Sandy Garland

posted in: Volunteer Profiles | 0

Volunteer position: Driver

Safe Wings Ottawa volunteer since: 2014

Winter Wren
Winter Wren in rescue cage

What are some of the activities you’ve done as a Safe Wings volunteer?
I’m lucky – I get to see the live ones. I drive rescued birds to the Wild Bird Care Centre (WBCC), where they are often nursed back to health.

I keep bins and boxes of various sizes in my car to hold the paper bags volunteers use for rescued birds. If the birds have been resting at Anouk’s place [like the wren in the photo], they are in wooden boxes, furnished with perches and soft bedding material. . . I drive carefully out Hunt Club Road, listening to the scratching noises coming from the back seat and expecting a bird to peck its way free and land on my head at any moment.

Cecropia moth

At the WBCC, the amazing staff take the birds out of the boxes or bags matter of factly and with great expertise … I hand over details about their collisions and write down file numbers to take back to Anouk.

What has been one of your most memorable experiences so far?
One day, Anouk called to say she’d found an injured Cecropia moth and could I come and get it. I drove downtown and found the moth near the trunk of a container tree. We popped it into a bird bag and I drove it to the Fletcher Wildlife Garden where I released it in the Butterfly Meadow. It was great to open the bag and watch this huge moth (almost the size of a bird) flutter off to the nearest apple tree.

What do you find most rewarding?
I don’t usually ask about the fate of [the] injured birds, as many die despite the best efforts of [Safe Wings] and the WBCC team. But Anouk often tells me when one is released and that makes me feel pretty good.