masthead_37.jpg
Local NPR for the Cape, Coast & Islands 90.1 91.1 94.3
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

November Nor'easters May Bring Unusual Birds in Need of Help

dovkie.jpg
eren {sea+prairie} / flickr
/

Nor'easters in November have historically brought to our region “wrecks” of birds in the family called the alcidae (alcids). These include razorbills, thick-billed and common murres, Atlantic puffins and the tiny dovekie (or “pine knot” as they were called by old Cape Codders) that would periodically appear after fearsome November Nor’easters in ponds, yards and fields. Once ashore these cute little black and white birds, resembling a miniature penguin, are doomed. They are helpless and incapable of taking flight.

Should you, during a nasty Nor’easter in the coming weeks, encounter one of these magical little birds pick it up and transport it to the nearest saltwater. Take a look around, make sure there are no great black-backed or herring gulls nearby, watching for an easy snack and put the bird in the water. It will be very thirsty, they drink saltwater, and be excited at the prospect of getting back to where all its needs are met: the ocean. Once in the water it will drink lustily, look around and then plop underwater, where they propel themselves with their wings, flying at great speed.