Rescues Update

This shows how many feathers are missing from the left wing. They need to grow back so it can fly and we can release it.

I’m just getting started in this process of trying to help rescued birds and it is a learning experience. The little killdeer I was worried about seems to be doing much better. It gained 2 grams since yesterday while Squeak gained 4 grams. The sanderling is doing well but I can’t figure out what’s wrong with it. It was caught up in fishing line which is why it wound up at the Ark. It doesn’t appear to have any physical injuries. Its wings look good and it stretches them regularly, but it won’t fly. It mostly stands in one spot. Maybe it just needs some time and space to get itself back together.

I’ve been bringing the chicks in at night, along with the sanderling for company. Tonight I will be leaving them on the lanai but the heat lamp will be there if they need it. They need to be prepared to be on their own.

When I was sweeping the lanai the other day, I noticed a lot of small feathers that came from the woodpecker. I wasn’t sure why but Regis figured it out this morning. He watched the woodpecker from the other side of the room with a pair of binoculars and saw it pulling its feathers out. It will do that if it is stressed. I spoke with Karen and she suggested getting a log that might have bugs in it to give the woodpecker some stimulation. Regis is the best in these circumstances and found a perfect solution. There was a dead tree that was home to a red-bellied woodpecker nest when we first moved in. Regis got some amazing video of the parents and chicks and even timed the fledging right. (See here.) This year, that tree blew over in a storm. Regis cut the part of the tree with the hole and placed that in the woodpecker cage. The little woodpecker seems to be very happy with his new circumstances. In the meantime, I am working on getting him a bigger cage to give him more room. We will work hard to provide him with some stimulation so he doesn’t get stressed or bored and keep pulling his precious feathers out.

This image shows how many feathers the woodpecker has plucked from itself in boredom or stress.

Following is a video of the birds with the woodpecker exploring its new log.

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