Articles Tagged with: Birds
Animal Rescue League of Boston Rescues Dozens of Sick Birds

Animal owners in the Dorchester Neighborhood notified to be cautious while walking their dogs

Dorchester birds

Today, the ARL will send 15 birds to Tufts Wildlife Center in Grafton, MA for additional treatment.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) responded to 33 Bakersfield Street in Dorchester, MA on September 8, 2016  in response to a resident who called regarding her sick cat and the observation of birds falling from trees.

The ARL immediately gave emergency treatment to one cat, but unfortunately the cat could not be saved.

Additionally, 47 Grackle-type birds were either falling to the ground, sick, thrashing and unable to fly, or were found unresponsive.

It was determined that the birds should be isolated and neighbors notified to keep dogs and other animals from the area.

Current update on the 47 Grackles:

  • 12 birds found deceased on scene
  • 8 birds passed away shortly after rescue on their way to the shelter
  • 12 birds were humanely euthanized due to their poor condition
  • 15 birds remain in good condition in the custody of the Animal Rescue League of Boston Veterinary Team. Today, these animals will be sent to Tufts Wildlife Center in Grafton, MA.

The ARL continues to work with the State Department of Agriculture, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, City of Boston Inspectional Services Department, and Boston Public Health Commission to determine the cause of this unusual incident.

DONATE NOW to ensure that animals in need, like the many Grackles involved in this case, receive the critical veterinary care that they need.

ARLBoston Rescue Saves Juvenile Bald Eagle in Tyngsborough, MA

Eagle is Resting at Tufts

ARLhawkOn May first the Animal Rescue League of Boston received a call from Tyngsborough animal control in regards to an injured juvenile bald eagle.

With the assistance of the animal control officer our rescue team was able to quickly set up their bow net which was recently donated by the Harmony Foundation, bait it with food and humanely catch the  injured bird in minutes.

The eagle was taken to The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts wildlife in Grafton for further care.

Watch the video of the remarkable rescue below:


These types of rescues are only possible through the generous support of people like you. If you can, please make a donation today by clicking the green donate button on the top right of this page.

ARL Rescue Team Saves Gull Frozen to Ice


Stranded Gull Saved in Lowell Thanks to ARL Rescue Team

Talk about cold feet! On January 9 the ARL’s Rescue Services Team received a call from Lowell Animal Control for assistance with a seagull that was frozen to the ice on the Merrimack River in Lowell. Our expert team assessed the situation and determined that this poor gull could be saved. They suited up in their cold water immersion suits (just in case) and headed out onto the ice to rescue the gull. Once they reached the gull, they carefully freed some of its frozen feathers from the ice surface. The gull was brought back to our shelter for an initial assessment and later brought to a wildlife rehabilitation facility.

Watch the cold weather rescue video below:

These types of rescues are only possible through the generous support of people like you. The ARL receives no government funding, so please donate today and help us save more animals at arlboston.org/donate.

Extreme Cold Leads to Stranded Loon

ARL Rescue Team Takes to the Ice to Save Loon

On January 4 our Rescue Team received several phone calls about a loon in distress on the Mystic River. You might think it strange that a bird would be stranded on the ice, but loons especially require a lot of water to take off into flight. When a body of water is frozen they can become trapped on the ice. We headed over to the scene and our Rescue Services Manager, Brian, got to work on saving the loon.

This guy wasn’t easy to catch. He kept trying to escape the net and once caught, it was clear that he still had some fight left in him – after he tried to bite Brian every step of the way.

We brought the loon over to Tufts Wildlife Clinic where he is receiving TLC while awaiting surgery. We hope this beautiful bird makes a full recovery!

01-07-14 Loon Photo 2

Photo: Marj

01-07-14 Loon Photo

Photo: Marj


3 Reasons to Adopt a Bird

January is Adopt-A-Bird Month

BALSAM available for adoption at our Boston shelter. Photo: Christine Barton

BALSAM available for adoption at our Boston shelter.
Photo: Christine Barton

This month is dedicated to celebrating birds – those beautiful, feathery, majestic creatures. Birds can make great pets, especially for people who are looking for a dedicated companion who won’t require daily walks and doesn’t take up too much room.

Most people aren’t aware that many shelters, including the ARL, often have adoptable birds. At this time, Balsam, Ricky and Lucy are all waiting to for a home at our Boston shelter.

Aside from the fact that you’re saving the life of an animal when you adopt, there are three other good reasons to adopt a bird:

Birds are Communicative

Because of their above average intelligence, birds can be a joy to train and are typically eager to learn new things from their owners. Since birds are relatively small, training them can be less physically demanding than working with larger creatures, making them a good choice for the young, elderly, or disabled.

They’re Easy to Train

Owners of rental property often impose monthly “pet fees” on tenents that have cats and dogs. Most landlords, however, do not consider birds to be pets, effectively relieving bird owners of the extra charges. For this reason, a bird can be a very economical choice for renters who wish to adopt a pet.

They’re In it for the Long Haul

Those who have experienced the heartbreak of losing a long time pet are often not eager to repeat the process any time soon. Many bird species live extraordinarily long lives, some living more than 100 years! This often eases the concerns of people who want to make sure they adopt a pet that they can love and enjoy for a very long time. It also means that you must remember to plan ahead for your bird in case anything were to happen to you. [source: About.com]

Release of Goose with Arrow through Head

Goose with Arrow Through its Head to be Reunited with Family



On August 1 the League’s Rescue Team was informed of a Canada Goose who was shot through the head with an archery arrow. Our Rescue Team rushed over to the scene, rescued the injured goose and transported him to the New England Wildlife Center (NEWC).

The Canada Goose was alert and conscious, but he was malnourished and had no use of his jaw. Dr. Metz, A veterinarian at NEWC, successfully removed the arrow and packed the wound with surgical padding to prevent further infection of the skin. Fortunately, the arrow did not damage any major nerves or muscles in his face and the goose is again able to move his head and jaw. After three and a half weeks of rehabilitative care, medication and nutritional support he is healthy enough to be released back to the wild.

The release will take place today at noon at a pond near the Ellis Haven Camp Ground in Plymouth, MA .  Katrina Bergman, the NEWC’s executive director said “We are particularly excited that the Canada Goose will be released back to the pond where his mate and goslings are.  It is critical that we as a society protect the most vulnerable among us.   Providing medical care to wildlife caught in harm’s way is just the right thing to do.”



The Animal Rescue League of Boston and the New England Wildlife Center often work closely together and we are so happy that the Canada Goose is healthy and will be reunited with his family! We’d like to extend a huge thank you to NEWC. Nice work everyone!

Follow our Rescue Team’s activities on Twitter.

Coopers Hawk Rescued in Cambridge

What makes the Animal Rescue League of Boston unique from some other animal welfare organizations is that we deal with a variety of animals. We not only rescue and shelter cats and dogs, but we also rescue and save small domestic animals, reptiles and wildlife, including hawks!

As always, our Rescue Team has been very busy and on Friday, Senior Rescue Technician, Bill Tanguay assisted Cambridge Animal Control Officers in rescuing a Cooper’s hawk who was trapped behind a grate in the wall of a canal. The hawk was not injured and flew away as soon as he got the chance. Check out the video from the rescue below!

Bird Lovers, Meet Salty

detailMeet Salty! He is a 4 year old cockatiel looking for a new home and he’s available at our Brewster Adoption Center. Salty has been in a few homes because he does not want to be friends with other animals. So, this time around he is looking for a home where he doesn’t have to interact with other birds.

He wants to interact with people but is timid of hands of new people. He is therefore looking for an experienced home with knowledge about bird behavior. Salty loves to chatter with his family. He wants to be affectionate but sometimes gets scared. Once he trusts you, he bonds strongly. Salty loves to share your lunch – he hangs out in one of the offices and plops himself down on the desk at lunch time.

Salty is a timid guy and tends to be afraid of hands. With some people, he immediately is trusting and will hop right onto their shoulders. Other people he is more cautious of at first but after some bonding time he trusts them enough to go to them too. He likes to sit on your shoulder or arm (or leg if you’re sitting), or on the desk / chair near you. He prefers not to be picked up by your finger.

In his cage or out, with someone he is not yet fully used to, he will shy away from fingers and make “threatening gestures” with his beak if you reach for him. As long as you don’t continue to reach right at him he doesn’t bite. He is a really great, fun little guy as long as you understand him.

Salty has been living in the office of our Assistant Manager, Pamela. We would want anyone interested in him to spend some time with him to get to know him and let him get to know you, and also to speak with Pamela because she knows all his ins and outs.

Please call at 508-255-1030 or stop by to meet Salty.

A Sweet Swan Reunion


Last Tuesday our Rescue Department received a call from a concerned citizen about a swan who was stuck behind a fence and couldn’t get back to the local pond where he lives. One of our staff members was along for the ride and was able to document the whole rescue from start to finish.

Senior Rescue Technician Danielle Genter drove out to Peabody, Mass. where the swan was trapped. He appeared to be perfectly healthy, but it was unclear as to how he ended up in this small, enclosed area. He was also  clearly frustrated that he could not escape the enclosure. For those of you who have never had to catch a healthy swan, it is quite the task—these birds are massive, powerful and very strong.

Danielle was not daunted and, after a few attempts, was able to catch him with nothing more than her gloved hands  (which was safer than using a net since the swan may have injured himself trying to escape). She carried the bird into the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s van to be transported back to the pond.

She carefully removed the swan, who continued to hiss and wiggle angrily, and walked over to the pond. Thrilled to be released back to his home, he quickly swam to the center of the water toward his mate, who had been waiting patiently for him. They rubbed their necks together, as if to greet each other and make sure that everything was ok.

The bond between these two majestic birds is evident and their beautiful reunion seemed to be the perfect “thank you.”

Please remember to call the League’s Rescue Services Department at (617)426-9170 if you see an animal in distress.