Saturday, November 6, 2010

Post Storm Clean-up, Barred Owl, Sandhill Crane Admitted,Ruffed Grouse Released

( Photo: Barred Owl hit by a car. He suffered a wing fracture but is doing well.)

It has been a busy few weeks. A huge storm system came through the Mid-west causing havoc all around. We were lucky in that we did not have any significant power outages, but some folks less than a hour away lost electricity for over a week.

I am grateful to my grandson for doing most of the clean-up. He is a whiz around a chain-saw. I helped too.:)

( Photo: Me cutting up parts of a tree that came down in the wind storm. )

Several birds were admitted during the week of the storm. This happens when the winds whip the birds into tree branches, the ground or even the side of houses or barns. We are talking serious winds. They were classified as up to a Category 3 hurricane force. We are not used to that in the Mid-west and it did get our attention.

(Photo: An adult female Sandhill Crane was admitted during the week. This photo as she was coming out of the transport box.)

A beautiful female Sandhill Crane was admitted this week. She came from an area near WI Rapids, WI.. We are grateful to the folks that have watched this sandhill family for years, for noticing "mom" was not doing well. Sandhill mate for life. The male and the pairs youngster were trying to get the female to fly so they could leave on migration. The male would not leave without his mate.
The real stories of our patients are often heartbreaking but also beautiful. Their reaction to situations such as this allow us an opportunity to see their society and social structure. We have so much to learn from our amazing patients and their lives before they came to us.
We are grateful to the family the first noticed the bird in trouble, the gentleman that caught her and kept her safe until we could transport the crane, and two of my summer interns, Katie Rymer and Rob Prinsen. Katie and Rob took time from their busy college schedules to pick this crane up from the capture site and transport her to REGI. It takes so many people working together for these cases to have a happy ending. There will be more to come on this story.

The Ruffed Grouse admitted after being hit by a car has been released. She was eager to leave us. We were not able to get any photos as she launched into the air and flew into her future.

I had the opportunity to talk to some terrific people in the La Crosse area a few weeks ago. It is always exciting to talk to people that are excited about birds and conservation. Their presence fuels my enthusiasm as well.
Journalist Jim Solberg writes a terrific column, Ridgerunner Reports. He was kind enough to include my presentation in the column. Click here to Jim Solberg's column in the Ridgerunner Reports. It will be another busy weekend. We have had some snow but happily the weather has held and allows us to continue winterizing the REGI facility.

Have a great weekend everyone. If you live in the local area enjoy the sunshine!:)

Marge Gibson 2010

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