Helpless little bird is rescued and alive because of team effort

Outdoors Bound

Note: WFXR News learned that this little guy is actually a little girl.

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — It took a team effort, but a juvenile mourning dove is alive Thursday night because of it.

It started Thursday morning when local fishing guide Weston Hartman of Hartman Guide Services made an unusual discovery: a bird in the water near his dock at Smith Mountain Lake.

“It was at my boat slip,” said Hartman. “I was just about to go out, and it was just floating in the water.”

Hartman scooped up the little bird, and put it in a box. He contacted the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke for help. The folks at the wildlife rescue agreed to take a look at the bird, but said it would have to be brought to them.

Hartman had a problem.

Hartman wanted to get the bird to the wildlife center, but he also had to be somewhere else. That’s when he put out a call for help on social media, and it’s how myself and the WFXR Outdoors Bound Team got involved.

My wife Kim and I were out to breakfast when we saw the post. Without hesitating, my wife said that we were going to get the bird. So, out the door we went to meet Hartman at a nearby boat ramp. As he handed off the bird, he pointed out that it had some injuries.

“It has gashes on its side, maybe from a bigger bird,” Hartman told me. “One of its wings is hurt, too. It can’t fly.”

We took the bird and headed for the wildlife center.

Upon arriving at the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke in Roanoke County, we were met by the center’s Director of Education, Judy Loope. She told us the bird was definitely a mourning dove, and then she explained what would happen next.

“It’ll get a physical exam, very thorough, and a veterinarian will examine it,” she said as she took the box and bird from us. “We’ll determine what course of action to take after it’s examined. It’ll be fed, treated for any injuries, given antibiotics and pain medication, whatever it needs.”

Loope says the goal is to rehabilitate the bird and get it back into the wild.

“If all goes well and it survives and is well enough to survive on its own, then it will be released and will go back to the area where it was found,” said Loope.

At last check, our little bird friend was doing well. It has already received treatment for its injured wing, but it still has a few more days of healing in front of it.

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