Friday, September 21, 2012

Fall Has Arrived: A REGI Patient Update

Fall seems to have arrived here at REGI.  The air has cooled and the leaves have started to blaze.  Our resident turkey vulture population has doubled in size as they begin preparations for migration.  Our clinic is still full, but not with the chirp of babies waiting to be fed.  We are awaiting the arrival of our fall interns next week; you will get to meet them soon.  These interns will have a different experience then our summer interns, without all of the baby care, but it will be equally important.  This is the first year that we will have fall interns thanks to the generous bunkhouse donation from Wausau Homes.

One of our resident vultures rides the thermals on a beautiful fall afternoon.

The bright reds and oranges make for a beautiful backdrop here at REGI.
Last week we had a very special tribute on 9/11.  We were able to release a bald eagle patient that had suffered botulism poisoning earlier in the summer.  It was an amazing moment.  Seeing her open her wings and soar was such a symbolic moment on such a somber day.

Marge Gibson (center) poses before the release with daughter (left) and friend.
We have a wide range of patients in care, some of them new patients or some just about to be released.  We anticipate that next week will be full of releases.  We have many robins ready to make a big migration along with other birds.

A beautiful sora perches in the aviary while awaiting release.  Look at the size of those feet!  They are designed for wading through the marsh.
Sora are little marsh birds that are more often heard than seen.  They have a distinct descending trill.  Their bright yellow beak is another characteristic that stands out.  This little bird was found near a marsh with a hanging wing.  His wing healed quickly and well allowing for release as soon as the weather improves.

The wing of an Eastern bluebird with severely singed feathers.
This beautiful male Eastern bluebird was found in a dog park which happens to be on the site of an old landfill.  He has obviously burned feathers and the most likely scenario is that it flew over a methane flare and was burnt.  While he will be unable to fly until he grows new feathers in he is in good health, eats well, and behaves normally.

An osprey prepares for a feeding.
This beautiful osprey was found on the ground with a severe injury on the inside of his left wing.  He will have a long road to recovery, but we are hopeful that this injury will heal.  If only the birds could tell us what happened to them!

Great-horned owl that was caught in a trap and severely injured his foot.
If you have been following our blogs for the past few years you may remember seeing quite a few patients with severe foot/toe injuries from traps.  REGI is a big supporter of trapping done well.  Each year we get 1000's of muskrats for our birds from trappers; it keeps them fed through the winter.  But trapping done poorly is the cause of many injuries each year.  We will work our hardest to save this birds toes.

I am certain that we will have many release pictures to share with you soon!  Until then, enjoy your weekend.

Molly McKay
Director of Education

1 comment:

  1. To their success. My heart goes out to these birds for all the manmade stresses they have to endure. I'm glad they have someone like you to help them back into the air. Thanks for the incredible pics.