A huge thank you to the Bulletin and its writers for consistently following this story all the way to its end. Kyle Spurr has done a great job in this last chapter: Hunter to Pay Restitution.
Hope & Fiona are Trumpeter Swans that were shot at Summer Lake in October 2016. Fiona died on bullet impact; Hope survived, though she had numerous pellets in her and compound fractures in her two wing bones on one side. Hope died in a second surgery to repair her wing. Both were part of the ODFW's swan reintroduction program. Hope was the first cygnet born from wild, migratory birds at Summer Lake who also lived through her first and second winters.
Why either had to be shot. How the hunter confused 20+ pound birds that are at least 5 feet in total length in flight, and who have 5 foot wingspans with a goose is beyond rational thought to me. And why anyone would want to shoot such a phenomenally beautiful being is beyond me.
Anyway, Micheal Abbott was charged with 2 counts of criminal negligence, and has finally been sentenced. He is asked to pay $4700 in restitution to the ODFW swan reintroduction program. See Spurr's article for more detail.
Hope is available for presentations on waterbirds if your school, organization, or company is interested. Thanks to all who have followed Hope and Fiona's story.
Thanks to those who have remembered us and donated a tree this year. Thanks so much!
The above picture is of Native Bird Care's 2nd large aviary. Songbirds and shorebirds use this aviary. They would use this when ready to start the physical therapy part of their rehabilitation, post injury (like hitting a window). Or, if they came is as babies or fledglings, they would use it to start practicing their flight and developing physical stamina and strength.
Birds must go through this stage in rescue. Cold turkey releases rarely result in a bird really thriving or even surviving. Kinda like if you broke your arm and once the cast was off the Dr sent you to the gym to lift weights all day and lift as many heavy things as you wanted. Rehabilitation is no different in animals. A bird dumped into the outdoors without any physical therapy, is likely a dead bird. Atrophy of muscles occurs quickly and is severe in birds. Just a few days or a week in housing like this means that the bird has a chance to build up lost muscle mass, develop strength and agility, and gain endurance so she can get away from predators, fly around all day hunting for food, and stay warm (muscle mass = warmth).
This little goldfinch is exercising her wings as she perches.
Baby birds in the wild would fly hop and fly around brushes and trees in the area of their watchful parents. Their parents would continue to feed them as they developed their agility and ability to avoid collisions with branches and gain strength in their feet for hanging on to the tree branches. We mimic this in care by feeding fledges outside in the aviaries. Our babies get the largest aviaries we can give them (the largest is 16' x 20') so that they can get a few good flaps in across the aviary.
We will also hide their food in different locations and give them mental enrichment items (like foraging items) so they can develop mentally as well.
SO... if you would like to contribute tree branches (pine is ALWAYS needed) or a Christmas tree (no sprays), please consider our rescue. We do pick ups, but really appreciate it if you can bring it to us. Text us at 541-728-8208
Have a Happy New Year!
Native Bird Care is small. But the work we do is critical. The needs of the birds we work with - song, shore, and waterbirds - are often underestimated. Each species is so unique that we must cater to each type of bird and their particular needs in care and housing. Add to that, handling these birds can be tricky; they all require specialized training.