Saturday, April 18, 2009

Two More Eagles Admitted/Pond Work

It was a beautiful day today and we took full advantage of it. The pond in our swan compound finally has the ice off. It is a large man-made pond, has a filter and is lined with clay, but I fret unceasingly that the bio load is too heavy for the health of our patients. So, despite assurance from many that the water is fine, we pump the pond out and replace the water at least once a year. I sleep better knowing we have begun the season with the best possible habitat for our swans and other water birds. Besides, me being happy makes life here much better for everyone. :)

We were able to get a look during low water level and saw our turtles made it through the winter as did the frogs and bullheads. The winter was so severe I worried they may not have made it through. (For those of you that are thinking that with plant life and healthy turtles, frogs and fish that is proof positive that it IS just fine, I know that at least on some level. But … So don’t write in. When it comes to the birds I am over compulsive.)

We are beginning to think of changing our name to Eagles R Us. Two more Bald Eagles were admitted on Friday and we have had two more calls today.

One new admit is an immature Bald Eagle from Wood County. He was hit by a truck and has a broken wing and internal injuries. Poor little one is in critical condition. He is about two years old. It is hard to see them so vulnerable.

The photo shows Nicole Swanson, from our education department holding the eagle during the exam and initial stabilization of the wing. We are so lucky to have such versatile people that just jump in where needed and do whatever possible when the birds need care. Nicole actually transported this young eagle from Wood County (2.5 hour drive from REGI) She and Steve happened to have programs for the 4th grade classes in Nekoosa on Friday afternoon. After the programs they met DNR staff that had the eagle waiting for transport. It was a long day for all of us.

Birds come to REGI from some great distances. Our location in relatively remote North Central WI is great for being close to lots of wildlife but no large population centers.

The young Trumpeter Swan with lead poisoning discussed in the blog on Feb… and last blogged about on March 9, 2009, was put out into the swan compound on Friday. She was thrilled to see the other swans and be able to interact with them after her long convalescence. She was so sick with lead poisoning and the resulting starvation we didn’t think she had much of a chance to survive. She did however and while she will need one more round of CA EDTA to treat a residual lead level, she will be going home as soon as this round of treatment is finished. I wish people could see how birds struggle with lead poisoning. It is all so preventable just by making a few changes.

That is all for tonight. Morning comes early and it is sure to be another full day.

Best to all,

©2009 Marge Gibson

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