What was left after removing a northern cardinal from a glue trap

Cardinal ripped out feathers trying to free itself from glue trap

Joanna Fitzgerald | Director of the von Arx Wildlife Hospital

The northern cardinal was among the 73 animals admitted to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida this past week.

The cardinal was extremely stressed from the ordeal so staff immediately placed her on oxygen in an animal intensive care unit to rest and calm down. Unfortunately, the trauma proved too much and the cardinal died shortly after being admitted.

An examination on a deceased northern cardinal shows the full extent of damage caused after she was stuck to a sticky glue trap.

Sadly, an English house sparrow and two other animals were also admitted to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital this week after being stuck to a glue trap. It is heartbreaking knowing the cardinal and sparrow were lured to the glue traps because the traps were baited with bird seed. These unsuspecting creatures’ search for food ended in tragedy.

Injured and orphaned animals need your help! A $3 donation will help us provide the best care possible.

Will you help? YES.

Glue board traps are indiscriminate killers and, as proven by these cases, cause immense suffering and a slow painful death.

Glue boards capture birds, snakes, lizards and a variety of small mammals. We have seen numerous species of wildlife admitted to the hospital after getting stuck to glue board traps. The injuries we have seen animals endure after being stuck to the glue board traps are horrific. Many times, animals struggle so violently in the futile effort to free themselves from the glue that they can tear their skin, legs or wings from their body.

Other glue trap admissions.

What You Can Do

The only true long-term solution to control rodent populations is to make problem areas unattractive or inaccessible to rats and mice.

  • Eliminate potential food sources by storing food items in rodent-proof containers.
  • Keep trash cans securely closed, pick up fallen fruit, never feed pets outside, and never feed wildlife.
  • Eliminate hiding places by trimming grass and vegetation and keep brush piles away from buildings.
  • Routinely inspect your home to ensure there are no breaches that would allow rodents access.

Humane rodent control options exist and should be considered.

Previous articles about glue traps

Recent Releases

A Florida softshell turtle, five eastern cottontails, a double-crested cormorant, two yellow-bellied sliders, and eastern screech owl, and a gray catbird were released this past week.

Opportunities to Help

Please visit the Conservancy website at www.conservancy.org to view all of the amazing volunteer opportunities at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Your volunteer time, donations, and memberships are vital in helping us continue our work to protect Southwest Florida’s water, land, wildlife and future.

Joanna Fitzgerald is director of the von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.



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Conservancy of SWFL

Conservancy of SWFL


Protecting Southwest Florida's unique natural environment and quality of life...now and forever.