In order to get my state rehabilitator's permit, I must supply my home phone number, which is then published in a booklet that goes to every wildlife officer, soil conservation service, park, and veterinarian in the state.
This is not as I would like it to be, but it is what it is.
In the summer I get a lot of calls. Most people I can help over the phone. But sometimes I have to do a run.
A great blue heron standing hurt on the porch of an abandoned house is cause for a run.
In this day of cell phones and zapping photos, you can find out a lot before you ever climb in the car. The people who found this heron walking through their front yard sent me this photo:
It cuts like a knife, embeds itself in flesh, breaks bones, and will not give way when the bird struggles.
I drove, enjoying the beautiful July Ohio countryside, snorting the stench of sick heron poo out of my nose, musing on futility and stupid old hope, knowing this bird was probably too far gone, too badly injured to be salvaged, but at the same time unable to leave it there on the porch, staring into a baby pool.