The red-headed woodpeckers fledged, did their time in the flight and left without a backward glance. I’ve noticed the red-headeds don’t tend to hang around and mooch like the red-bellies do—I love how different species react differently upon release. I do hear and occasionally see them in the trees around the flight but they’ve made it abundantly clear they don’t want anything else from me!
A nestling robin came in yesterday with a similar injury but his leg wasn’t initially flopping uselessly and he had some use of his foot, so I was cautiously optimistic he might have a chance. Like bluebirds, robins are in the thrush family, and I just have a general soft spot for thrushes.
However, this morning the swelling had gone down and we had a massively floppy, useless leg and foot. I’ll give him some time to see if he’ll stay confined to a donut to give the bone time to heal without a splint. I can clearly see the break and it’s too high for a splint but not in the joint—and we have the advantage that his bones are still growing—so in this case a little more time may pay off. We’ll see.
However, an adult red shoulder came in last week, severely emaciated, weak and with the worst case of frounce I’ve seen in a while. I honestly didn’t expect him to survive the first night. He’s on a liquid diet—small, frequent feedings, because larger meals and solids at this point would likely kill him; his system couldn’t handle the energy expenditure to digest them—and is being treated for the frounce. He’s gone from unable to stand to standing briefly after each feeding, but his survival is still very iffy and he has some sort of mild head tic, as well. This is literally a “feeding by feeding” scenario. Every time he’s alive for the next feeding, it’s a small miracle.
The screech also needs to be in the raptor flight but is less antsy than the larger birds—he’s pretty happy as long as he gets fed and I leave one or two desiccated, disemboweled mouse carcasses in his cage for him to “cache”. I mean, you know, he only gets fed every day—never know when those stashed mice might come in handy…
The lone martin is now flying fairly well—still not holding altitude like I’d prefer, so we’ll give him another week and see how he progresses.
We have three mockers, one of whom was cat-caught. Say it with me, people: CATS BELONG INDOORS. Thankfully, he wasn’t injured before he was rescued and is on meds as a prophylactic measure. He and the other fledgling are actually in the flight pen but because mockers are such shameless beggars it’s quite easy to medicate him while he’s begging “FEEEED MEEEE!!”
The youngest of the mockers, still a half-feathered nestling, was fed a crap diet of bird seed and Gravy Train dog food for two days before his finder got him to LWR. Repeat after me, people: WHEN I FIND WILDLIFE, I WILL NOT FEED IT UNTIL I HAVE TALKED WITH A LICENSED REHABBER, AND I WILL CALL A REHABBER IMMEDIATELY.
If only people would do just that…
And the brown thrasher who was released the previous week opted to march his little feathered butt right back into the flight in front of me one day last week…Talk about failure to launch…I did get a video of him living up to his name, thrashing about for food in the grass behind the flight before he, umm, returned to the fold, though.
At any rate, the little guy is doing well; his back is healing nicely and he’s got a healthy appetite. And he’s about the cutest thing I’ve seen this baby season.