Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Last week Giselle and her family went down to south Jersey to do osprey banding so the volunteers were in charge of taking care of all the birds and the resident cats in the house for a week.  Everything was prepared before they left, such as making extra bird burger and moving birds to outside cages so that it would be easier to keep track of everyone.  Many more birds were admitted (many died unfortunately, most that came in were cat caught or just not looking good when they got to AWC).  Most of last week consisted of feeding and cleaning cages and not many extra tasks because once the birds were fed, it was usually time to start feeding again.
This week has been fixing things that got mixed up or misplaced during last week, moving birds to outside cages, and releases.  Yesterday the 10 ducklings were released (pictures to come because they are all still hanging out in the pond in Giselle's backyard. SUCH a good feeling because they looked so happy splashing around in that pond when they got released.) The sparrows that were in carriers were moved into a large netted enclosure in the doorway of the duck/dove outside cage.
Today Joey Bee stopped by this morning to film some footage for this website/show. He is a friend of Giselle's and goes around the world capturing nature in videos and pictures.  That took up a lot of the morning, so I fed all of the nursery birds and then helped out with some feeding birds for his show and filming the red tailed hawk release while keeping track when to feed the nursery birds again.  He films all summer and then starts editing and putting up his shows on his site in September.  He already has some previous videos from AWC at http://joeybeesoutdooradventure.com/Main%20Index/Backyard%20Birding/index_BackyardBirding_Raptors.html
which has Trooper in it and there are also videos on chimney swifts and robins.
After the crazy morning of filming, which I was not aware that I was actually going to be in it, I attempted to wash the rose breasted grosbeak that we have.  She is in terrible shape, and basically has no feet.  They are just the tendons sticking out the bottom of her legs, or at least that is what it looks like.  She cannot walk, so she just crawls around and gets feces all over her so she has to be gently scrubbed clean often.  Her box that she is in needs to be cleaned out constantly so that she does not get it caked all over her.  This picture is right before I cleaned her box so it is still dirty.
Also, this morning I noticed that the water in the goose's outdoor cage was bright red.  I assumed that it was medicated but it wasn't...it was blood.  So, before moving one of the geese that we used to have (one of the three that were together got attacked by a snapping turtle and has a broken leg) we had to re-bandage the adult goose's wing and bandage up the back because the goose was picking/preening at it and it was very bloody.  This poor goose also has lice, so odds are not looking good for him or the grosbeak that is fighting for survival.
I also had the lovely opportunity to cut up a defrosted mouse for the baby screech owls.  And honestly that kind of thing does not really bother me but OH MY GOSH THE SMELL was discussing.  It was worse than the regular smell of dead thing.  I don't know why, but it was pretty gross. The owls enjoyed it though.
Hope everyone has a good 4th of July.  I will be changing the raptor water dishes in the outdoor cages like I do every Wednesday, feeding the babies, and doing whatever it takes to keep any new arrivals alive and well.  So much changes each day so it is really hard to write all of it down.  We probably have about 200 birds at the moment and more are being brought in every day while others are always being moved around, put outside, or put together with other birds.  It really is an exhausting non profit job.

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