Thursday, July 30, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Just last week, we had the pleasure of seeing these almost-fully-grown-up ducks head out into the real world. We released the wood ducks together in one large group. While initially the groups were separated while young -- since some were older and therefore larger than others -- their last few weeks were spent together in our outdoor songbird aviary. True, wood ducks certainly aren't songbirds, but the aviary provided the group of 10 with space for a kiddie pool and ample room to roam around. VINS staff members Audrey Gossett and Ian Miyashiro released the ducks at a large pond surrounded by forest -- great wood duck habitat!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Six baby belted kingfishers arrived at VINS Wildlife Services this morning. Yesterday, a man was out bulldozing in his yard when he disrupted a cavity nest in which seven of the young birds were nesting. Mom and Dad Kingfisher flew off from the nest and did not return after several hours passed. When one of the original seven babies died, the man knew it was time to call a rehabilitator. So now we have them in our care. All birds seem to be in good health, and are being fed 2-3 minnows every hour.
Kingfishers are found year-round throughout Vermont and much of the United States, and are often heard before they're seen. They have a tremulous, trilling cry that they sing loud and clear while flying. You can often spot kingfishers above a river or lake, perched on a tree branch or power line, where they get a -- well -- bird's-eye-view of the water and the fish moving within it. Once they spot a fish, they plunge into water to grab it with their large beaks.
In our video below, Wildlife Services' staff Ian and Sara hand-feed minnows to one of the kingfishers.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
We use the term "abducted" as essentially a bird was stolen, or bird-napped, from its proper habitat. However, we realize that people are just trying to do the right thing and help an animal, and there's no maliciousness involved in the bird's "abduction." For more info on when to rescue a baby bird and when to leave it alone, read our Baby Bird Facts.
The American kestrel featured in the video above is considered an "abducted" nestling. He was found sitting on a family's front porch. When brought in for examination, Wildlife Services' staff deemed the bird in good health -- a bird who should have been re-nested with its siblings and parents. Since the bird is healthy and since it's always best to have the proper parents for a baby bird, we are going to try to re-nest the kestrel with another group of baby kestrels known to be nesting on a local man's property. As long as the birds are the same age, the mother and father kestrel should accept the newbie as their own.