Update on weather event!
Our past few days have been very full with many critical patients and little sleep. Patients occupy every nook of our small clinic. The critical passerines were in such desperate condition,we took them well into the night, force feeding them at first, just 1/2 cc of emaciation diet at a time We did lose some, but are happy to say most are still with us and improving. They can now handled up to 2 ccs. at a feeding and those feedings that stared out as every 30 minutes are now every 2 hrs. Robins were admitted with weights of 40-52 grams. Normal weight for robins is 78-85 grams.
We received several hundred phone calls and messages and many, many patients. Most admissions were American Robins, however we also admitted Killdeer, Red-polls, Pine Siskins, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Hermit Thrush, Osprey and 3 Barred Owls all affected by the weather event.
All the robins admitted are males.with the exception of a single female. The males brilliant color and black back, head and neck tell us they are likely a Canadian flock, on their way home when they were stuck in the deadly weather pattern. Robins have regional plumage differences. Why the Midwest lady robin was among them, it is hard to know. She has a spicy personality and eats first.
Our normal admissions continued as well with a lead poisoned Bald Eagle arriving from Rudolph, WI as the event was beginning. A Short-eared Owl was also admitted from Buena Vista Marsh after being hit by a vehicle. A Wood duck was admitted last night after flying into a bay at the local police station.
We are humbled by the outpouring of public support and offers to help for our wild avian families. I wish I could thank everyone, many were just voices on the phone or texts, but all wanting to do their part to help the wild ones. Many of our calls and messages were requests for advice on how or what to feed their local birds. People can do so much on their own to help. I hope you all feel empowered to do so now. The media was superb in getting the word out. TV Channels 7, 9 and 12 as well as WPR and Antigo radio. Their role was huge and we are grateful to them as well. I read an article as this event was unfolding, that people that feed birds have a lower incidence of depression. They also live longer. Maybe that is the birds own way of saying thank you.
We remain in crisis mode here although it is slowing down with passerine calls. I hate to bring the negative but the next wave of migrants will be loons, grebes and ospreys. Our lakes still have 3 feet of ice on them. They will be landing on asphalt and open areas such as fields and parking lots. Loons cannot walk so will need help at that time. Remain aware so you can give them an assist. Our number is 715-623-4015. People make such a difference!
Enjoy a few photos. We haven't had time to take many, but want to share some of our magnificent patients. I do not have a list of folks to thank at the ready, please tag yourself if you are in the photos. I will catch up with that soon. THANK YOU!!