Around here this time of year is simply known as ‘baby bird season’, our busiest time of year. Baby bird season runs from about mid April to September, and it has been a very busy year. It started with a young Mourning Dove falling from the nest and has turned into 30 (ish) ducklings, 4 Great Horned Owlets, 4 goslings, 5 Mourning Doves, 10 robins, 3 Barred Owlets, 4 grackles, and many more. Of course, that is just the babies, not all the birds we have currently.
The amazing thing about this time of year is seeing how quickly birds grow. Songbirds such as robins can go from hatching to fledging the nest in about 10 days. It is fun to see them grow, but because of the rapid rate of growth, nestling songbirds must be fed every 20 minutes their first week of life, which keeps us all on our toes.
Top Left: Nestling Grackles, Top Right: the grackles have grown and are out in a screened in area. Bottom Left: Nestling Red-breasted Nuthatch, Bottom Right: Orioles and a House Finch getting some sun and learning to fly in a screened in area.
Owls tend to nest very early on, generally making them one of our first babies every year. Young raptors can imprint very easily on humans, which is why at REGI we try to be very hands-off. Instead we have foster parents to raise their own species. We currently have 3 young Barred Owls with a foster mom, and 4 young Great Horned Owls with a foster dad. Thankfully in the raptor world, both parents take care of the young, unlike mammals where milk is necessary, so males make wonderful fosters!
This year has been especially busy with waterfowl- cygnets (baby swans), Wood Ducklings, Mallard Ducklings, and goslings. We've already released 8 ducklings that were admitted in late April, but have many more at our facility still needing around the clock care.
We are looking forward to many more releases coming up as the babies continue to grow, and more coming in every day.