Saturday, February 23, 2013

Woodpecker Love

The two hairy woodpeckers -- a male and a female -- seen below being held by VINS staff, were both brought to VINS for care. 

VINS staff Calah Beckwith (left) and Lauren DiBiccari, each hold a hairy woodpecker, ready to be released.
While the birds were brought in separately and came from different parts of Vermont, they came in on the same day, and both had nearly the same injury to the same wing. We think they were destined to meet. And appropriately so, these woodpeckers were released together on Valentine's Day after healing fully at VINS! Aww!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Thank goodness for big ears!

This barred owl received care at VINS after being struck by a car. When examined, staff found that the raptor sustained damage to one of his eyes, which can spell trouble for a bird who uses his vision for nighttime hunting.
VINS President John Dolan releases a rehabilitated barred owl back into the wild.

But the good news is owls also rely quite heavily on their hearing for survival. Using their specialized ears, they can hear prey running along the forest floor, through fallen leaves, and even under snow! So while this owl does not have perfect vision, he has an excellent chance at a successful life in the wild.

When raptors come in with eye damage, we live prey test them -- meaning we make sure they can successfully hunt live mice. This owl passed his test, so it's back to the wild for him!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Feb. 17 & 18: Great Backyard Bird Count

Enjoy watching birds at your feeders? Want to learn more about helping the birds in your community? Then put your bird watching skills to work at VINS as we participate in The Great Backyard Bird Count, February 17 & 18, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This special event is included with the price of admissions to VINS.

A common redpoll. Photo by Meghan Oliver.
There will be activities for all ages and information on how to improve your birding skills. The day's events include bird counting for GBBC, making bird feeders and bird crafts, and interactive computer bird games.

For more information on VINS' GBBC weekend, call (802) 359-5000, ext. 223. To  learn more about this international event, go to The Great Backyard Bird Count.This VINS' event is sponsored by our friends at West Lebanon Feed & Supply.