Saturday, July 18, 2009

Random Feathery adventures...

We've had a Carolina Wren nest in our flower box for a few weeks now, with a full compliment of eggs. About a week ago, the eggs hatched and it's been so fun to watch the baby birds eating the worms from their mother...

Yesterday, when I went to check on the nest, I noticed only 2 birds and only one was still alive. I wasn't sure if it was the sudden change in temperatures (it's been so grossly hot and humid these past few days) but upon further investigation, it looked as if something had killed the one baby. Possibly another type of wren (they are territorial) or a sparrow.

I hadn't seen the mother flying into the nest, so I feared that something might have happened to her. I called Aark, which is a local wildlife rehabilitation center. They told me to bring the baby in and they would put it in an isolate.

When I called this morning to check on it's progress, the woman there told me that it had eaten a few meal worms for her and there is hope that the baby will live.

While I was there, I asked them if they had any ducks that might need a home and they told me that they had about 20 mallards that were ready to be released on a pond, they just hadn't had the chance to do it yet.

I told them that I had a pond and was willing to cart as many as I could back to my place and release them.

I went to the local liquor store and gathered up as many boxes as I could went back over to Aark to help wrangle the skiddish ducks into the boxes.

Those poor ducks were freaking out, and it took us forever to capture them...We ultimately ended up with 13.

The kids helped me carry the boxes over to the pond and we released the ducks two by two.

And they're off!
I went out to check on them this morning and this was the sight I saw.
It looks like there were only eleven that made it. I'm not sure if the other 2 were just hiding in the reeds or what, but these guys usually stick together, so I'm trying not to think about the food chain right now....
It felt so exhilarated yesterday when I did this...
I love being a part of wildlife, and hope to one day be able to volunteer at a place like Aark.
When we got there yesterday, they were feeding a fawn and an osprey. We also got to see a baby screech owl --so cute! I love that my kids get the opportunity to see things like this.
I'm going back to Western PA tomorrow with the kids to visit my mom and won't be home until Thursday night...I think when I get home, I'm going to go back to Aark and help to release the other ducks. They also have a pekin duck there that needs a home...(I know the perfect place for her!)

**Have you ever rescued a baby bird?
**Have you ever visited a wildlife rehabilitation center?
**Would you have gone to the same effort as I did to save the birds life?


  1. We had a birds nest a few years ago just outside our front window. It was so fun to watch the babies hatch and grow. It was interesting how one by one they left the nest. As they got bigger, they pushed each other out, I think. there was only so much room in that little nest for five robins. What a neat experience! I love watch the squirrels come into our yard and eat out of our feeder. They really like nuts! I put in some "critter food" and they don't seem to like it as much. They eat it, just not as voraciously.

    I love all your ducks. Do you have duck poop problems in the yard?

  2. HOOORAY-- I have been trying to comment here forever... well, since yesterday- with no luck

    I think this may work today :)

    YES I would have gone to that trouble to save a bird. In fact we have saved a few birds & baby ducklings here before. My husband's family are HUGE bird lovers & we have seen 10 varietys in our backyard. We keep a bird book just by the back door. My favorites are the gold finches & chickadees that we have all winter. Once we had a big barn owl up really high in a tree. THat was amazing!

    YOU are an angel saint though- taking in all of those ducks- wow! & your yard--- oh my goodness you have mad skills.

    A couple of winters ago we found a bird right out our back door sitting neck deep in the snow. We called a wildlife preserve & they said he was probably in shock. We put on gloves & put him in the garage in a shoe box... after an hour or so he warmed up & flew away. My kids loved it.

    Your kids will be so blessed by your kindness!

  3. I'm a bit of a contradiction when it comes to animals, because I'm against owning things that poop (at least for right now), but do actually have a soft spot for most animals when it comes down to it. If I had a pond, I think I'd be keen on helping the ducks. For now, I just keep our bird feeder stocked (even when our funds are running low) and enjoy the plethora of birds who visit.

  4. great shots- now i see what you were telling me this am- i was at the festival and had major brain drain!

  5. You are the duck lady for sure!!!! I would love to have a pond in my yard(it will never happen to small)with ducks.

    We don't get to see baby birds a whole lot at my house, my dumb cat kills them all so they try and stay away. I wish the cat would leave them alone!

  6. When my youngest, Jessie, was a young girl, we made frequent trips to Aark with all manner of wildlife that she deemed important to rescue!

    I am presuming that these ducks only need a place from which to "fly off into the wild blue yonder"? They won't become pets, will they? You'll soon be broke for caring for so many and indeed need to build a larger pen!!

    I'm sad to think of the tiny babies not making it after you nurtured the nest so. Drat, the food chain! You sure have your fill of food chain despair!

  7. How wonderful that you have as many ducks as you do! That is so cool! I've never had a reason to save any wild life. I think I'm a bit more resigned to the reality that many things simply don't make it. BUT I also really do care if the animals are happy (hence, our guinea pigs happily roaming free in our backyard ...). I also believe it is wonderful that human beings can feel outside of themselves to other species and care for their survival. Amazing. :)

  8. no, no, and no... so glad that there are people in the world like you that do though! you know saving pigeons and such never was up my alley! ;)
    can i just say again, pure envy for the worlds most awesome yard - seriously wow. looks like a place i would want to save ducks.

  9. i read this last week but mr t just went to sleep- now i can comment. :) what a great story!!! i've rescued baby birds- under my mom's tutelage. you went to great lengths, though!!! i would like to say i'd do that- but i would likely rattle off excuses instead. (hanging head in shame). i love this story, though- and will likely remember it next time i find a needy bird!

  10. I would love to have a nest of baby birds to watch! I'm not keen on seeing any creatures get killed, though. What a whole lot of ducks!! Great photo.