Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Kingfishers Return from Migration, Bald Eagle Recovers

I have gotten behind on our blog and I apologize to our readers. The flu hit us hard here at REGI. We are finally recovering and can get back to the computer. Thanks for your patience. A lot has gone on and I will be catching you up.

We have great news from John and Jennifer Benishek. Last summer we released four young kingfishers, raised at REGI, on their river front property, The young birds stayed on close to the property and as they honed their fishing skills. John supplemented them with minnows from a large pan. In October the last of the young kingfishers left the area and migrated to their wintering grounds. It is both exciting and tense at the same time when “our” babies no matter what species migrate. We know it is exactly what they need to do, BUT we also know that there are lots of things that can happen to them during this migration adventure. We are pensive until we see signs of their return in the spring. Some birds are more obvious than others when they come back home. This week three of the four kingfishers made themselves VERY obvious as they returned to the river release site and were waiting for some supplement feeding on favorite limb perches. We welcome them home and hope they have a good season.

Kingfishers are nearly impossible to raise from babies. The fact is not many have been raised in captivity. These young birds came to us when a citizen bulldozed a sandbank where their nest was located. The youngsters that lived through the bulldozing event ended up on the ground. With their nest destroyed and the chicks too young to care for themselves we had no option but to bring them into care at REGI. Kingfishers are high strung birds and have specialized needs. Every single mouthful has to be force fed to the little darlings. Having said that, they fight every mouthful and more times than not spit it out. Basically it becomes a war of wills to get enough nutrition into the tykes and then teach them to fish before they can be released. We were so very lucky to have a group of interns last summer that were as strong willed as the kingfishers. They raised every one of the snarling little darlings to release.

The photos show their progress to release.
Thank you to 2008 interns Jamie Kelmish, Kendra Sawyer, and Kiel Stevens. You guys rock!

The bald eagle impaled on a stick on April 6th is FLYING! We are elated with her progress. She is still in a medium sized flight cage because she is still receiving treatment for lead poisoning but we are drawing blood work today and if her lead level is down she will go into the large eagle flight to prepare for release. I alerted the folks that found her and they could not be happier. Her mate is still at the nest site and still incubating. We just need to get her home as soon as possible.

Have a great day everyone,

© 2009 Marge Gibson

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing these pictures. I am so used to seeing them up on the power lines it's nice to see what they look like close up!! Congratulations on another successful rehab!