[va-bird] Gull Rescue, Pr. Wm. Landfill, 2/07/04

After traversing huge mud flats and garbage piles on foot, shortly after my 
arrival at the Prince William Co. Landfill this morning, I spotted a mud soaked 
bird of some sort, sitting on one of the garbage piles off in the distance. I 
almost didn't recognize it as being a gull at first.  Again, I walked a ways 
through the deep mud and ooze to get to this poor thing. Fortunately, there 
weren't many garbage trucks coming through then. I was able to walk up to the 
bird and because it had a broken wing, it wasn't able to fly off, but feebly 
attempted to hop away. I just reached down and gently grabbed the mud encrusted 
Ring-billed Gull, walked across the mud and garbage again, and placed the bird 
securely in a pet carrier I always have in the car. What was amazing about 
finding this bird was that it was so mud covered that it blended in with it's 
surroundings...how on earth did I pick it out? All the gulls were in flight 
during my short stay there, so when I saw this one hunkered down, I knew it 
needed 
help.
After making many phone calls to rehabbers I know (they all happened to be 
down in Fredericksburg for a seminar), I finally found someone to take the 
bird, 
two hours later. By way of the Wildlife Rescue League, I found out that Great 
Falls Animal Hospital takes in injured wildlife, but I had to be there by 1 
p.m. so I sped over as fast as I could. Made it just in time and the folks 
there were great. They had just started to examine the bird as I was leaving 
and 
was told it didn't look good. I figured they'd have to euthanize it but 
something in me just couldn't leave that bird to die at the landfill.


Laura Catterton
Manassas, Virginia


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