Le Nichoir struggles to care for 140 gull chicks

Le Nichoir struggles to care for 140 gull chicks


Above, some of the 140 gull chicks rescued from a St. Laurent parking lot. The young birds will spend the next several weeks at Le Nichoir, where resources are stretched to the max caring for hungry birds that must be fed a fish diet.


HUDSON — Le Nichoir’s staff are often called upon to deal with mass rescues, but last Wednesday’s call was out of the ordinary even for eastern Canada’s only wildfowl rescue and rehab centre.
On the morning of Wednesday June 1, Montreal Police called the Nichoir to report finding 128 gull chicks in a transport company’s parking lot in Ville St. Laurent. It appeared that they had been pushed off a roof and would the Nichoir be able to take them all?
The SPCA transported them to Hudson and later that day, Nichoir volunteers returned to the site and found 12 more.
Le Nichoir has taken in all of the birds but according to executive director Susan Wylie, the massive influx has stretched their resources to the max and she’s calling out for donations and assistance. The hungry chicks are busily devouring the shelter’s annual supply of frozen fish, which they usually order just once a year to feed any herons that might come in. To house them for the next six or seven weeks before they’re ready to be released into the wild, they’re planning to convert their new outdoor classroom into an aviary.
Several students from Westwood Sr. have already offered assistance with the chicks’ care by chopping up food and cleaning. Nichoir president Lindsay D’Aoust says the three main things they need right now are “feeding, people, and housing.”  She went on to explain that they need donations to buy food and volunteers to help with their care. However since the chicks are of various ages they need to place groups of smaller chicks together in cages and older ones in a flight cages. For more information or to donate, visit their website at http://www.lenichoir.org or call them at 450-458-2809.


I was able to photograph the chicks up close by moving slowly so as not to alarm them.
(Gazette photos, Julie Cadieux)


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