Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers Day, Foster Fathers Working Hard at REGI

Happy Fathers Day! We hope you have all had a wonderful day and were able to spend time with the special person in your life who wears the title of "father", "dad", "pops", or whatever special term you have for your father. Fathers are very important to our lives, but did you know they play a huge role in the avian world as well?

( Photo: Malcolm,REGI's Barred Owl, works hard both as an education bird during most of the year and for a few months a year as a foster father to orphaned Barred Owlets. In this photo Malcolm is seen with the Barred Owl owlets recently. See photo below to see the scene the day he was introduced to the owlets.)

( Photo:In this photo the Barred Owl owlets are very young. It is the day they were introduced to Malcolm.)

People are often surprised when they hear many of our foster parents are MALES. Male raptors and several other avian species are great parents. They nurture, preen, and care for the young every bit as well as the female does.

( Photo: Our foster father Bald Eagle with a orphaned Bald Eagle eaglet in 2009. We usually get Bald Eagle chicks in late June or early July. He will likely be busy again this year.)

(Photo: Foster Dad "Frenchie" takes his job seriously. He has 4 foster Canada Goose goslings this year. If you think he is not a great dad, just TRY getting past him to touch one of those goslings!)

( Photo: Foster parent Sandhill Crane ( sorry we are not sure of gender) takes great care of this young sandhill recovering from a broken leg.)

These are but a few of the amazing foster parent birds that help us through the summer months by raising orphaned babies. We can raise these chicks/youngsters, but never as well as they can be by their own species.

We hope your day was perfect!

Marge Gibson © 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Patients Big and Small, Warblers, Great-Horned Owl Trapping Injury, Excellent News on Sandhill Crane Patients

It has been awhile since I updated our blog. We have been very busy with a huge variety of patients. We are also in the process of editing our newest newsletter.

( Photo: Warbler hatchlings are very tiny.)

Looking over the last week's photos, it comes to me that I may have to change the format of the blog, if only for these crazy summer days. There are days when we have admitted 10-15 patients a day. I will do more posting of photos with captions that tell the story so we can keep everyone informed better on our daily work.

( Photo: Irrigating the foot injury on a Great-horned Owl that was caught in a jaw trap is an important first step with trapped birds to better see the extent of the injury.
Interns look on from Left to Rt. Jen Rothe, Katie Rymer, Karissa Mohr and REGI staffer Lance Holm.)

( Photo: The trap caught only one toe in this older female Great-horned Owl.)

( Photo: Our summer interns learn how to restrain a Great-horned Owl to provide care in the event you are alone in the clinic when the patient arrives. This wrap we affectionately call the "burrito wrap". If you have ever eaten a burrito, the reasons are obvious.)

(Photo: Our Sandhill Crane patients are now housed together so the adult can function as a foster parent to the youngster. The cast on the leg of the chick in this photo is not off. The leg healed perfectly.)

Great news on our Sandhill Crane patients. The baby admitted when she was only 23 days old with a leg fracture has her cast off and has healed perfectly. More good news for this little family. The adult Sandhill Crane admitted with a leg fracture several weeks ago is now working as the foster parent for the young colt. It is a match made in heaven for both patients. The adult is happy as she was taken from her youngsters when she was injured, and the little patient is delighted with having a "mom" back. With a foster parent the chick will remain a wild crane. We are currently gathering information from crane experts on reuniting the young crane with her biological family.

Back with you soon. We are sure to have another busy day with tours, patients to feed and care for, and new patients to stretch our learning curve.

Marge Gibson 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Tours About to Begin!

(Former Director of Education, Nicole Swanson, gives a tour to a group in 2009.)

Summer is a busy time for all of us here at REGI. But something that we all look forward to is the start of public tours! This is something that we have been gearing up for all spring. The REGI facility takes a bit of sprucing up after a long Wisconsin winter. Luckily this year we have also had a long spring to get ready. The time has flown by and now here we are, school has just let out and we are ready to begin!

(Steve Fisher introduces a group to the beautiful Bald Eagle, Tess during a tour.)

Arguably one of the most inspiring moments on a tour is when you get the chance to look a Bald Eagle in the eye. REGI tours give you the opportunity to learn about the unique adaptations that raptors have while getting closer than ever before. During each REGI tour you can expect to meet owls, eagles, falcons and hawks.

The first set of summer tours is scheduled to take place this Saturday, June 12! Tours will run from June 12 through August! (Education Director, Steve Fisher, teaches a group with educational Turkey Vulture, Morrie.)

Tours take place Tuesday, Wednesday and the 2nd Saturday of each month at 10 am and 1pm.
Tours are $5 per person and children under the age of 5 are free.
Tours are all outdoors so please come dressed for the weather.
Space is limited to 20 visitors per tour so pre-registration is required.
Call or email Molly at (715) 623-2563 to reserve your spot!

We hope to see you there!

-Molly McKay
Education Coordinator

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Memorial Day Bald Eagle Release

Eagle releases are always amazing, but releasing a Bald Eagle on Memorial Day is fitting and especially moving.

( Photo: And she is off to reclaim her place in the wild world. This Bald Eagle came in with lead poisoning in the fall of 2009. Photo by Katie Rymer.)

People wonder how we catch eagles when they are flying in our large flight building. It is a process. Below are a few photos that give an idea of what goes on.

( Photo: Time to catch her up in the eagle exercise flight! The eagles are well conditioned and this part of the process can take a long time. It makes for well conditioned staff too!)

( Photo: The Bald Eagles last minutes in captivity!)

( Photo: The Bald Eagle is finally tired and on the ground. Here we can pop a net over her head and pick her up for transport. Next she will have an "exit" physical to make sure she is 100%, then she will be fed a crop of meat before she is released. Intern Robert P. helps hold the net while I pick her up.)

( PHoto: The crowd in thrilled with an up close, but safe, look at an adult Bald Eagle.)

( Photo: Seeing a Bald Eagle up close is a once in a lifetime expereince for many and one they never forget. The birds presence and sense of calm is remarkable to everyone that sees it.)

It has been extraordinaily busy here this past week. We have admitted many patients, more than ever in our history. We have lots of photos to share when we can sit down and download them all.

The interns are all amazing. They are working hard and are sponges when it comes to learning about the birds and their care and husbandry. These young people will be some fine wildlife professionals.

Thanks for your patience with the slow process of the blog. We are here and we are busy taking care of remarkable patients with special stories we are eager to share.

Have a great day!

Marge Gibson 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Crestwood Elementry School Visits Raptor Education Group, Inc.

End of the school year field trips are fun for everyone including staff at REGI. We are honored to be able to tour thousands of youngsters around the REGI compound each year. Here, they visit up-close and personal with our educational raptors, as well as talk about wildlife conservation ideas they can use for their future.

Today Crestwood Elementary School,located in Antigo, WI, came to visit.
This is Mrs Brokovec's Second Grade Class. They were an energetic group with lots of questions and good ideas. We all had a great time. The photos below tell the story.

( Photo: Education Coordinator Molly McKay explains the Peregrine Falcon to Mrs Borkovec's 2nd grade class. )

( Photo: Education Director Steve Fisher, with Tess, REGI's Bald Eagle. Tess impressed the class with her size and strength.)

( Photo: How many times in life can you have a ringside seat for a chat with a Bald Eagle? The kids enjoyed the opportunity and were perfect using their "wildlife manners".)

( Photo: Time to try some wings on for size!)

( Photo: Molly explains the special wildlife project the children were about to participate in. Hint: It involved a hammer and nails. )

( Photo: Intern Karrisa M. led one of the "teams" building an Eastern Bluebird house.)

( Photo: Getting some help with holding the nails.)

( Photo: Intern Katie R. has a great group of 2nd graders. They were all eager to help.)

( Photo: Karrisa's group is the first to finish! They did a fantastic job under her leadership!)

( Photo: Intern Robert P. has a group determined to do a perfect job!)

( Photo: Molly wants to make sure everyone knows how to be safe with that hammer.)

( Photo: Molly's group is finished in good style.)

( Photo: Robert's team is done, and there are the plans to prove they did a good job!)

( Photo: A little goofing around is always needed just to prove you are having fun! Note: Everyone signed their special bird houses.) )

(Photo: The end product. The Bluebird houses will be used for years to come on the REGI compound.)

( Photo: Time for some well deserved treats to top off the afternoon!)

( Photo: One last class photo on the "Wall of Wings" just as the rain begins to fall.)

( Photo: A few more quick chances at the wall before heading back to the bus.)

( Photo: The timing was perfect to get back on the bus bound for Crestwood School again. Just as the last child entered, the rain got serious.)

Thank you, everyone. It was fun to have you here at Raptor Education Group, Inc.. It is always exciting for us to be able to share our education birds and tips on living with nature with you.

We hope you have a wonderful summer. Come back to see us as Third Graders!

Marge Gibson © 2010