All winter, I fill a suet feeder to attract birds I would never see otherwise, such as woodpeckers and nuthatches. I even make the suet myself, thinking it is probably higher quality than what is available for sale. I researched suet feeders, and read that birds can get caught in a mesh bag, so I opted for a sturdy wire feeder with a metal roof to protect the suet from rain.
This suet feeder has worked well for years. It is easy to take apart to refill it, and the birds love it. This picture shows a nuthatch pecking away at the suet from the safety of the wooden railing.
This morning, I glanced outside and was horrified to see a nuthatch fluttering against the feeder, unable to get away. I went out and saw its tiny foot, bloodied and stuck between the bars of the feeder. I took the feeder down and gently put it with the bird into a shoebox and closed the lid. I was hoping the darkness would calm the bird, and eventually it stopped fluttering. But now what?
I googled "injured wildlife" and found a phone number. I explained the story, and was told someone would call me back. Meanwhile, every sound made the bird flutter against the box. Mark from Fish and Wildlife Conservation called me within a half hour. He said I had done the right thing by putting the bird into a dark box, and advised me to put on gloves, hold the bird's wings down, and cut through the wire.
With me holding the bird and Wayne cutting the wire and the bird cheeping with fear, we cut it loose. There was a lot of blood on its breast. I held it for a few seconds, then set it on the lid of the box, where it rested for a moment, and then awkwardly took off. I hope it is ok.
Thanks to Mark for his good advice.
This is the feeder.