Baby bird season took over the Sanctuary. I watched over 1,000 birds come in and out of Fallen Feathers from March to July. The baby Great Horned owls that took over the aviaries next to mine are now fully feathered Juvenile Great Horned owls ready to be released and explore the world of their own.
Experienced volunteers are busy training new volunteers and saying goodbye to volunteers going off to college. Needless to say it’s been a busy couple of months. And it’s hot. People in Arizona only stay outside as long as they have to.
Yesterday, I was privileged to attend the Bye Bye Buzzard event at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. It’s an annual event that the park has been doing for 20 years. This is the second time we have participated.
The buzzards were everywhere lined on the cliffs. There was a group of people watching the buzzards and learning about vultures when we arrived. Everyone was happy to see me up close. I don’t go to as many events as the other birds, but when I do, it’s special. Today was MY day.
Red (Red Tailed Hawk), Nod (American Kestrel), Digger (Burrowing Owl) and Raven also attended. They enjoyed being out and hanging out in the beautiful trees. Well, not Digger, he still prefers his basket.
Thank you, Paul for inviting us and celebrating the buzzard. Thank you to the staff and all the fellow birders for making us feel welcome. We hope to be back for Welcome Back Buzzards next year.
Voldemort, the Turkey Vulture
The past month has been event after event after event after event. It’s good for Fallen Feathers – lots of opportunity to educate people. As birds, we get our pictures taken and see all the ooohhhhs and aaahhhh and what is that?
Tres RIos Nature Festival is an event we have been going to for years. If you have never been, It’s out by Phoenix International Raceway – south of I-10 on Avondale. The festival has AZ Game and Fish and several of the local Audubon Societies and other vendors for people to find out more information. There is fishing and bird walks to participate in. This year it was lovely weather with just a little bit of breeze. But first we have to get there…..
Our volunteers get up early to get us ready – jesses on and put in our carriers. Any last minute items are packed and also any babies that need cared for on a hourly basis – this year we have eight hummingbirds, a sparrow and three pigeons.
Once we arrive – the tables are prepared and we are put on our perches or held, depending on the bird and the volunteer. Voldemort, the Turkey Vulture and Alice, the Coopers Hawk, were both very happy with our space.
I cry out to the people walking by (literally – I haven’t learned to stop using my baby cry). I was brought to the rescue as a juvenile Red Tailed Hawk with a broken wing. The break was high up into my shoulder and had already started to set. It couldn’t be fixed, so I am one of the lucky Education birds.
As part of this event, volunteers also help children make birdy bagels. While most of us birds of prey are not interesting in this seed stuff, we know the songbirds and pigeons/doves love it.
Don’t forget to see other great pictures from the event here at AZCentral.
What made this event different was that people brought us several birds to rehab at the event. Saturday we received a dove, two hummingbirds and a call to get a harris hawk. The hawk had been in a person’s yard for two days. When he was picked up by volunteers, the main injury was to the right eye. Treatment began immediately and so far the hawk is doing well.
Sunday, we were back out at Tres Rios. This time we were brought a pigeon. But when we got home, that’ when things really got strange. A Pelican had been dropped off. White pelicans are not all that unusual in Arizona, but Brown Pelicans are less common. It had stepped on a cholla cactus. It took about 45 minutes to get all the thorns out of the feet and mouth.
This is not Fallen Feather’s first Pelican. The timing of it’s arrival was interesting. Jody and her volunteers will take care of the injured, the orphaned, the hungry and us, the residents. Here’s to speedy recovery to my fellow feathered friends. I cry for you.
Red, The Red Tailed Hawk
P.S. Nigel, the Pelican has asked for lots of fish. It’s not the normal diet kept here, so if you know of any fishermen with some, it would be greatly appreciated.
I’m Alice, a Cooper’s Hawk. I’ve lived at Fallen Feathers for a while. I’m still being trained to attend our events. It takes a lot of work to go to events and I’m a very anxious breed of bird. Our Executive Directors and volunteers are very patient with me. Let me tell you a little about what they do to support us every day and thru these events.
About a week ago, we attended Parada Del Sol parade. It was the first time we have been there and it was quite the honor. The event itself started at 10am, but we had to be there to set up at 7am. That means that the people wake up at 4am to feed us and start getting us birds ready (jessed and crated).
We were on the road a little after 6. We checked into the event and everyone started unloaded the trailer. We birds waited patiently (except Raven, she hops around).
Once the canopies and tables are all up, the perches are set up and we come out. People start coming by almost instantly with questions. Some of our events we have a kid section too with some sort of craft.
Our volunteers spend the entire event educating people about us (birds) and about the rescue/rehab we live in. At this event, I got a new perch. It was very nice and I felt very comfortable. The other perches we had were fine, and the other birds didn’t seem to mind them, but I am particular.
Here I am, along with Jack, the Harris Hawk and Digger, the Burrowing Owl. Flat Stanley visited us on Valentine’s Day, shown here with a volunteer and Raven. Finally, there is Robert, the Great Horned Owl.
Our entire education bird family is not shown here, but we were all at the event. The Parade portion of Parada Del Sol finished at 4pm. People continued to visit while everything was being put on the trailer. This is common for us. It’s nice to be seen and cared about by the public and our volunteers are always happy to answer questions. You’ll just have to come see us in person to truly appreciate everything that is done.
We got home about 7:30pm, put in our aviaries to have our dinner. It was a good day and now we get to rest.
We will be back with Parada Del Sol this weekend for the main events on Feb 28th and at Tres Rios Natural Festival next weekend (March 7 & 8). Hope to see you there.
Alice, the Cooper’s Hawk
Every year I also teach about a dozen baby great horned owls the ways of the world, how to hunt, how to eat.
It’s a tough job, but some owl has to do it so they can survive when they go back into the wild.