Friday, May 31, 2013

American Kestrel Cam

 The American kestrel chicks featured on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's camera have hatched!  Here are some screen shots taken today.  How many can you count?

Nest cams give us new opportunities to see "life at the nest", including the challenges that all wild raptors face.

Check out TRC's webpage on American kestrels here.  If you'd like to support our education program that reaches over 150,000 people each year, you can "adopt" one of our winged ambassadors, Baron the American kestrel. 




Thursday, May 30, 2013

Update on Clinic Patient Northern Owl Species

A former great gray owl patient.
Veterinary Technician Greg Hansen with boreal owl,
and volunteer Sarah Knoss with great gray owl.


Thank you all for your interest in following our unique story about the nine species of owls that we had in our clinic earlier this year.  You will note that our current clinic patient census shows that many of these birds are no longer our patients. That is because we successfully sent them off with volunteers to locations in northern Minnesota.  Each species (boreal, great gray, snowy and northern saw-whet) has specific habitat requirements, even if they will only be at a release location for a few days before moving to respective breeding grounds. 
We were very happy to have played a role in giving these birds a second chance at life, and appreciate the network of volunteers and contacts who helped us with the details of their release.
 

Education Program Manager Gail Buhl gave the former clinic patients
a ride to begin coordinating the releases of these former patients.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Peregrine Chick Banding at Urban Location

Female Loree b/g 49/E watches over her three chicks
at the nest box.  You can see an unhatched egg in the photo.

Loree b/g 49/E

Peregrine banding season continues.  If you are following our communications, you know that the Midwest Peregrine Society is housed at The Raptor Center.  TRC staff provide leadership, technical advice and administrative support for the project, which includes 13 Midwest states and two Canadian provinces. 

Dr. Julia Ponder, Executive Director of The Raptor Center, carefully checked each of the three chicks from the Colonnade building in Golden Valley, MN, before they were banded.  Ears are checked for mites, and the oral and nasal cavities are checked for signs of a parasite that may have been transferred to the chicks from feeding on infected pigeons, which make up a great deal of their prey base.  

This site has produced 77 young since 1991, with 71 banded as of this clutch of three male chicks.  The female is Loree, band number b/g 49/E.  She is a 2003 fledge from Monticello, MN.  She has been at this site since 2005.  There has been an unbanded male at this site since 2008.

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. Ponder examines one of the peregrine chicks.




Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bald Eagles Along Mississippi River Article

WCCO recently published a story on bald eagles nesting along the Mississippi River, especially near our metro area.  Mark Martell, Director of Bird Conservation at Audubon Minnesota (and former TRC staff), is quoted. 

Here is a link to summer viewing locations of bald eagles, courtesy of the MNDNR.  

The Raptor Center has some links on bald eagle species information, as well as the research we have done related to bald eagles and lead poisoning.   

Friday, May 24, 2013

Answer to May 24 post - male American kestrel

This is a biofact of a male American kestrel wing
 The answer to the "What Am I" post today is the underside of a male American kestrel wing.  The feathers are secondaries. 
Jack the American kestrel from TRC

What Am I?

What is this a photo of?  Be as specific as possible!  We'll post the answer later today.  Good luck!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Nature Magazine - TRC Partnership in Galapagos


Dr. Julia Ponder and Galapagos Hawk

Nature magazine recently featured an article on our partnership's work in the Galapagos Islands. We are proud to be recognized internationally in such an esteemed scientific publication and hope you enjoy reading this wonderful description of the critical work being done in Galapagos.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lunchtime at TRC

Nero the turkey vulture

Leuc the bald eagle

Gail Buhl and Pi the bald eagle
We wanted to share some pics of our birds at their lunchtime.  Nero the turkey vulture has his food often presented in a way that will encourage his natural behavior to search for it in a cavity.  Leuc the bald eagle has fish today.  Pi had a nice rat.  All of the food items are chosen to resemble natural prey and meet their nutritional needs.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Peregrine Chick Season Has Begun!

Peregrine falcon chick with color/project band
Two peregrine falcon chicks were banded, and blood taken for ongoing study, at Wells Fargo Plaza in Bloomington, MN today.  There are two bands placed on the chicks' legs; one is a federal band that has a nine-digit number (in the photos it will appear purple), and one is a bi-color project band (in the photos, it is black over red). The second band can easily be read with a spotting scope or binoculars for ease of observing and identifying the bird throughout its life.

Peregrines have successfully fledged from this site since 1997.  This site is a great example of the immense accomplishment of the peregrine restoration efforts started by Dr. Patrick Redig and Dr. Harrison "Bud" Tordoff.

As most of our followers and friends know, the Midwest Peregrine Society is housed at The Raptor Center.  TRC staff provide leadership, technical advice and administrative support for the project, which includes 13 Midwest states and two Canadian provinces.  The history of the 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
Peregrine falcon chick with federal band being placed on the leg.


The lobby of the Wells Fargo Plaza
has a camera on the nest box

Monday, May 20, 2013

Have your Hatchday at The Raptor Center



Are you looking for a truly unique experience for your child's special day?  Come celebrate your Hatchday (birthday) with our raptors at The Raptor Center!  You’ll enjoy our Raptors of Minnesota program, where we’ll explore the different raptors found in Minnesota and their role in the environment You'll then move to a decorated party room with age-appropriate game and activities. (Download a flyer here). To schedule your Hatchday Party, contact The Raptor Center at 612‐624‐2756 or raptored@umn.edu.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Spring Raptor Release newsletter available online

You can now view/download our Spring Raptor Release newsletter online.  Each spring and fall we produce the newsletter, which includes our popular Tales from the Trauma Center and Conservation Research sections, and let you know what we are up to.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Update on Bald Eagle Patient




Dr. Julia Ponder, Executive Director, and
Drew Bickford, Senior Veterinary Technician
The bald eagle patient, thought to be male, that was injured near Duluth, was seen for a routine clinic check up today.  The puncture wounds were cleaned, and the bird's weight and other vitals were taken, among other things. 

The Raptor Center is proud to play a vital role in conservation research and veterinary medicine.  As with all of our patients, each one brings a new piece to the overall body of knowledge we continue to build on species. Every individual is a lens to their population with an opportunity to gain more understanding, or ask different questions.