A sandhill crane that couldn't eat because a piece of plastic was wedged on its beak is on the mend after getting a helping hand from a group of suburban Chicago volunteers.
Shana Conner, a volunteer with the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors, helped rescue the crane Friday after getting a call on Thanksgiving that the troubled bird had been seen in Rogers Park.
“I was worried about this bird all night because I was like ‘it’s going to starve to death, and I couldn’t find it,’” Conner told the Chicago Sun-Times.
After the crane was spotted Friday by alert neighbors in nearby Evanston, Conner rushed to the scene while two other volunteers tried to capture the bird.
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Scott Judd, one of those volunteers, said the crane didn't give up without a struggle. But they finally netted it and Conner pulled the plastic piece from its beak. The bird was then placed in a cage and soon laid down.
"It was exhausted; it probably hadn’t eaten in days," Judd said.
The bird was taken to the Willowbrook Wildlife Hospital for treatment and was being treated Sunday for emaciation and beak wounds.
Judd suspects that the crane was among some 20,000 sandhill cranes he witnessed flying over Chicago on Nov. 22 on their way to warmer climates.