week 6: little baby birds

Mar 31, 2019

Week 6 was a main focus on bird babies! Because busy season was still starting, the amount of birds we got in was crazy. We had all sorts of birds filling in the racks ranging from pigeons to doves to dark-eyed juncos to robins to thrushes to flickers and manyyyyy more. These birds were coming in for a variety of reasons, main ones including being cat-caught, broken wings, or in some cases broken beaks. The difficult thing about rehabilitating a bird with a broken beak is that it can never grow back and there’s nothing we can really do to fix it. While the bird may be perfectly healthy, it’ll be hard for it to return to the wild and forage like it’s supposed to. The reason we do send them back out, however, is because they still know how to properly survive in the wild, being very intellectual animals.

After we feel that the birds are healthy enough to move on to the next stage of rehabilitation, we put them in an outdoor enclosure and give them a flight test. If they successfully fly and show that they are still stressed in the presence of humans, they pass and stay out there with more space and freedom. As weird as it sounds, it’s good for the animals to be stressed around humans because it shows that they are still wild and able to be independent outdoors. This is why we limit our human interaction. For example, the bobcats that we orphaned at the center are often thrown live quail so they can learn how to hunt rather than getting their dead meals in a bowl.

Back to the birds-if they can not fly in the enclosure and just sit there hopping around, they will continue to be placed in a large kennel under cautious care until they are ready to try again. So far, we have had almost 100 birds come into our care this year alone and more than most of them were successfully released. woohoo!


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