Thursday, April 29, 2010

Whirlwind Few Days, Bald Eagle Hit by Car, Barred Owl Release, American Woodcock Chick Admitted, Volunteers

( Photo: This adult Bald Eagle was hit by a car near Neillsville, WI. She has a spinal injury, but is moving her legs today. It is less than 24 hours after admission so we remain hopeful.)

What a fast-paced few days it has been! I can hardly remember it all, let alone write about everything.

The adult Bald Eagle in the photo above was found by a citizen near the side of a road. The location indicates the eagle was hit by a car. Wild creatures are unable to tell us what happened to them, so we put pieces of evidence together just like CSI:). Well, maybe not just like CSI, but you get the picture. That's why we ask lots of questions of those finding our wild patients. Our admission form has questions not only about where the bird was found, but the circumstances. The information helps us figure out what happened so we can understand and respond correctly. We don't know for sure what happened, of course, unless someone observes the bird being injured or gunshot residue exists or there are other indications.

( Photo: Alberta with the Barred Owl that was released on Tuesday night. The photo was taken a few days after he was admitted in early March.

The photo above shows a beautiful Barred Owl soon after he was admitted to REGI. He had been hit by a car near Mosinee. Rose Shelley found the owl. She scooped him off the street and put him in her trunk. He was near death. Rose knew it was his best chance of survival. His story quickly became an odyssey that includes the Mosinee Police Department, REGIs own Education Director Steve Fisher, and the employees of Fed Ex in Mosinee.

The first call REGI received was from a very excited Fed Ex employee saying an owl had been in someone's trunk, but when they opened the trunk, out popped a very dizzy owl. The Mosinee Police Department responded. Steve Fisher was quickly on his way as well. It all ended well when they were able to contain the owl and Steve transported him to REGI for care. We get lots of "interesting calls" at REGI. Often they are given in a kind of excited "shorthand" with important facts being left out until later.

We were very happy to let Rose and a group her friends release this owl back to the wild after he made a full recovery at REGI. It is so good to know there are people like Rose that care about wild ones when they are injured. Thanks Rose, Fed Ex employees, Mosinee Police Department, and REGI staff.

( Photo: Rose Shelley and friends prepare to release the Barred Owl that was hit by a car near Mosinee on March 2, 2010. We know the photo is blurred but it is the only one we have. sorry::( )

( Photo: A day-old American Woodcock chick was admitted last night. It is shown in a brooder that mimics what its natural habitat would look like.)

The Doering family of Merrill called yesterday evening to say they found an strange little bird on their lawn with no sign of an adult. They tried to put it in the woods but it followed the children in the family back to the house. It was likely lost from its family. The family quickly drove to REGI to get the little one care.

We are grateful when we are able to admit chicks soon after they are found. Youngsters are not able to thermo-regulate, keep themselves warm, without an adult. They always need a brooder or incubator. Our thanks to this great family for getting this little one help.

American Woodcock are secretive birds. They eat earthworms for the most part from the forest floor. They can be challenging to raise to release, but we have great success with them. It is important to make sure they feel comfortable with their environment or they will not survive. We take great pains to provide a natural "habitat" for them from day one. Can you see the woodcock chick in the photo below? It is on the left of the photo.

( Photo: The "brooder" American Woodcock habitat from above. It is a Rubbermaid container with natural leaf litter. Even the water dish has small stones to allow for safe foot placement for the chick. The legs of gallinaceous birds splay easily when on any slick surface. Splayed legs can result in a crippled bird. )

( Photo: Check out that long beak on this tiny American Woodcock. The beak is delicate and flexible to probe worms from the soil.)

( Photo: Super volunteer Dave Koch was back yesterday to continue repairs on our Peregrine Falcon enclosure. Dave brought Scott Breneman, a recently retired science teacher, to help with the project. Many thanks to both Dave and Scott for your help. It means so much to us.)

The repair work continues on the REGI compound. After twenty years we have lots to repair. We sure could use more volunteers to help with repairs, painting, and the like. While our work with the birds is important, we need to have our cages in good repair to continue to do good work with the birds. If you are interested in helping call Molly at 715-623-2563.

In case you noticed the time I began this blog, from this time on through summer I will be up at least part of the night tending baby birds. It is a long process from nestling to release of a healthy adult.: ) If you know someone who is interested in feeding baby birds, please give Molly a call.

Have a great day everyone.

Marge Gibson © 2010

1 comment:

  1. Hiya

    I work at a Owl and Bird Of Prey Centre in Cornwall , South West England, U.K and you really do some cracking work. Great blog also