Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hello! It has been a very busy week at Avian Wildlife Center.  More and more birds are being admitted lately, especially woodpeckers. The four red bellied woodpeckers that came in after being found on a logging truck when their nest was cut down went into a newly cleaned outdoor cage today which used to have the three robins and hairy woodpecker in it.  They were released and are still hanging around the area.  Food is left out in a bowl on top of the vulture cage so that newly released birds have food until they figure out how to be a true wild bird.  And you know when they run out of that food because the hairy woodpecker starts calling and following you around outside until you refill the bowl.  He is very independent, but is still getting used to finding food on his own.

The red shouldered hawks that were in the kitchen were put back up in their nest on Thursday night.  They were banded before being brought back up to the nest that was about 50ft up in a tree in the nearby state forest.  They are doing well, although we now have a problem with a park in southern NJ that cut down a tree with a nest of woodpeckers in it.  The man that saved the section of tree with the nest has it but refuses to drive them anywhere to a place that will care for them.  The latest news is that the parents were feeding them in the tree section, so at least they are not starving. Hopefully something can be figured out so that they end up thriving, whether it is in the wild or temporarily brought into captivity so that they survive.

Along with the abundance of woodpeckers at the time, we also have many ducks.  Two of which had to be separated from each other because they one was picking at the other and he was losing feathers.  The cage attached to the outdoor duck cage has pigeons which we also have had a problem with.  For the past few days squirrels have been chewing through the wooden slates and getting onto the cage with the doves.  The hole that was chewed was big enough for the doves to escape, so that had to be blocked, and when they still were chewing around it, had to be completely covered with wire.  It looked promising, although the squirrels then chewed a hole in the bottom of the back of the duck cage, and made their way through there and once again, chewed their way into the dove cage.  Now that that is covered, hopefully they will find somewhere else to find food.

Yesterday we shifted screech owls into the cage next to it because the empty cage owls were released.  Today was mostly cleaning cages and moving birds outside because Giselle and her family will be gone for the last week this month so she's relying on volunteers to take care of all the birds and it will be much easier to keep track of if most are outside.  I also learned how to make dove pellets, which is egg yolk mixed with corn meal so that it can be molded into small pellets by hand that can be fed to the dove chicks that are transitioning food from bird burger to seeds. Tomorrow we will be making another batch of bird burger along with cleaning out and re-netting a cage for the house sparrows that are in a cat carrier at the moment. The grackle I have been feeding will be going outside this week in a small cage inside the songbird cage that houses blue jays and mourning doves at the moment.

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