How to Help a Grounded Seagull

By JOHN DENLINGER | Jul 18, 2018
Courtesy of: John Denlinger Henrietta the Seagull, first under the care of the Denlinger family, awaits rehabilitation for a fractured wing.

On the afternoon of July 5, I noticed an injured seagull on our neighbor’s property on Bay Terrace in Harvey Cedars. Then I saw another seagull land next to the injured one and move toward it. Unable to fly, the injured seagull stepped toward our neighbor’s house, seemingly trying to seek refuge.

Later in the day, I noticed the injured seagull again figuring that it had fended off its rival. I assumed that this gull’s life was in jeopardy, but thought that it would be better to let nature take its course.

Surprised to see that it had survived the night, I noticed the injured seagull walking down our street the next morning. I mentioned it to my wife, Janet, who immediately sprang into her Mother Nature mode and went to feed the gull as I fashioned a rescue box. A quick internet search for wildlife care on Long Beach Island yielded the LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences’ list of providers, including Toms River Avian Care. We decided that this would be the best place to go.

After feeding the gull some wet bread, Janet and our daughters Ava and Amy were able to triangulate around the gull and gently lure it into the rescue box. Then we drove up to Toms River. By now the gull had a name, Henrietta.

Toms River Avian Care is an amazing place. At first, we could not believe that it could be located on a beautiful suburban cul-de-sac. However, what we did find was a beautifully manicured yard with a complex of buildings for the sole purpose of housing and rehabilitating injured birds of all types including eagles, falcons and owls.

The owner assured us that Henrietta’s fractured wing would be healed in about a week and the bird returned to Barnegat Bay’s shore. We were happy to have helped Henrietta, because life does matter.

John Denlinger lives in Flemington, N.J., and Harvey Cedars.


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