Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Turkey Vulture Pumpkin Fun, Saw-whet Improving, Barred owl Hit by Car
( Photo: Morrie and Pilchard our resident Turkey Vultures love investigating the used Jack-o Lanterns left over from Halloween. )
Enrichment is important for the birds in captivity. They get bored when things remain the same and life has no challenges. Let face it, their life in the wild is perilous, but raptors are born thrill seekers. Our education birds have lots of things to keep them busy. Some species need more challenges than others. Turkey Vultures love to seek out their food and use their sense of smell. Not many birds have a good "olfactory" system. Turkey Vultures are the exception to most avian species and have an exquisite sense of smell. They also happen to be gregarious and full of curiosity.
This year we reached out to the public and encouraged children to bring us their used Jack-O-lanterns once they began to fade after Halloween. It was a great idea if we say so our self!
Not only were the Turkey Vultures enamoured with the pumpkins, but other species were as well. The Sandhill Cranes, Wild Turkey, and corvids like the American Crows enjoy them as well. For some we hide meat pieces inside and let them "find" them and work a bit to get the meat out. Others like the Sandhill Cranes and Wild Turkeys just wanted to tackle the pumpkin itself. Even the seeds are excellent food for many species.
( Photo: This female Saw-whet Owl was admitted several days ago. She is improving quickly. While she is still being tube fed most food, she was chomping on mouse when I last peeked in on her. )
( Photo: This Barred Owl was hit by a car on Monday evening.
She suffered a broken wing. )
Our education team has been very busy with programs in Northern WI. Education Coordinator will update everyone soon with their travels.
Snow is predicted this weekend. We know we have been very lucky this past few weeks, but sooner or later the white stuff will come. Enjoy the warm temperatures and bundle up for the weekend.
Have a great tomorrow everyone,
Marge Gibson 2010