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Friday, March 24, 2023

2022 Yr in Evaluate: Liz Duffy, Wildlife Rehabilitator

It’s time to look again on 2022! Examine our weblog between Christmas and New Yr’s for a wide range of tales and reminiscences of 2022 from the employees and volunteers of the Wildlife Heart of Virginia.

It is extremely bizarre to say, however I’ve formally accomplished my first 12 months on the Wildlife Heart! This 12 months contained so many firsts – together with my first expertise with Black Bears, foxes, fawns, and so many different species. And naturally, it was additionally my first ever full-blown child season!  I’ve to say, these months had been a number of the hardest but in addition a number of the most rewarding as nicely. All through the season, I discovered that the child raptors that we raised took a particular place in my coronary heart. There was one group particularly that had been a handful and a half, however they by no means did not make me smile.

At one level in the summertime season, we had been caring for 5 Crimson-shouldered Hawks, multi function enclosure. This cohort initially got here in as a bunch of two and a bunch of three, however with the suitable measurement enclosure and correct introductions these 5 had been grouped collectively. Whereas doing their day by day care and train someday I observed a gap that had been dug underneath one of many wooden panels on the aspect of their enclosure. The opening, coupled with another experiences, made me suspect that there might have been an intruder in a single day. I stuffed the opening with a big rock, then went to seize one in every of our trial cameras to hopefully catch the perpetrator on movie. Not solely did we catch our intruder – a skunk – on digicam, however the footage and pictures that I discovered recorded the subsequent day had me full-on laughing in my workplace.

To those that haven’t labored with path cameras earlier than, they’re designed to take an image or a video once they sense movement. This motion may be signaled by a click on or whirr sound from the path cam. Our fledgling hawks had been VERY within the digicam. There have been near 250 photos and movies that had been captured all through the evening and following morning. Apparently, the cameras began out as one thing very scary – we’ve got movies of 1 hawk performing some defensive posturing on the digicam.  The hawk spent a number of minutes inching his method nearer, all of the whereas being very ready for the path digicam to come back to life. As soon as it was deemed to not be one thing scary, then the others began to analyze.

In the course of the investigation course of, the digicam was knocked over from its upright place, the place it settled on its again with the digicam going through straight up. It then grew to become a mattress for one of many hawks. It might need been heat from the work it was doing and that’s why it appeared like a very good sleeping spot. There have been so many pictures of one in every of their underbelly floofs. When it wasn’t getting used as a mattress, it was getting used as a perch. Because the digicam was more than likely making some sort of sound when it was taking all of those pictures and movies, the others all needed to take a peek too. Lots of the movies had been simply of the hawks wanting straight down into the digicam and doing confused head bobs. It was so valuable. A few of them even went to the size of attempting to seize and eat the digicam by footing and biting at it.

For me, one of many easy joys in life is watching our sufferers develop up. There’s nothing like watching a fowl learn to fowl, and these 5 allow us to see a glimpse into their habits when we aren’t round. The path cam got here out of the pen alive and with out a scratch on it. All 5 Crimson-shouldered Hawks efficiently handed all the hurdles that the rehabilitation group laid out for them and have been launched. 

— Liz Duffy, Wildlife Rehabilitator

Take a look at all of our year-in-review posts!

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