Monday, April 26, 2010

Patients Pour In, Barred Owl, Saw-whet Owl, Mourning Dove and Visit from UWSP Captive Wildlife Class

( Photo: This Barred Owl had a bit of bad luck. He has both a broken wing and a broken leg.)

Spring certainly is in the air. The warm temperatures brought with it baby birds earlier than any other year. While the calendar says it is April, the breeding birds seem to think it is May. I just hope the Warblers and other more delicate birds hold off arriving in Northern WI until later in May when our chance of freezing weather is minimal.

Dr Shelli Dubay brought her Captive Wildlife Class from UWSP here for a field trip on Friday. It is always a great class. We are excited to show them around and cover as many aspects of captive wildlife care as possible in the two hours they are here. It is exciting for us to know their bright minds and energetic spirits will be working with wildlife for many years to come.

( Photo: Dr Shelli Dubay's Captive Wildlife class from UWSP tours the REGI clinic as I explain what happens when birds are admitted. Two birds were admitted during the field trip.)

( Photo: An adult Saw-whet Owl with a fractured right wing spent some time on the ground without food as it is near starvation.)

A Saw-whet Owl was admitted with a broken wing during the time the UWSP Captive Wildlife class was at REGI. The little one, is an adult but weighs only 54 grams. That weight indicates starvation. The little owl must have been injured a few days previous and spent some time on the ground before it was noticed and brought to REGI. We re hydrated him and put him on heat to bring his body temperature back up to a normal level.

( Photo: A baby Mourning Dove was admitted after a homeowner found it in her dogs mouth. Thank goodness it was a retriever. Note to pet owners...Do you know where your pet is and what it is doing?)

I took a call very early in the morning from a homeowner in Mosinee, WI. Her dog brought home a baby bird the night before. She looked for a nest but was not able to locate it. She keep the little one warm and brought it to REGI soon after contacting us. It turns out it is a baby Mourning Dove. The nest of a Mourning Dove is a weak structure which consists of few sticks. It looks more like "a few sticks" on a branch than a nest. I am not surprised the nest was not located.

Mourning Doves drink crop milk from their parents crop rather then being fed in the more typical open mouth gape most people associate with baby birds. It is an interesting twist in the world of birds.

( Photo: UWSP Captive Wildlife Class tours the Eagle flight building to learn the importance of conditioning or birds before release to the wild as well as specifics of housing raptors.)

( Photo: UWSP Captive Wildlife Class got to visit with several of REGI education birds up close with Education Coordinator, Molly McKay and Education Director, Steve Fisher.

It is sure to be another busy day. We have high winds today. For us that means baby birds being blown from nests and adults occasionally colliding with solid objects like trees as they are buffeted around on wind currents. Wildlife rehabilitators see life so differently than regular people.:)

Have a great day everyone.

Marge Gibson ©2010

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