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Traffic a hazard for feathered pedestrians.

Byline: Bill Bishop The Register-Guard

A bereaved and injured mallard drake rescued from the street near busy Pioneer Parkway and Q Street on Thursday is the first such save of the season for a local wildlife group, and is a reminder to motorists that nesting birds are more likely to venture near traffic this time of year.

In Thursday's rescue, a motorist reported the drake on the street dangerously close to traffic near the body of its dead mate. Before police or rescuers could arrive, the drake was struck and suffered a broken wing, Anderson said.

Springfield police placed the bird in an empty police canine kennel and turned it over to the nonprofit rehabilitation group. Anderson said the drake should recover and be released into the wild in three to four weeks.

"He's in pretty good shape," she said.

Ducks such as the injured drake instinctively stay near their mates during nesting season, Willamette Wildlife Rehabilitation Director Reta Anderson said. If a female is nesting in a parking lot or street median, her mate may wander in nearby traffic and be injured. Similar hazards happen after the hatch, when chicks follow their mothers and become trapped on streets with high curbs.

Incidents are more common when mating season gets in full swing in March, Anderson said. People who find injured animals that can be safely moved should use a towel or gloves to place them in a cardboard box until rescuers can pick them up, she said. Bird flu has not been reported in Oregon, so it poses no danger to those handling injured birds, she added.

The nonprofit wildlife group accepts donations at P.O. Box 10962, Eugene, OR 97440.
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Title Annotation:Animals; Police rescue the first duck to be hurt this mating season
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Feb 24, 2006
Previous Article:FOR THE RECORD.
Next Article:Hilyard hospital plans approved.

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