Friday, July 1, 2011

Patient Updates

Hello everyone!

The babies here are growing up fast and I want to share their progress with you. The following photos are updates on just a small hand full of our patients. Next week I'll try to introduce you to some of the new patients coming through the door.

Photo above: These are 5 of the 6 baby Bald Eagles we currently have in our care. You can see that they are exploring beyond their nest and trying out the high perches in their enclosure. One even decided to lounge on the ground behind the nest, and he looks quite comfortable all stretched out like that.

Photo above: The Sandhill Crane colt is out for one of his many daily walks following the leader, Katherine. Believe it or not, he is larger in this photo than when he was admitted! This tiny kid will soon be his adult size!

Photo above: These adorable Eastern Blue Bird fledglings were first shown in our May 25th blog. Back then, they were just tiny, naked little nestlings, and now they can fly! This photo only shows two of the little babies, but all four are all grown up and are flying around their flight enclosure.

Photo above: This Red-breasted Nuthatch came in as an orphan, and he wasn't introduced to you when he was a naked little baby, but you can see him here, almost all grown up. He's even been practicing that classic nuthatch move... walking down the tree upside down.

Photo above: These two beauties, an American Robin and a Mourning Dove, were first introduced to you in our May 25th blog as little nestlings. Now they have fully fledged and are in a flight enclosure with many of the other song birds, gaining flight muscles and continuing to grow up. Thankfully, these guys are beginning to learn how to eat on their own, a relief for our rehabbers who, until now, have put every bite they've eaten into their mouths.

Photo above: Check out this little guy. This American Robin is lounging quite comfortably on one of the perches in his flight enclosure. It is so fun to see how much he has grown!

Photo above: These are the three Great Horned Owl fledglings with their foster father. Oddly enough, the adult male is the smallest owl in this photo on the far right. It is also very interesting to see the huge variation in colors and sizes among the unrelated fledglings. Great Horned Owls show lots of color variations depending on region and genetics. They can be more grey, to more rusty, to very light in color, and it will be exciting to see these kids transform as they get their adult feathers.

Photo above: This is the Red-shouldered Hawk with a broken leg that was mentioned in the previous blog. When he was first introduced to you, I mentioned that he was giving us hope by standing up from time to time. Well, you can see for yourself that he is standing. His leg still bothers him, but he is beginning to put some pressure on it. We hope that he continues to improve and perhaps gain at least partial use of that leg.

Photo above: The seven young Belted Kingfishers have been moved to an outside enclosure so they can begin practicing using their wings. All are doing well, and are looking so grown-up! One of my favorite things about kingfishers are their odd proportions. They have giant beaks and large eyes, but the teeniest feet! Gosh, they're fun to see!

Photo above: Here's an update photo for the little Green Heron. He still has a funny fuzzy little head, but his adult feathers are growing in nicely.

Now that you've seen some of our patients, I'd like you to meet... a thief!

Photo above: I know this isn't a bird, nor is he one of our patients, but I found this little guy sneaking food from some of our bowls. Look at how much he stuffed into those cheeks! What a little devil! ;)

Have a safe and happy holiday everyone! Independence Day is the time to celebrate our freedom and accomplishments as Americans, and to honor our brothers and sisters over seas. Most importantly, we must celebrate in a safe manor; safe for us, and safe for our wild neighbors. Please remember that birds and other wildlife are raising their families right now so limit your use of fireworks. Instead of buying your own fireworks, enjoy the show your town puts on; it is much safer for everyone that way (and cheaper!). The loud bangs associated with fireworks can cause acoustic concussions that can kill birds by damaging their internal organs, not to mention frighten and confuse them. If your child or pet is scared by the loud booming explosions of fireworks, imagine how the wild ones feel.

Have fun, but BE SAFE!

Thanks everyone!

Karissa Mohr
Wildlife Educator