Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Room with a View - on the inside

This is Ferrug, a 10-year-old, non-releasable ferruginous hawk, and one of the Hawks Aloft educational ambassadors. He was likely hit by a car on a remote mesa top in northern New Mexico during the fall of his hatch year. I have never been able to understand just how it would be possible to actually strike a bird on the narrow two-track dirt paths that are the only vehicle friendly roads on the mesa, and further, how it also happened that someone picked him up and turned him in to a wildlife rehabilitator. He has a badly broken wing with joints that do not extend fully in his right wing.

Because he was so young when his injury occurred, he has adapted well to captivity, and can travel to accompany us at educational programs around New Mexico. Here, he and I, along with a red-tailed hawk, a Mississippi Kite, and an Eastern screech-owl shared a hotel room for the night. We had traveled to eastern New Mexico to give training classes to utility companies for the New Mexico Avian Protection Working Group. The goal of this group is to reduce mortalities due to electrocution and collision with utility structures.

Ferrug is unique, as are all animals, and while he travels well, he does get car sick. That means that the morning of a travel day, he is not fed. It also means that when we arrive at our destination he is voraciously hungry. Shortly after this photo was taken, he wolfed down about 6 mice - whole. Lights out, shortly thereafter, he settled down nicely for the night, and slept contentedly on the perch on his travel box.

In other bird related news, check out David Sibley's Blog
He has been experimenting with ways to reduce avian collisions with windows, and has possibly come up with a novel and inexpensive way to make windows more visible to birds.

In even more bird news, check out International Bird Rescue, that has been rescuing and cleaning birds trapped in the oil slicked waters of the San Francisco Bay.

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