Oil Company Jet Encourages Bird Migration

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

It wasn't long after an oil company's private jet arrived at landlocked Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada, last week after flying from St. John's on the east coast, to Saskatoon, to Calgary, that its crew discovered a disoriented and strange-looking bird wandering around near the cargo hold. It was scooped up and taken to Calgary's Medicine River Wildlife Center (not far from the airport it had apparently visited, earlier), and naturalists unfamiliar with the bird sent out pictures to experts for identification. The universal reply was that the naturalists were keeping company with a black guillemot ... a native fish-eater of the east coast that was now about 4,000 miles away. It seems the pigeon-sized east coast seabird had stowed away from the rocky shores of St. John's, Newfoundland, to reach the prairies of central Canada. And, all told, it was not much worse for the wear ... except that it was now somewhat malnourished and perhaps more than a little confused.

In the good nature of the holidays, the bird has been fed from a feeding tube and may soon be eating small fish. Both Shell and WestJet offered last week to fly the bird back to Newfoundland for transfer to an east-coast wildlife facility and its eventual release back into the wild.