Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring Releases Fly Free, American Robins, Red-tailed Hawks, Great-horned Owl

We admitted a beautiful female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker with a broken wing. They are such great birds. She had been sipping sap from a birch tree and likely got a little loopy on the fermented sap. She misjudged either a limb or other immovable object and crashed. Yes folks, it happens even in the bird community!

( Photo: Female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has a wing fracture. She seems a little embarrassed over the situation that caused her injury.)

It has been a busy week with many spring releases. We sometimes have to hold birds over the winter or parts of the winter due to severe cold temperatures. Critically injured birds are kept on heat or incubators until they are stable. Releasing them into frigid below zero F. temperatures would be fatal. In those cases the birds are our guests until spring when they can acclimate quickly and begin life again. The first step in release is exercise or physical therapy. All birds including passerines or perching birds need to be in great physical condition before released or their survival will be compromised.

( Photo: Alberta and Katie with two adult American Robins they just caught up from the exercise aviary for the last time. Today the birds start the "rest of their life" as wild birds. One robin sustained a wing fracture in late winter and was especially anxious to leave captivity. He seemed to have a destination in mind. )

( Photo: An American Robin with blue sky behind him after release to the wild. )

We are still working on spring cleaning. With the large number of birds in our care the facility needs constant upkeep and cleaning. In the winter our ability to clean is limited. Any water used would quickly turn to ice. Living in the far north is challenging in the winter season.

We are so grateful to the UWSP and UW-Madison students that have turned out to help with the Herculean job of REGI spring cleaning. If anyone else wants to volunteer we have have plenty of projects and opportunities. Thanks everybody.

( Photo: Katelyn Thomas and Elena Yaunke members of the UWSP Pre-Vet Club work hard shoveling pea gravel into new enclosures. Pea gravel is necessary for safe footing for raptors.)

We welcomed Lori and Brian Rowe and their daughters Sarah and Jenny as volunteers on Monday. The family is doing community projects with their daughters to help them learn the value of volunteerism. What a great lesson for the girls and so helpful to REGI at the same time.

( Photo: The Rowe family, Lori and Brian and daughters Sarah and Jenny came to help us on Monday. Our Daylily bed by the flight building looks beautiful! )

We had many releases this past week. It is hard to catch up with them all for the blog. Unfortunately, many were not caught on my camera. I will post them later when I get them. Three Red-tailed Hawks and Two Great-horned Owls are free again this week after rehabilitation at REGI.

Have a great day everyone.

Marge Gibson © 2010

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