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Birds in the Maritimes are starving, unable to find food in deep snow

Katie Jones
Digital Reporter

Saturday, April 11, 2015, 3:36 PM - Maritime residents are being asked to come to the aid of starving birds across the region in the midst of persisting cold temperatures and heavy snow.

Piles of snow left behind by months of wintry storms still cover much of the ground across the Maritime provinces, preventing birds from foraging for food.

The issue has become a growing concern as it coincides with the beginning of spring. A lack of proper food sources is taking the greatest toll on migratory birds that have recently returned from the south. 

The delayed start to the spring season is hindering birds from getting to the bugs, worms and seeds that they typically feast on at this time of year.

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Robins, sparrows and woodcocks are among those being found starving or dead by local residents, and that population numbers of smaller birds are especially at risk.

Owls are also being affected, as mice are also scarce because of snow cover and cold.

Veterinarians are asking for the public's help in coming to the aid of the winged creatures while wintry conditions persist.

They recommend spreading seeds and fruit, and even putting out worms if possible. Clearing an area of snow on lawns will also help the frozen ground thaw, enabling birds to get at food in the fresh earth. Anyone who finds an ailing bird is advised to place it in a small, warm box and bring it to a nearby animal shelter.

Conditions are expected to improve for the Maritimes provinces leading into mid-April, with no further snow accumulation in the short-term forecast.

"Temperatures will be more reminiscent of spring this week, with seasonal or above seasonal conditions over the next five days," explains Weather Network meteorologist Brett Soderholm. "There is a chance of rain by next weekend, which should help wash away some of the lingering snow in the region and soften the ground."

Source: CBC

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