141) will treat any injured wild animal for free as long as the animal is released to them for future care and treatment.