SNN (ScrollingNetworkNews) ✿ ✿ Our Mel and Sydney returned to their nesting box with plenty of bonding occurring..but after 2.5 months of Sydney in the box from Dec 2013 to mid Feb 2014, the lack of prey gifts from Mel ( perhaps due to the severe and historic drought underway in California)and they have forgone the nesting process this year as many other raptors ✿ Compared to other owls of similar size, the Barn Owl has a much higher metabolic rate, requiring relatively more food. Pound for pound, Barn Owls consume more rodents – often regarded as pests by humans – than possibly any other creature. ✿ We remind viewers that sometimes owlets may not survive - the parents will dispose of things in "The Owl Way" -viewer discretion is advised, this is nature and the "Owl way". ✿ ~ ✿ “Animals, like us, are living souls. They are not things. They are not objects. Neither are they human. Yet they mourn. They love. They dance. They suffer. They know the peaks and chasms of being.” ― Gary Kowalski, The Souls of Animals ✿ Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." ~ E.O. Wilson

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Norfolk Peregrine Falcon Chick

PATIENT: Peregrine Falcon, #11-1278
CONDITION: Stunted development
ADMISSION DATE: June 11, 2012

On June 11, biologists with the Center for Conservation Biology pulled three young Peregrine Falcon chicks from a nest on the Berkeley Bridge in Norfolk, Virginia. The falcons were to be sent to the Shenandoah National Park for hacking, as a part of the VA Falcon reintroduction efforts. Read more about Virginia falcon conservation and hacking here.

When the biologists had the chicks in hand, they quickly realized that one of the chicks looked much different than the others – though all should be around 35 days of age. The third chick weighed in at half the size of its siblings, and is much further behind the others in feather growth and development. Because Peregrine Falcon chicks hatch synchronously – around the same time – it is highly unlikely that this chick is significantly younger than its well-developed siblings.

The two larger chicks were removed for hacking, and the stunted chick was sent to the Wildlife Center for further examination. One concern the CCB raised was that eggs from this Norfolk nest in years past have shown significant traces of pesticides – though if the chicks were affected, likely all three would be showing developmental problems.

When the young peregrine falcon chick was admitted to the Wildlife Center on June 11, the veterinary staff examined the bird and found it to be in reasonably good health – despite the developmental delay. The bird’s blood work showed only mild anemia and a mild inflammatory response. Additional blood work will be taken in two weeks.

The staff will continue to monitor the chick closely over the coming weeks, though they are equally confused about why the chick is so much smaller and younger in appearance compared to its month-old siblings. The bird remains bright and alert. The rehab staff are offering the falcon several plates of chopped quail each day.