Friday, June 28, 2013

Kestrel Chick Patient at TRC Video

American kestrel chick.

You can watch a YouTube video of a kestrel chick eating here.  This youngster was orphaned by a Wisconsin storm last week.  As shown in this short video, she ate immediately on her own when presented with food and had quite the appetite!  She is now growing up hidden from people in a nest cavity placed in one of TRC’s small flight rooms.  She shares the room with an adult male kestrel finishing his rehabilitation.   Although they are separated, she can see and hear him (he is quite vocal) which helps to reinforce that she is a kestrel too.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Our TRC Friends are World-Wide!

Wu's Education crew - Kathie, Rita, Wu and Paula.

One of our favorite things is to meet interesting people from all over the world. We will share an update on soon from our Clinical Intern, Dr. Ling-Min Wang.  She came to us from Taiwan.

We'd like to introduce you to Wu Jian-Long, Dr. Wang's husband.  He is now a volunteer with our Education Crew.  The public, TRC staff and volunteers are all benefiting by learning from him.  We are so glad to have him as a part of our team!  

"Before coming to Minnesota, I have worked in Endemic SpeciesResearch Institute in Nantou County, Taiwan. I was an assistant at Ornithology Lab of the Institute. A lot of ornithological research and forest restoration projects have been conducted there. In recent years, some citizen science programs such as Breeding Bird Survey Taiwan (BBS Taiwan), Monitoring Avian

Productivity and Survivorship in Taiwan (MAPS Taiwan), Reptile Road Mortality, and so on, have been popularized by staffs and volunteers of the Institute.

I am not an ornithologist but a keen birder. It was in 1996 that I started birdwatching when I was a senior high school student. Though having birded in several countries in Pacific Asia and New Zealand, the avifauna of the New World, namely the Americas, is unfamiliar to me. When I arrived in Minnesota in March, I had seen almost 700 species of birds. On the second weekend since I arrived, I saw an adult Bald Eagle sitting on a tree at a side of the Mississippi River near the Minneapolis Campus of U of M, which was my 699th lifer species. Several days later, I put the Great Horned Owl on my life list, the 700th of mine. Thank Gail Buhl (our TRC Education Program Manager) for taking Ling-Min and I to watch the owl family at her yard.

I do love raptors and hawkwatching. Moreover, I have participated in some residential and migratory raptor surveys in Taiwan. Ling-Min and I are both members of Raptor Research Group of Taiwan. The aims and objectives of RRGT are to research, watch, and conserve wild raptors. There are 31 species of diurnal raptors and 13 species of owls on the checklist of the birds of Taiwan. In every season of migration, hundreds of thousand raptors fly across Taiwan to their breeding territories or wintering grounds. Hope to share you more about raptors and other avifauna in Taiwan."

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Eagle-Themed Fourth Of July Sale in Our TRC Gift Shop

Show your love of all things bald eagle-related this coming Fourth of July holiday!  We have some items on sale now through July 7 in our TRC gift shop on the St Paul campus (sorry, they are not available on our online gift shop). 
  • Large plush eagles are $10. 
  • Small plush eagles are $6.
  • The book, Majestic Eagles, is $12.95. 
  • The eagle grabber toy and the eagle mask are both $5. 
As always - proceeds from the sales help provide food and other assistance for our education and clinic raptors. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Will You Help TRC to Help Baby Raptors?

This American kestrel chick is just one of the many young raptors victimized by the wrath of strong storms that recently pounded down on MN and WI. Numerous eagle nests were blown down and chicks were forced to fledge prematurely.  One late bloomer, a great horned owl chick still in the nest (they are normally out of the nest by the end of April), is now viewing its world at a slant as its nest tree leans precariously towards a business building.  TRC is working with the building owners to devise a plan to help this chick before the tree is cut down within a few days.

None of these youngsters or their parents have homeowner’s or health insurance to cover the cost of medical care, food, or field assistance.  It takes time and resources for TRC to meet the needs of these individuals and we depend on your support to do this work. As we approach our fiscal year end, a gift from you will help us meet our fundraising goals. Will you help us continue this work by making a gift today?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Training for Phoenix the Bald Eagle

As you know from following our Facebook posts, we present enrichment activities to our birds to keep their minds healthy.  We are also working on some other training to targets such as lures. 

Lures can be an alternate and exciting way to deliver food to our birds. In these photos of Phoenix with our post today, we are using a hunting dog training lure that we modified so we can attach his favorite foods. Phoenix is "playing" with the dog lure with no food present. This is also good exercise for his feet!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Answer to Today's Post

The photo for today's What Am I? post was taken from the eyelid of our education barred owl.

What Am I Friday June 21

We are so proud of our smart TRC Friends.  What is this a photo of?  We will post the answer later today.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Peregrine Chick Banding at 33 S. 6th Street

Young falcon is held up to show bands on the legs.

Four chicks - three males and one female - were banded today at 33 S. 6th Street in downtown Minneapolis.  Many of you might know how important this building is to the peregrine falcon restoration project.  Last year was the 25th anniversary of the fledging of the first wild peregrine in the Midwest since DDT wiped out the original population.  The release of young peregrines at The Multifoods/City Center/33 S. 6th Street building was the pivotal element that became a watershed in the success of peregrines being reintroduced into the Midwest.  It was the first urban site to host a “hack box” (also known as a "release box") of peregrine chicks.  This release box would house young captive-bred peregrine chicks that would be the start of a reintroduction of the species.  This would become the first Minnesota site since the 1960s to produce a wild-hatched peregrine that would fledge successfully.

A camera is positioned in the atrium to show the chicks at the nestbox,
and where they will perch as they survey their new
home to be - the skies over Minneapolis.

TRC staff provide leadership, technical advice and administrative support for the Midwest Peregrine Society, which includes 13 Midwest states and two Canadian provinces.

The history of the Midwest Peregrine restoration project, as well as a searchable database for the public to look up individual birds, sites and state information, is here.  A recent Minnesota Daily article on the project is here 

We want to thank the building staff at not only this site, but the other metro/urban locations.  The early and continued success of this project is ensured only through their support. 

Dr. Julia Ponder, Executive Director of TRC, examines a chick before she will draw a small blood sample.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Otus the Eastern screech-owl

We couldn’t resist a little humor with our post today.  We would also like to give you some background into what is happening with the photos we posted today. 

Molting is the process of replacing old, worn feathers with new ones.  Not every feather is replaced annually, and molt patterns may vary per species and by physical area on the body. 

Otus, one of TRC’s Eastern screech-owls, is molting the feathers around her face very heavily.  You can see (particularly the last photo) that pin feathers (the start of new feathers) are already visible to replace those which have been molted.  Otus, as well as all our education ambassadors, go through this process each year.  Since she is not “looking her best”, she is taking a short summer vacation from programs.

Pin feathers can be seen.