In a very small box with a heated rice sock and fluffy material on February 3rd our first mammal babies arrived. Infant fox squirrels with umbilical cords only a few days old. They are lucky to be in good shape after falling when their nest tree was cut down.
Young and small animals like these squirrels are easily secured in a shoe box with something to keep them warm. Small birds can also be safely transported in this manner.
A few days earlier we received a paper box with shredded paper in it along with 2 nestling pigeons. Pigeons and doves are very early nesters so we expect to see them even while it is still freezing at night.
I don’t think you can find a shoe box big enough for a pelican, so a sturdy large dog crate is a good option. The plastic bottom can be very slippery so a towel or two on the bottom allows for good traction. A towel over the door will give an adult bird a feeling of safety for the drive to get help.
This adult male white pelican was found at Tishomingo tangled in a trot line. One hook was in the flesh of the metacarpus, the very end of the wing. The line was wrapped so tightly that it cut off circulation to the wing and damaged the patagium ligament of the right wing. This 13 pound ball of white feathers has a darker side. He has black primaries and lots of practice grabbing things with his beak. The edges are sharp and his aim is keen. In a few days the cuts on our arms will stop bleeding as he begins to understand that we are tossing him fish. With his medication inserted in the mouth of the dead fish he quickly swallows his dinner, medication and all!
So if you are an animal rescuer, save your shoe boxes for the little ones. You will never get a pelican in one!