Lots of news.
1. It is rescue season again. Since the mercury shot up, about 8 birds have needed rescuing every week. All but one have been great-egret nestlings. Incredibly, some of those rescued last week looked to be only one or two-weeks old. They are probably the chicks of the less experienced adults — maybe first-time nesters. All this bobbing and twig-bearing is terribly complicated….
The other baby bird we rescued is the first Anhinga chick we have ever had the pleasure to see in the flesh. The Anhingas are relatively rare denizens of the rookery. There are fewer than 10 pairs of adults, but this season, they can be spotted flying over the rookery almost all the time. They are the dark birds with the extended necks and V-shaped tails in flight.
So far, the mortality has been low for the rescued birds, probably because they are being delivered to Rogers Wildlife as soon as they are found. Some lovely people, not in our Society (including a Jessica) have been contributing to the rescues. If anyone knows them, please pass on our thanks and invite them to join our group. We still need for more people to join in on the rescues. Please make an effort to survey the rookery perimeter at least once a week. We especially need coverage during weekend days.
It is time again to keep the troughs full of clean water. In past years, they became meeting areas for the juvenile birds and really helped them.
2. This year’s official bird count is in. Overall, the numbers are not entirely outside of the normal range of the year-to-year fluctuations, although they have dropped. The interventions of last February, before things went too far, might well have prevented a more dramatic decline. Better not to know.
3. We have a web site! And Chalo to thank for constructing it. It is a work in progress. Suggestions are welcome. The address is:
There you will find instructions on bird rescuing, contact information for us, important links, and much more. The little bird in the hand is Norbert (Norder to some), a cattle egret rescued at 8 grams after a thunderstorm in June 2007. The hand is Chalo’s.
4. The design for the interpretive rookery signs is complete! The signs are gorgeous, and what’s more, they can be downloaded from our web site. The graphics were contributed by Anna Palmer, the descriptions by Betsy Baker, and the photos by Anna Palmer, Kaustubh Deshpande, and Daniel Lim. They deserve our thanks for volunteering this impressive and polished work. Thanks are also due to Kirby Vahle, the Physical Plant VP, who graciously agreed to pay for production of the final prints and to construct the displays.
5. The rookery is gathering considerable appreciation from outside. Check out the articles about the rookery in web-magazine series HERE.