Mischevious Vultures

Sandy, the sanderling.

I volunteer at the Ark Wildlife Rescue and clean the aviaries once a week in addition to rehabilitating some of the birds at my home. Part of the job is emptying and cleaning the pools and refilling them. There are two pools outside in a penned area where the birds are released while cleaning the inside cages. I like to be as efficient as possible and perform multiple tasks at the same time. It takes time to fill the pool, so I regularly leave a hose running in one pool to fill it while I clean something else. The visiting black vultures make it difficult to be efficient when filling the outside pools. When I leave the area while the pool is being filled, they pull the hose out of the pool. They do this regularly, so I asked Regis to come along today and video them in action while a friend and I cleaned the pens. Following is the video he captured.

The four birds at home are improving. Squeak, the largest killdeer will likely be flying soon. Sandy, the sanderling, has been grooming regularly and jumping up and stretching its wings. I am not sure why it can not fly, but the bird seems to be in better spirits and on the way to recovery. Regis and I both enjoy watching it jump about. All the birds remain on the lanai at night. We have a space heater and a heat lamp for them and I check them regularly all night. Last night, the killdeers and sanderling were regularly running around and not situated under the lamp even though it was in the 40’s (F). That is a good sign. Once I am comfortable that Pip, the smallest killdeer, is robust enough, I plan to turn the heat lamp off in preparation for a future release. We keep the space heater out for the red-bellied woodpecker since it removed many of its feathers. Until they grow back, I am concerned it can not keep itself sufficiently warm.

Sandy, the sanderling.

In the meantime, Dart started vomiting while on his anti-inflammatory that was working so well for him. After keeping him off of it for two days, he could not stand up first thing this morning and kept falling over. He eventually started to walk but would barely use his one back leg. I contacted the vet and she suggested trying an injectable pain reliever and giving him Pepto Bismal in addition to Omeprezole (anti-acid). She gave him a shot today and we have two more to get through the week-end. On Monday, we will assess where we go from here.

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