Friday, January 15, 2010
All was well until about 5:30 a.m., when I gathered up little owl, huddled in the corner of his box to give life nourishing fluids. Same scenario: owl wriggles free, flies all over my house, and finally gets chased into the bathroom (where the kestrel sleeps at night). Whew! Owl seems fine to me too, but I know the drill. It's off to a rehabilitator for a better evaluation.
So, yesterday, I took little owl to the office where Kristin and Peggy are both wildlife rehabilitators (I am only an emergency back-up for the real thing - sort of like a bird EMT). Kristin drew the short straw and took Little Owl out of the carrier for evaluation. A strong sense of deja vu came over me. Sure enough, Little Owl wriggled free and was free-flying in our office, at one point perching atop the coat tree right in front of the photo of our educational screecher. Ron K. snapped this photo, and then it was off again. Did you know that a screecher can hang upside down from the ceiling tiles? Fortunately, we have large nets in our office for the precise purpose of catching injured birds.
In the case of Little Owl, the odds are excellent for release, probably within a day or two. However, it does graphically illustrate the power of an observant human. Had David not come upon Little Owl at that precise moment, the next car may have created road kill instead of saving a life! Thank you David!
Friday, November 6, 2009
One of the responsibilities that we have is providing the best possible care for our educational ambassadors. This includes being aware of any special care requirements for a particular species as well as the idiosyncracies of the different individuals. Such is the case with our elderly Mississippi Kite, whom we call Mexico, so named because the entire population flies south to Mexico, Central and South America for the winter. Mississippi Kites are insectivores that forage aerially for moths, grasshoppers, cicadas, flying ants and more. As the insects decline with the onset of cooler temperatures, so does the kite population. Mexico, already wearing adult plumage, arrived in 2000. This means that he is at least 11 years old now, the upper limit of a life span of a wild Mississippi Kite. He is not equipped to winter outdoors. During the fall as nighttime temperatures drop, he is only outside during mid-day, and by November he is a permanent indoor resident. However, he seems to take it all in stride and easily transitions to his indoor environment near a sunny window with several perches, a water pan, and food stump. In fact, he seems so comfortable that he spends much of the winter months courting his human companion and artfully arranging towels and stuffed toys in a nestful sort of way.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Currently, we are categorizing the berry production on selected Russian olive (exotic vegetation) and
Monday, October 5, 2009
Golden Eagles continue to add to existing nests for many years, eventually amassing a massive structure several feet tall and several feet wide.
There is a fissure, a crack of basalt that runs through north central New Mexico. In it lies a river, the hydrologic aorta of the state, the Rio Grande. Within this canyon nesting Golden Eagles thrive, along with Prairie Falcons, and Red-tailed Hawks. Commonly known as the Rio Grande Gorge, it contains some of the largest Golden Eagle nests that I have ever seen. Some of which attain heights nearing 10 feet, attesting to fact that Golden Eagles have been using these nest sites in the gorge for a very, very, long time.
Written by Ron Kellermueller, raptor biologist