Friday, December 21, 2012

Good News for Red-Tail

Remember the red-tailed hawk we recently had in our flight cage? Well he's out of the flight cage and back in the wild!

Watch a video of the hawk's release!

While the hawk came to us with eye damage, the staff of the VINS rehabilitation department was able to get this bird back into top predatory shape. We were able to watch him fly and successfully hunt while in captivity, so we knew this bird deserved to be back in the wild. 

Last weekend, VINS intern Alia Richardson released the hawk. In our video of the release, you'll see the hawk initially takes a quick flight down to the ground before getting his bearings and flying off into the woods. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Up Close with a Raven

Checking the mouth for signs of blood and overall hydration.
Each bird that comes to VINS for care receives a full exam upon arrival. We check everything: eyes, ears, nares (nostrils), legs, wings, body, and more. 

Watch a video of this raven's exam.

Yesterday, we received an injured raven who had been seen hopping around a woman's yard for a few days, unable to fly. The woman captured the raven, boxed him up, and he was transported to VINS by a volunteer.

The first thing we noticed when we took the bird out of his crate was that his left wing was drooping, so we started the exam there. In addition to finding a fracture in that wing, we also found the bird to be quite thin. We started the bird on fluid therapy to get him hydrated, and wrapped the bird's broken wing.

Tonight, we are starting the raven on solid foods. In a week's time, we'll remove his wing wrap to see how the fracture is healing. The raven is very bright-eyed and curious; we think he'll make a full recovery.

Feeding a Screech

An eastern screech owl is receiving care at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science. The owl broke his wing and suffered head trauma after flying into a person's car.

Watch a video of staff hand-feeding this owl.

When the owl first arrived at VINS, he was not able to eat on his own. We'd leave food with him to eat overnight, but he never touched it. So we began hand-feeding the screech to be sure he did not lose too much weight, which could impede his progress. 

In time, the owl began to eat on his own -- a sure sign he is making a recovery!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Vulture Takes Bath at VINS

In the video posted below, one of VINS' turkey vultures -- a female bird who is a star in many of VINS' programs -- enjoys a bath indoors on a cold November day. 

She was originally found in South Dakota after she was struck by a car when just a young bird. She sustained a fractured wing from the accident and also suffered frostbite in several of her toes. She now resides at VINS, where she has both an outdoor and indoor enclosure, plenty of food, mealworm treats, and of course, bath play time! Enjoy our video below of our special bird.