LAST-MINUTE REPRIEVE: You might wonder who this little silver-grey-bodied bird is. Looking a bit familiar, this slate-backed junco doesn’t have the black head covering we are accustomed to, even though it has the familiar junco body shape and tail.
This junco, having suffered a cat attack, was brought to Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society (PROWLS) by a Westview resident. Two weeks into its stay, it was determined that its wing had finally broken right off at the wrist.
Without flight feathers, it would never fly again and euthanasia would be the best choice. PROWLS president Merrilee Prior walked away with a heavy heart, deciding to leave it until the others in the flight cage were ready to release.
Days passed and the junco seemed very active in the cage. How could this be? It was adapting, so Merrilee decided there was no rush to move ahead with euthanasia.
Put in with a towhee, also an easily stressed bird, that had been severely traumatized by a cat and was slow to recover, they seemed to encourage each other and, in the space of three weeks, the two birds were ready for freedom.
The special junco can be seen regularly competing with the others in the yard. Time is wonderful.