A collection of winter birds at PROWLS

American pipit

THE WINTER COLLECTION: Now occupying the front porch at Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society are five different birds, all damaged by cats. They have been here for the winter because their required convalescence means they missed the winter migration.

The greedy Swainson’s thrush quickly vacuums up the mealworms before anyone else can get any. The two Lincoln’s sparrows are shy and retiring, hiding in the foliage, and we have yet to hear the loud insect-like song of the Savannah sparrow.

The latest arrival is the American pipit who prefers walking to flying. Strutting about with a particularly long hind toe and toe nail, good on unstable ground and marshy land, it is making do with the ferns and Norfolk pine on the porch, and also being unusually quiet for a small bird.

They are all cohabiting remarkably well, perhaps because of their shared misfortune. One third of all the birds receiving care at PROWLS are the result of cat attacks.