Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Grown Ups, Patient Updates, & Interns

Hey everyone, were still swamped in baby season here at REGI.
Here's a picture-filled blog full of updates!

_____ All Grown Up _____

These merlins made their debut on our last blog (above), look how grown up they look now (below)

Hard to imagine that just several weeks ago these striking falcons were just white puff balls with large eyes, sharp beaks, and quick feet. Merlins go from hatching to flight in only one month, and we can attest to that here at REGI. This has been the summer of the merlins. We've seen seven fluffy babies come through our clinic doors. All of which are currently flight training in an outside enclosure!

The Virginia Rail is doing great, and enjoys fresh duckweed and insects daily

Look at who else is growing up! REGI's Virginia Rail is no longer cotton ball size! He stirred up quite an array of followers on our Facebook, and would like to thank everyone for their monetary donations to support his bloodworm addictions! He still has expensive tastes, and has moved up to waxworms & small minnows.

This baby turkey vulture had a high-speed migration in a car from the University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota contacted us this past week with an interesting request. They had acquired a turkey vulture chick that had fallen from its nest into a large body of water, and he needed a foster parent. Kayakers found the little one flapping around in the water and were able to pull him up into the kayak and get him to the University of Minnesota. Here at REGI, we have several successful turkey vulture foster parents, some of which who have fostered Minnesota vultures in the past. It appears that these two are over the whole Packer/Viking feud, and are getting along great!

_____ Patient Updates _____

This young broad-winged hawk came into the clinic just yesterday. His parents may have kicked him out of the nest because he appears to be fully blind in his left eye.

This red-tailed hawk came into the clinic starving and has an injury to a leg. Cases like this lead us to believe he she had some sort of collision with a car which left her unable to hunt.

This great-horned owl came into the clinic very thin. A male great-horned owl weighs over 2 lbs, and a female can be over 4 lbs. This one came into the clinic weighing just over 1 lb. Release is a long way in the future for this owl... but we are crossing our fingers/toes for success

_____ Summer Interns _____

 Licensed rehabilitator Alberta & intern Alyssa tubing one of several fledgling eagles in the clinic

The interns this summer are doing a fantastic job! They truly get the whole rehabilitation experience here at REGI. Although they work long hours (as all of our former interns will remember), their spirits stay strong. The following are all photos of the interns learning experiences to date. They have seen a vast array of different species come through the clinic doors, and never know which one could be next!

Licensed rehabilitator Alberta & intern Maddie tubing another fledgling eagle

Intern Kerry holding a belted kingfisher while he anxiously awaits a larger box in the clinic

Interns Maddie and Sarah tubing the 1 lb great-horned owl

Intern Molly enjoying some alone time with our education peregrine falcon

_____ Summer Tours _____

 Molly, our education director, leading a tour past our crows & raven

Our education peregrine falcon poses for the tour group. Come meet our peregrine up close on one of our on-site tours

Summer tours are still soaring strong. Tours run Tuesdays, Thursdays, and the second Saturday of every month. Most tours still have spaces for both the 10AM & 1PM time slots. Call the education office at REGI to reserve your spots ahead of time (715) 623-2563.

Enjoy your week, it sounds like we finally have some rain in the forecast!

- Katie Rymer, Assistant Avian Rehabilitator

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fuzzy Merlins, A "Goalie" Great-Horned Owl, Virginia Rail & Patient Updates

These merlin falcons are actually from two different nests, but they are getting along just fine in the clinic

The workload summertime is still in high gear as we soar on to patient 300 of the year! Above is just a few of last week's patients. It seemed to be the "Week of the Merlin" as we had 4 merlins enter the clinic. Three of which are pictured above, and the other is currently flying around her very own enclosure. The left and right birds pictured above were from the same nest, and the little guy in the middle was from a different nest. Even though there was a few day difference in hatching days... they are getting along great in the clinic! The little one is a PIG!

 After being tangled in a soccer net, this young great-horned owl was just in need of some rest! 
Assistant avian rehabilitator Katie Rymer moving the great-horned owl to an outdoor enclosure for rest and exercise.

Some wonderful folks in Merrill, WI made a daring rescue as they cut this young great-horned owl free from a soccer net. A group of kids watched the rescue ensue as adults pried the raptor from the nets on one of the warmest days of the year! She came in dehydrated and a little banged up, but we are happy to say that she's doing well, and hopefully will be back flying around the Merrill area this week!

 This Virginia Rail chick is gaining popularity of REGI's Facebook! He'd love some online donations so he can continue to enjoy his favorite treat... bloodworms!

This small Virginia Rail is a popular guy among our staff. He spends his days running around his enclosure, eating countless bloodworms, soaking up rays under his heat lamp, and jumping around in his water dish. When he came in he was about the size of a cotton ball, and he's growing like a little weed! We have high hopes for this REGI first! 

** If you'd like to donate to our Virginia Rail's bloodworm addiction, you can donate online here, or visit REGI's webpage at www.raptoreducationgroup.org. He's already thanking you in peeping noises and unbelievably tall jumps for a guy his size! **

 Barn swallow fledglings catching some rays on one of their first days outside in the outside aviary

These little ones came in as featherless, large-mouthed, hungry kiddos. They've come a long way since their incubator days just a few weeks back. They are now spending their days outside in the aviary.

 This Blue Jay is one of the fastest growing babies of the season, and is doing quite well

This wide-mouthed baby has been eating on his own for a while now. Hard to believe that after feeding them every 20 minutes from sun-up to sun-down they are all grown up and ready to leave the nest. This blue jay is spending it's days and nights outside in hopes of an upcoming successful release!

 This American Robin is spending his days outside soaking up the rays

REGI has seen it's fair share of American robins this year! We are well over 20 robin babies, and hopefully we will be able to celebrate with a huge robin release. Several of these robins will be ready to go soon! Several of these smaller songbirds end up staying on REGI grounds even after release. We fill our feeders daily, and have several bird baths for them to enjoy on our warm summer days!

Interns Alyssa and Kerry learning how to bathe a sticky saw-whet owl
This owl had a run-in with some sticky fly tape, and is getting a bath in Dawn dish soap. Dawn soaps are used on animals during oil spill clean up, and do a great job! It only took a few baths and this little saw-whet was in his own enclosure getting ready for release!

Volunteer Mike & education peregrine falcon showing off our new peregrine falcon education station

This weekend was a warm one, but that didn't stop our volunteer from moving heavy rocks! After several hours and tricky engineering, we'd like to introduce you to our new peregrine falcon education station. For those of you attending upcoming tours, we're proud to say you'll be able to enjoy our adult education peregrine falcon in a more natural environment!

I hope everyone was able to get out and enjoy there weekend! Here in Antigo, WI we were still in smoldering hot temperatures. We are all looking forward to an upcoming week of 70's & 80's!

Enjoy your week, and stay tuned to our Facebook for updates!
- Katie Rymer, Assistant Avian Rehabilitator