Early spring has Carolina Waterfowl Rescue already inundated with baby birds
by Mike Parks
You’ve probably got something Carolina Waterfowl Rescue needs… and they need it now.
The regional group, which takes in and, if needed, rehabilitates birds like chickens, ducks and geese, is moving into a new home on Poplin Road in Indian Trail. The house and adjoining 11 acres were donated recently to the group, which already was facing the possibility of losing its current home in Indian Trail. Now it’s just the problem of making the property habitable for a couple hundred birds and waterfowl before things get too out of hand.
The group needs just about everything: they need materials for a barn, or maybe just a shed someone could donate; they need someone with a tractor and bush hog to help clear the land and get ready to dig a pond for the animals; they need someone to clean the house they just got, which had fallen into some disrepair; and they need people to water plants, help grow the gardens, deal with plumbing issues or just adopt an animal in need.
But right now, the biggest issue is fencing. And nothing can happen out there without it. They need a permitter fence around the property, they need separate fencing to keep sick birds away from the others, they need fencing for different enclosures. All told, they need as much as $30,000 in fencing, but dropping that much cash on the project isn’t an option. So, instead, they’re asking people for whatever they can give, board by board if necessary.
“We can’t move in without it,” said Jennifer Gordon, the rescue’s founder and leader.
So, no matter how much they paint the house or mow the lawn or do anything else but build a couple fences, it will all have to be but on the back burner soon if they don’t get some help. The rescue’s busy season started early this year thanks to the mild winter and early spring. They started getting baby ducks in January when they usually don’t get them until April, and if the new headquarters isn’t ready by May, the group will likely have to wait until after their busy season to move in, possibly some time in the fall. And that’s not a great option.
The group has about 300 birds in its care right now, and that’s on “a little acre with just pretty much a mud hole,” Gordon said.
But this new home will be so much more. The house will have a shop where people can buy shirts with the group’s name (which will soon be Carolina Bird Rescue & Sanctuary to better represent their services) as well as produce, eggs and things for their own pets. There’ll be room for an ICU area for sick and injured birds, a treatment area inside and space for classes and research for groups that want to use the rescue as a resource. There’s crops behind the house, which will be left as they are, and there’s trees with grapes, pecans and pears. There’s room for a compost spot, to make fertilizer for the crops, and Gordon hopes to create opportunities for agriculture students to come by and learn.
In the back corner of the property will be Swan Lake, for the swans and other large birds. Paths will lead to the pond so neighbors can come feed and see the birds, and other paths will wrap through the nearby woods for nature trails, where the rescue will release song birds they’ve taken in.
Gordon hopes people will soon be able to come check it all out, but first they’ve got to lend a hand to get the place up and running.
“We’re collecting everything we can now,” she said. “Old panels, mesh, poles, anything to help build these fences.”
Find more information about the rescue, as well as ways to help and animals up for adoption, at the group’s website, www.carolinawaterfowlrescue.com.