How to help robins after Blizzard Evelyn

Robin in De Pere crab apple tree, April 17, 2018 (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WLUK) -- Are you seeing robins in your yard struggling with the snow from Blizzard Evelyn? The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary has some ideas for helping the birds.

Experts say the snow storm left many migrating robins in a potential life and death situation.

And now, animal rescuers are asking people to help.


On a brittle branch in a De Pere crabapple tree, an American robin is trying to survive.

"They're really having a tough time. When you see them puffed up, that means that they're trying to hold in that body temperature. So that's the time you can walk up to them, get them, and bring them in. We've already had, in the last 24 hours, about 20 robins admitted," said Lori Bankson, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary animal curator.

Terry Goettelman of Sturgeon Bay dropped off two robins at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary Tuesday morning.

"I have a soft spot for birds, and I see that they're struggling because of the snow, and we're trying to do everything we can," Gottelman said.

The birds typically don't eat seeds, so they scour area fruit trees, looking for food.

"These are the guys that are just getting back with other migrants. They're already thin, they're already tired," said Bankson.


Animal rescuers treat the birds with fluids. In extreme cases, a heating pad is used to help the birds warm up.

"Any time that we have wildlife that's having a tough time, we're very concerned. I was talking to another employee. She and I have been here over 20 years, we've never seen something like this," said Bankson.

Bankson says if people can't bring the birds to the sanctuary, they can help by giving the birds water and food such as an assortment of dried worms and fruit.

"These guys are not used to the cold weather. That will really help these guys get through the next week or so," she said.


Goettelman agrees.

"Hopefully they'll rebound, and we'll have a nice warm summer for them," she said.

Animal experts say there is some help for the long term. People can plant fruit-bearing bushes and vines, like sumac, highbush cranberry, and native bittersweet.

If you find an injured bird, or any other animal, contact the wildlife sanctuary at (920) 391-3685.

Are you seeing robins in the wake of the storm? Share a photo or video with us here:


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