While there were numerous calls this week, some I was able to talk through reuniting mama and baby, and some would have resulted in intakes except that the injured adult birds died en route. The wood stork from last week was euthanized; his injuries were too severe to be fixed. None of my releases are coming down consistently for handouts now, although the blue jay does tend to show up more often than anyone else: I see him almost daily. He’s also going through a molt at the moment, so he’s a scruffy-looking rascal right now.
Igor the crow has flown the coop for good; there’s been no sign of him since early last week, when the crows who’d started hanging around the yard and calling to him coaxed him into leaving with them. Don’t see them around now, either, although I’m still hearing them in the distance. Crows are very clannish, but I’ve been lucky in that about two-thirds of the crows I’ve released have been adopted into the local group. Maybe a plentiful food supply makes a difference.
And yes, before anyone asks, I miss Igor, but that’s the nature of wildlife rehab. The goal upon Igor’s intake—as with each intake—was to release a bird capable of surviving on his own in the wild. Igor is now with the local “murder” of crows, so he’ll have their companionship and support as he continues to thrive in his natural environment. Mission accomplished!
The photos below are so you can see the feather patterns and recognize a juvie Coop the next time you see one—note the long tail feathers; the shot of his keel is to show you what a starving bird’s breastbone looks like. This poor bird had no “meat” covering his breastbone. He’d been without food for a very long time.