Remember the turkey vulture chick featured a few weeks ago? To recap, the 4-5 day old youngster was recovered from Marine on the St. Croix and could not be reunited with its parents. So, TRC helped it to get the next best thing: adoptive vulture parents housed with a rehabilitator in Wisconsin. The foster adults are permanently disabled birds that have helped raise orphan vultures in the past. They immediately took their new charge under their wings and raised it to be a hissy, feisty, ground stomping juvenile – all traits that are desirable if you are a young vulture! The bird is now about 60 days of age and will be “fledging” in the next few days. It will be put through a “hack” (slow release process), until its flying and scavenging skills allow it to be self sufficient.
Photo 1: Look closely! You can see that the TUVU chick is “hiding” in the hollow log.
Photo 2: It is physical exam day. The juvenile was removed from its enclosure (and temporarily from its foster parents) and placed on a scale to record its weight. Checking in at a little over 3 pounds at an estimated 6 weeks of age, this youngster appears quite healthy.