Saturday, June 06, 2009

Today was a big day for both of the wildlife webcams I've been watching. On the Franklin Institute's Red-Tailed Hawk site, one of the three hawks tried to fly before her wing feathers were properly grown in. She wasn't injured, but she did get hung up between a fence and concrete barrier long enough for Rick Schubert, director of Schuylkill Center Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic, to make a mad dash across a street and retrieve her.

Thank God neither he nor the hawk got injured in the mishap. Running across a major street without warning can be hazardous anywhere, let alone Center City. But a bunch of guardian angels must have been putting in some overtime, because all turned out well and the hawk will finish maturing at the wildlife rehab center.

This particular hawk's nicknames from webcam viewers were "Miss Piggy" and "Greedy Girl", as she was the one that tended to get to food first and be unwilling to share with her siblings. Ironically, it turns out she's underweight. That was a surprise. The good news is, she'll certainly be fed sufficiently at the wildlife center. They'll foster her with a more mature hawk that will teach her hunting skills. When she's able to hunt successfully and her wings are matured, she'll be released back into the wild. They'll bring her to a more remote area, rather than the city, where she'll have less competition from other hawks. I hope there'll be regular updates posted online from the rehab center. People will surely want to know how the hawk is faring.

Meanwhile, over at the Hummingbird Nest Cam site, the lone hummingbird chick kept trying to fly, and falling instead. She is old enough to be ready to fly, but as it happens, HER wings are also not yet developed enough to permit her to fly. But she was refusing to stay in the nest, as her mental "alarm clock" had gone off and she wanted to be airborne. So that chick was ALSO taken to a rehab center where she can finish maturing in safety.

So that's two different chicks who are fortunate that their nest was close to human habitation. Had they fledged (or attempted to fledge) in more remote locations, it's unlikely either of them would have survived. Fortunately, we were able to give Mother Nature a leg up in both instances, particularly in the case of the hummingbird which is a member of an endangered species.

In other news, I did a last-minute shopping run for the deaf-blind camp in MD, which starts tomorrow. I'll pack tonight. I look forward to camp, which was a blast last year. But I'm more likely to blog via short cell phone posts and pictures than anything else, so check back a few times per day if you're interested in seeing what comments and photos have made their way online.

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