Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Saw-whet Owl and Ruffed Grouse Released Today, Tundra Swans on their Way North

There are not many things cuter than a Saw-whet Owl. They weigh just about 80-100 grams and are pure owl. The small stature is a poor indicator of the strong personality of this diminutive owl. Can you belive this tyke can eat up to two mice a night! He was released this evening in perfect health after his harrowing experience a few weeks ago. See the photos below for his story.

( Photo: This Saw-whet Owl was admitted after being hit by a car near Wausau. He was lucky someone saw him on the median, rescued him and got him to REGI for care. He looked a lot better today than in the photo below taken when he was admitted.)

( Photo: This photo taken the March 16, the day the Saw-whet Owl was admitted with an eye and internal injuries. )

( Photo: Alberta, Katie and Molly spend a minute getting photos and biding the Saw-whet Owl adieu before he is released to continue his migration.)

( Photo: The Saw-whet Owl flew to a tree in the middle of the woods and quickly disappeared thanks to his cryptic coloration. Can you see him? Hint, look at the largest tree and move your eye to the left.)

( Photo: Katie Farvour releases a male Ruffed Grouse that went through a window a few weeks ago. We hope he pays better attention to where he is going in the future. Breeding season can be hard on birds since their mind may be on things other than survival.)

( Photo: The beautiful Tundra Swans are migrating through Langlade County on their way to the tundra to nest. They have a long trip ahead of them. )

Migration is an amazing thing. Spring migration is extra exciting. It brings with it many birds that nest in our area. It is thrilling when a bird that nested on our property shows up the following spring. That happened today at REGI. Today the Eastern Phoebes returned to our deck. Yea! They are such bright and energetic birds. they also eat tons of mosquitoes and other insects.

Have a great tomorrow everyone.

Marge Gibson 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

New Weekend Patients, Male Northern Harrier, American Robin

( Photo: This male Northern Harrier, was hit by a car near Merrill, WI. He had just arrived back to northern Wisconsin home from Central or South America. )

Our first patient of the weekend was a stunning male Northern Harrier. Harriers are one of our most beautiful hawks and have distinct color differences between the sexes. The male, like our patient in the photos, is light gray with white toned underbelly and bright yellow eyes. The female Harrier is larger than the male by 1/3 or more. Her plumage is mottled brown. Both genders have a white rump patch that can be seen clearly seen as they hover over fields hunting mice.

Male and female Northern Harriers are so different from each other in color and size, many people mistake them for different species.

( Photo: The Northern Harrier in this photo is not fierce as his look would indicate. Harriers are a shy hawk. He is frightened from a serious wing injury and sudden captivity.)

Our Harrier patient has a serious wing injury. it is unlikely he will ever fly again. Harriers are very beneficial to man and especially the farming community. Ironically many Harrier families are killed when run over during haying. Early haying practices have become common in recent years. The beautiful hawks are ground nesters. Their diet consists of mice, voles, rats, snakes, frogs.

A facial disk, similar to that of an owl aids this amazing bird in hunting mice. They "hear" mice running in the long grasses as they hover low over fields.

( Photo: This male American Robin , is likely an older male as they are the first to migrate back to the northern states. He suffered a broken wing.)

I love American Robins. To many of us in the Northern regions of the U.S. robins are the first sign of spring. Older male robins are usually the first to arrive. They have very deep black heads with "pearls" of white on the throat. The chest of the male is deep brick red. Female American Robins are lighter in color throughout their plumage including the head. They are a more muted version of the flashy male. Females are better camouflaged at the nest.

( Photo: Katie with our American Robin patient in a photo taken this morning.)

The robin has a wing fracture but is doing well. The folks that found him brought him into care at REGI quickly before the wing could set incorrectly. We are hopeful he will make a full recovery and be released in time to raise a family yet this summer.

We are working hard on the newsletter and continue to do spring cleaning. Both are time consuming. We are also taking advantage of students that have offered to help us out during their spring break. Please hang in there with us if we are not able to post blogs as frequently the next week. Once you see the newsletter in your mailbox you can expect things to return to a more normal pace. If you would like to receive a newsletter and are not on our list, please contact Molly at 715-623-2563 or . We also have an electronic version we would be happy to send out.

Have a great tomorrow.

Marge Gibson 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

REGI Education Team Working Hard at Winter Festivals. Klondike Days, The International Festival of Owls and National Eagle Center

( Photo: Steve and Evie Fisher with REGI Screech Owls walk through the crowd in Houston. MN at the International Festival of Owls. )

( Photo: A large crowd milled about at Klondike Days in Eagle River, WI . Education Director Steve Fisher is shown teaching with Fonzie our Great-horned Owl. Fonzie is a hometown boy, as he was hatched in this area of the northwoods. He was injured when he fell from his nest. His injuries were too severe for him to ever be released to the wild. He loves his position as an educator. )

During late February and early March, REGI's educators have been busy attending and presenting at several festivals. On February 20-21 Education Director Steve Fisher and Environmental Education Coordinator Molly Mckay staffed a REGI display at Klondike Days in Eagle River, WI, featuring some of our education birds, or, as we often refer to them, our educational "partners." Helping Steve and Molly educate interested members of the public at the two-day festival were our twenty-year-old "veteran" Red-tailed Hawk, our young Great-Horned Owl, a Peregrine Falcon, two Eastern Screech Owl, a Barred Owl (who is also a fantastic foster parent), and our Barn Owl, who helped demonstrate habitat as he perched comfortably in his tree cavity display.

( Photo: Steve Fisher with Juliet, our twenty-year-old Western Red-tailed Hawk. Notice the stump on the right with a Screech Owl perched inside. Using habitat perches, we can educate the public in a passive way about the importance of leaving trees important for nesting. )

There was a steady stream of people who stopped by the REGI booth, asking lots of good questions, as well as discussing serious issues like lead poisoning and other problems for raptors and all birds of prey. Steve and Molly (and the birds!) were very busy each day but were happy to interact with so many supportive festival visitors.

On March 6-7 Marge, Steve, and his wife Evie headed to the International Festival of Owls in Houston, MN, where REGI presented a program to several hundred people about native owls.

( Photo: Executive Director Marge Gibson with our Barn Owl, as they demonstrate how an owl turns its head for three dimensional hearing.)

Marge shared lots of fascinating owl information with the audience, as Steve and Evie walked the owls through the auditorium, giving everyone a close look at our beautiful Great-Horned Owl, Barred Owl, and Eastern Screech Owls and our famous Saw-whet Owl. After the program, audience members headed up front for more close looks and chances to ask questions.
That evening Marge was the keynote speaker at the Owl Festival banquet, giving a talk entitled "Owls: Personal Stories of Wonder and Inspiration." Using both projected images and personal stories from different times in her life, Marge captivated the audience by sharing her knowledge and passion for birds, with special emphasis on owls.

( Photo: Steve and Marge discuss owls and their specialized hearing. )

( Photo: A crowd of several hundred people filled the gym in Wabasha, MN for two days of presentations on Birds of Prey with the REGI education team. Steve and Juliet, Red- Tailed Hawk delight the crowd. )

The following weekend, March 13-14, Steve, Evie and Molly were back in Minnesota, this time at the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN, as part of a special eagle weekend at the center. Steve and Molly presented hour-long programs each day to large audiences and also brought out the education birds for photography sessions, both inside and outside in the sunshine along the bank of the Mississippi River, as wild Bald Eagles soared and danced in the sky above them.

( Photo: Environmental Education Coordinator Molly McKay with our Broad-winged Hawk during a presentation.)

At each of these festivals and special occasions, we met wonderful people who showed genuine interest and concern for birds and the many important issues that affect them. It is gratifying to know that our education raptors, who can't be out in the wild, live worthwhile lives and are such magnificent and effective teachers. It's so good to see them help in a unique, up-close way to show how and why protecting them and solving the problems that affect them matter to all of us.

( Photo: Steve and Evie Fisher with our gracious hosts in Houston, MN, Royce and Dorothy Bergsgaard. They made us a great omelet breakfast. Thanks Royce and Dorothy!)

Steve Fisher
REGI Education Director

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Patient Updates, Former Intern Updates,

( Photo: Peli, our education White Pelican, makes us smile even on difficult days.)

Things got better after the last blog entry. Wildlife rehabilitation is a constant roller coaster of emotions. The kind words of support from blog readers were appreciated so much.

For those of you that wonder how or why we keep doing this work, I can only say we keep on going trying to make a difference for wild ones, educate those who are unaware, and bring situations to the attention of the public that may otherwise be perceived as a fluke or rare happening. People need to know what is illegal or even abnormal behavior in folks they may know. Years ago it was all left to a state agency to intervene on the behalf of wildlife. Those days are fading as state and federal funding for wildlife issues is cut. Wildlife belongs to all of us. It is up to the collective "us" to have a responsible role in protecting it. I am in no way suggesting you take up weapons and patrol, but being aware and proactive is important.

When I left you last the condition of the Rough-legged Hawk was grave. We pulled out all the stops in hopes this gentle bird would survive. I have good news. While very fragile and in critical condition, he is still with us. He has actually has eaten a few pieces on his own. We are a long way from celebrating, but things are looking up. I wish I could share this bird with everyone. His gentle nature is touching. As birds of the far north, these hawks have often never seen a human. They are curious and unafraid of people, which is not to their benefit around those that are unethical.

( Photo: The Rough-legged Hawk that was shot in Taylor County has begun to eat a few pieces of meat on his own. )

We have more good patient news. The Saw-whet Owl hit by a car west of Wausau a week ago has been in an outdoor flight. He is self sufficient in the flight, eating and flying and gaining strength and has maintained his weight. We hope for a release early next week.

( Photo: Saw-whet Owl hit by a car near Wausau is nearing release to the wild.)

The male Ruffed Grouse ( x2) are well and nearing release. We have had a bit of a run on male Ruffed Grouse as the mating season begins in earnest. The males in particular seem to have much on their mind and are not paying attention to things like walls or windows.

The female Ring-necked Pheasant from Wausau is using the leg that was broken when she arrived and is eating on her own. Her internal injuries are resolving well.

We have some great news from some former interns as well. Jamie Klemish, a REGI summer intern in 2008, is now a Fulbright Scholar!
Way to go, Jamie!

(Photo: Jamie Klemish holds a Belted Kingfisher raised at REGI before its release. This photo was taken while Jamie was a REGI Intern in 2008. Jamie has just been named a Fulbright Scholar!)

Liz Ferderbar , a student at University of Minnesota, just wrote to say she was accepted to Veterinary School in CA. Liz spent an abbreviated summer internship in 2009.

( Photo: Liz Ferderbar holds a Bald Eagle before surgery at the Antigo Veterinary Clinic in July of 2009. Liz was just notified she has been accepted to Vet School in Pomona CA.)

Congratulations ladies! I brag that REGI interns are the absolute best. I'm not kidding. I have proof!

Have a great day everyone,

Marge Gibson © 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Bald Eagle Hit by Car, Rough-legged Hawk Shot,

( Photo: Female Bald Eagle hit by a car on Keith Siding Rd in Crandon on Friday. She had a egg ready to be laid inside.)

It has been a hard twenty-four hours at REGI. The title of a childrens book I read my children and now grandchildren, has played in my mind all weekend. It is Alexander and the Terrible Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. The story made us all giggle. I could use a giggle.

Sadly, the adult female Bald Eagle that was hit by a car in Crandon, WI died of her internal injuries. She was a stunning Bald Eagle , and one of the largest eagles we have had in the past twenty years from Northern Wisconsin.

We did a necropsy on the eagle as we often do when we lose a patient. We want to know if there was something more we might have done or what we can learn for future cases. This beautiful Bald Eagle didn't have a chance. She was hit HARD. I've seen Bald Eagle patients hit by semi-trucks with less damage.

The eagle had a ruptured liver, severe bleeding in both lungs, several broken ribs ( all on left side). She also had a fully formed egg in her oviduct. The egg would likely have been laid that night. The egg was crushed by impact. Being heavy with an egg, this mother eagle would not have been able to move quickly.

We know accidents happen. Many of our patients are accidentally hit by cars. This sad case was different. The road where the eagle was found was a narrow county road. It was straight and had good visibility. Someone was going at a very high rate of speed to cause injuries this extensive. (likely traveling west on Keith Siding Rd.) If it was an accident, one would hope the driver would stop. That was not the case. The eagle was found by a passerby that braved the cold and stood by the eagle for well over an hour until help was found. I hope the coward that hit her is found out and feels some remorse for his shameful, mindless act.

( Photo: This male Rough-legged Hawk was shot from a fence post in the Jump River, WI)

Our day was bad enough and then a call came from a party near Jump River. They had a hawk with a wing injury. I sent raptor banders and REGI volunteers Connie Decker and Ken Lupke to pick it up and get an ID, while we arranged transport. Education Director Steve Fisher brought the hawk out to REGI.

( Photo: We fed the critically injured Rough-legged Hawk directly into his stomach to bypass the damage done to the crop area.)

Connie called to say the case made her sick. The hawk was a Rough-legged Hawk. They breed in the far north of Alaska and Canada near the Arctic Circle . They occasionally winter in Wisconsin. They are equipped with tiny feet and are specialists on small mammals. That makes them 100% beneficial to humans. It had likely been shot with a deer rifle. The damage is severe. He will never fly again, but we hope to be able to save his life and make him part of the REGI education team.

The thing that makes this even worse is, for the past ten years, many hawks of all kinds, Snowy Owls and even Bald Eagles have been shot in this area. Experts feel it is a single individual or group. These people either have inadequate knowledge of raptors and their benefit to humans or are using the protected raptors as target practice. The birds appear to have all been shot from the road, usually in fall and spring. Sadly, this remote area happens to be pristine for wildlife and often is home to rare species and wintering special species like Rough-legged Hawks and Snowy Owls. The illegal and sick behavior of a few casts a negative shadow on everyone in the entire area. It's time to stop protecting the sickos and turn them in. For reference, this is the only part of the state we have experienced this kind of wholesale killing of raptors.

( Photo: REGI staff Steve Fisher, Lance Holm and Intern Amber Brunette with the Rough-legged Hawk shortly after he was admitted.)

( Photo: Lance Holm with Dave Hoffman, his grandson and Amber Brunette. )

We did have some nice moments this weekend too. Dave Hoffman brought a load of medical supplies no longer able to be used for human health care. We really appreciate the help from Theda Care of Appleton and Dave for his thoughtfulness. Medical supplies are expensive and the donation helps so much. You will notice in the photo above we were able to use some within the hour on our critical patients.

Education is key to preventing the situations that occurred this weekend. We embrace that hardily at REGI. Education is a big part of our mission. We will persevere and hope to make a difference in the future.

Tomorrow will be a better day. Wildlife rehabilitation is just like that.

Marge Gibson © 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Two Cases Released and Three Admitted., House Finch Conjuntivitis, Bald Eagle Hit by Car

( photo: Alberta and Katie about to release a House Finch that came in Feb. 4 from Marshfield with conjunctivitis.)

We released 2 birds this morning and by this evening had admitted 3. That is kind of the way it goes. It is also the reason our census is so stable at anywhere between 13-18 Bald Eagles and about 75 other patients this time of year. That number soars in the summer months of course.

The House Finch below was a special case. She had serious conjunctivitis when brought in early February. Katie and Alberta and Lance and Aprill on weekend worked tirelessly to "prove me wrong" when I worried hers was not a case we could save. Yea for team REGI! The House Finch was treated with ophthalmic antibiotics and her eyes were washed several times a day. To add to that regime, she was tube fed several times a day. This was necessary since she was unable to see and therefore eat or drink. You may wonder why she had to be fed so much. Birds require a huge amount of calories to live. They can eat their own weight or more each day in food. Kudos to everyone for this great work.

( Photo: Last photo taken of our House Finch in captivity. Now she is free.)

( Photo: This is how the House Finch looked when admitted to REGI in February.)

( Photo: Intern, Amber Brunette, and Alberta in the aviary trying to catch the Downy Woodpecker for release to the wild. )

We also released a Downy Woodpecker that was admitted in early winter with a broken wing. It amazes me how many people don't think bird wings can be "repaired" once broken. The truth is they can, IF we get the into care early enough. That is one reason we are insistent that birds come into care quickly so the healing process has not already begun with the bone "out of place".
Birds have to be perfect to survive in the wild. After the fracture heals the bird spend a month or more in an outdoor flight cage. This is to assure not only the bone is well healed but the muscles around that broken bone are back to 100% as well. In the wild there are many things that are important. Those include finding food, avoiding predators and attracting a mate.

( Photo: Our handsome male Downy Woodpecker was excited when he realized all that chasing to catch him in the flight cage was to release him to the wild. He never looked back as he took his freedom. )

( Photo: Katie and Amber tube fluid to the Ring-necked Pheasant admitted on Monday. )

Our Ring-necked Pheasant admitted from Wausau on Monday continues to improve as far as her leg is concerned, but had a little back slide on her kidney function. Being hit by a several thousand pound car when you are a few pounds of bird is a harsh. All kinds of things to go wrong. For this pheasant, her kidneys are still healing. We monitor our patients closely so when she went into kidney failure, we were able to respond and give her oral fluid. She is doing great tonight.

( Photo: This female Bald Eagle was hit by a car. She has a broken wing and internal bleeding. )

Speaking of tonight, I received a call from the Forest Country Sheriffs Department ,about a Bald Eagle by the side of the road. A citizen was waiting with her. We see both sides of people, the worst and the best. People that wait in the cold rain for hours until someone could be found to help, are absolutely the best. The person the hit her and didn't stop are not in that category.

It will be a busy night as we fight to save her. More later.

Marge Gibson © 2010

REGI Canada Geese Join Spring Migration, Ruffed Grouse Hits House, Spring Cleaning Continues

( Photo: Canada Geese raised at REGI last summer were flying at first light this morning.The photo is a bit dark, but it was very early a.m.)

It's great to see birds of any species, raised at REGI, join their own in the wild. We know the population of Canada Geese is strong in the State of Wisconsin. When orphans are admitted in the spring, however, they are just needy orphans and are treated the same as more rare species.

Orphans reared at REGI are not raised directly by humans, but instead by a foster parent of the same species. We are lucky to have a great foster father in Frenchie, our Richardson's Goose. He is non-releasable and has been with us for many years. He is an incredible dad, capable and SO protective. Any gosling Frenchie raises are definitely "HIS," and we all know it.

( Photo: Canada Goose foster dad with three goslings in early summer 2009 at REGI. The little ones are the same geese pictured in the first photo flying over the swan compound.)

It was a busy but wonderful day doing programs with former intern, Megan Hass Ackley (9 yrs ago) and great friend and volunteer, Bronnyn Bulgrin. It was even more special since the programs we did were for Megan's children's classes. I love when our former interns come back and are doing great things in their life. We are all so close by the time their internship ends, many become lifelong friends. Watching Megan's youngsters, and seeing bits of their mom, including her strong interest in wildlife, was incredible. Both Bronnyn and Megan are great educators. They had a chance to use education birds they'd used many years ago.

( Photo: Bronnyn with Gyrfalcon, Marge, Megan with Great-horned Owl Bumpy, and Megan's son, after a program near Wausau. Bumpy was Megan's favorite bird when she was an intern.)

( Photo: Marge demonstrates how far an owl can turn its head with Megan and her son.)

( Photo: Classes at Riverview Elementary, gathered in the library for the REGI program with Megan and Bronnyn and Megan's daughter.)

A male Ruffed Grouse crashed into the side of a house in Langlade County, knocking himself out. The homeowners went to investigate the loud sound. They found the grouse lying on the ground unconscious. The caring folks picked him up, called REGI, and brought him in this evening for care.

( Photo: This Ruffed Grouse crashed into the side of a house this evening. It is breeding time now. He was likely distracted.)

Our spring cleaning continued today. We are taking advantage of the mild temperatures to begin power-washing a winter's worth of "living" in the mews. Unfortunately, our power-washer broke after the photo below was taken. We need a new one.:(

( Photo: Spring cleaning with a power-washer is a good thing after a long winter.)

Have a great day everyone.

Marge Gibson © 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Summer Intern Interviews Completed, Qushquluk Lays Eggs, Update on Weekend Patients

( Photo: REGI's static display Bald Eagle, Qushquluk, laid two eggs this week.)

What an eventful day. Molly and I interviewed summer intern applicants. We have so many wonderful applicants. This is the final interview before we make a choice. I wish we could have them all, but because our housing space is limited, we have to chose just three.

Our static display Bald Eagle, Qushquluk surprised us by laying an egg a few days ago. It is not fertile. We were going to remove the egg and move Qush to her summer enclosure when we noticed she had TWO eggs in the makeshift straw nest. Since it is early spring and tours have not begun for the season, we will let her have peace with the eggs. In about a month she will realize they are not fertile and give them up by herself.

Lest you think I am just being "nice" by letting Qush have the eggs for awhile, this is the photo I took after I suggested to her that I was going to take them. Gentle blog readers, if you can read Bald Eagle lips...err beaks, skip the next photo. To say she was clear about what she wanted is an understatement. It is never a good thing to cross any hormonal female, especially one "of a certain age". Qushquluk has been with me for over 20 years but was an older adult when I captured her in Alaska. We were both involved in the Valdez Oil Spill in Alaska in 1989. She was a victim and I was a Bald Eagle researcher studying the effects of the oil spill on Bald Eagles in Prince William Sound. Since we have been together so long, we understand each other. She is not shy about making her wishes known, and I respect them. She does the same for me when I am having a "moment":).

( Photo: Qushquluk was unhappy when I suggested taking her infertile eggs from her.)

We had many patients admitted this weekend. One was a beautiful female Ring-necked Pheasant. Pheasants are not indigenous species. Caring for them in an emergency is a humane choice we make.

( Photo: This female Ring-necked Pheasant was likely hit by a car near Wausau. She was very cooperative during her physical.)

( Photo: Say Ahh-- Notice the pheasant's pale mouth. She also had a hard abdomen which indicates internal bleeding.)

Some terrific people watched this pheasant at their bird feeder all winter. They were horrified to find she was injured. They were able to capture her without incident and a REGI volunteer transported her for care.

The pheasant has a broken leg and internal bleeding. I am happy to report she is improving. I am confident she will be fine again in a month or so.
She has begun to eat on her own. Regular blog readers may recall a male pheasant admitted in December. He is perfect now and we hope these two can be friends as soon as her leg is healed.

( Photo: The Ring-necked Pheasant a few hours ago when I last checked her.)

We have great news on the Saw-whet Owl hit by a car near Wausau.
His eyes are back to normal. The soft tissue swelling was down by this afternoon. He has begun flying. He ate an entire mouse last night. We are supplementing with oral fluids and emaciation diet to assure he continues doing well. Saw-whet Owls are tiny. He weighs just 80 grams. Missing just one meal has a big impact on them.

( Photo: Eye-drops for the Saw-whet Owl,.)

( Photo: Saw-whet Owl hit by a car on Sunday near Wausau has done very well. Both eyes are open and his vision is normal.)

We have another busy day tomorrow with programs in Wausau and more "de-winterizing".

Have a great day everyone.

Marge Gibson © 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Saw-whet Owls and Other Patients Pour Though the Door Today, Mild Temperatures

( Photo: A Saw-whet Owl shortly after being admitted after being hit by a car in Marathon County. He has a soft tissue injury around his right eye and internal injuries, but his prognosis is very good for a full recovery. )

We are back on-line today. I hope it is permanent, but living in a remote area that is a lot to ask for. Thanks everyone for your patience while we work to resolve our Internet connection problems.

The day hit with a bang today as several patients were admitted throughout the day. We can always tell what birds are migrating through WI, because those species began showing up at patients at REGI.

( Photo: Saw-whet Owl receives some liquid food and fluids after he was admitted.)

We had two Saw-whet Owl calls today with one admission. The little guys are often hit by cars as they move through the state and into their breeding territory. Some of the Saw-whets moving now are from Canada and will be nesting there shortly. It is great when the birds are banded with federal bands. In that way we can tell where they were banded and a little about them. For those that were banded in the nest we can learn even more about their life.

The Saw-whet Owl in the photos is from Marathon County. He was hit by a car but escaped serious injury. The man that found the little guy originally saw him early in the morning on a median strip of a busy highway. What a miracle it was when he saw him again, in the same place later in the afternoon and called REGI for advice.

The main advice was, " Get him off the HIGHWAY!" We are so grateful that this fine person was willing to do just that.

( Photo: Saw-whet Owl during his physical. He does not have any broken bones and should do well after a bit of cage rest.)

( Photo: Katie moves a Trumpeter Swan from winter quarters back to the Swan compound. )

It was a busy day in many regards. Steve, Molly and Evie were out of town this past weekend with many of our education birds doing a weekend program in Minnesota. The first day back means the birds are checked out for any travel fatigue and travel boxes are cleaned.

( Photo: Environmental Education Coordinator, Molly McKay cleans travel boxes that held our education birds during a trip to MN.)

( Photo: The plastic sheeting that served as a wind barrier during the winter on some of the outside enclosures, is coming down!)

Temperatures have been very mild this week. We could hardly believe it was in the 60's F. today. We realize the calendar says it is March. In Wisconsin that means we will have more snow and cold weather, but we WANT to assume Spring is on its way. We begin the long process of "de-winterizing" REGI today.

We are looking for volunteers that can help with spring cage repair, cleaning including power-washing. If you are interested please call Molly at 715-623-2563.
Have a great day everyone.

Marge Gibson © 2010