Sunday, September 21, 2008

SATURDAY MAILBAG- HORVATH ON THE C.P. TURKEY, COASTAL TEXAS REPORT, REDWOODS AND FIRE, AND RED-TAIL LURED BY PUPPET

WHAT TO DO ABOUT TRUSTING TOM TURKEY WITHOUT HIS TAIL FEATHERS IN CENTRAL PARK?


WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR BOBBY HORVATH, GIVES HIS EXPERIENCED TAKE ON THE SITUATION--


Hi Donna,

I'm sorry to hear the news about the turkey in Central Park. It is a judgment call but if it were up to me I'd capture it if possible and hold until it molts new feathers. This might not be until next year though and it is something to consider.

My reasoning being as you described him as flightless now without any tail feathers .He should still be able to make it a few feet up possibly into bushes but no higher than that I'd guess. His docile temperament makes me think he's possibly captive raised and escaped or released.

We get many calls involving captive quail, chukars, and pheasant in the city in similar situations but if they're fully flighted they have the benefit of fleeing if necessary. Which this one does not and the majority of those are not as welcoming to human contact as you describe the turkey is.

Secondly even when he’s fully feathered again to where would he be returned? If it happened once and he’s still so tame once winter hits, the ground is frozen, and food is scarce he surely going to look for a human handout. Hopefully if he’s caught and contained for a while he’d wild up and not look at all people as his friends and then maybe he'd have a better chance for survival. If not then relocation might be the answer but that might upset some people.

If we can help; let us know.

Bobby


A letter from Betty Jo of California personalizes just what people and animals are going through in coastal Texas--

Hi Donna,
I got such a beautiful, long handwritten thank you from the
Horvaths. I don't know how they have the time to do all they do.


I have been worried about migrating birds--have not been able to find
out anything about the birds on Padre Island.

It is still terrible for people in coastal Texas. My sister was very lucky; lost a few
shingles, and many trees limbs and a refrigerator full of food.

Her two closest friends--one stayed and spent the night standing on the
bed with her two dogs while water flowed through her house--the
other held down the fort in rural Galveston--18 feet above sea
level--with dozens of animals. The surge was 17' and lapped at the
edges of their property. My sister has tried to take them food but
no one can get into the area.

Best,

Betty Jo


Karen Anne Kolling delves into the resilience of Redwoods to fire--


I got to wondering if the redwood trees, such as the one the condor chick nest is in, damaged in the fire had any hope of surviving, and apparently they do, if the cambium under the bark survives burning.

And
http://www.shannontech.com/ParkVision/Redwood/Redwood2.html
says "In general, the redwood tree is very resistant to fire for several reasons. The trunk is very thick, there is a lot of water contained in the wood itself, and pitch, which is very flammable, is not contained in the tree. The bark lacks the resin found in pine, fir, and spruce trees, and the sap is largely water that adds to the fire resistance. The redwood tree is particularly resistant to fires that remain primarily along the ground.

Despite its resistance, however, repeated fires may reach the heartwood through cracks in the bark. The tree may be "hollowed out” as the damaged heartwood decays, while the outside, growing layers remain intact."

What is surprising to many visitors, however, is the degree to which an enormous redwood tree can survive fire damage, which hollows out and weakens the wood at the base of the tree. Fungi can invade the damaged wood and cause it to rot, eventually forming a cavernous hollow area. A "chimney tree" is a redwood whose entire interior was burned out by fire. Trees with hollows this large, which may be the result of 50-100 fires, are often also called "goose pen" trees as they made convenient places to keep domestic animals such as geese. The may also serve as shelter or residences for black bears and colonies of bats."

Karen

R. of Illinois shares a Confused Red-tail Hawk's Adventure--


http://www.wsbtv.com/news/17514726/detail.html

ATLANTA -- A red-tailed hawk, apparently confused by a puppet shaped like a bird, swooped into a Midtown Atlanta parking lot Friday sending two workers ducking for cover.

Jeff Domke and Alan Louis, employees at the Center for Puppetry Arts, were in the facility's parking lot at 1404 Spring Street taking pictures of a puppet designed to look like a brown thrasher, the state bird of Georgia.

The brown thrasher puppet must be pretty realistic because the hawk, a respected hunter, tried to turn the puppet into breakfast.

The hawk, which can reach speeds up to 120 mph in a dive, made contact with Domke on the hand and head before realizing its target wasn't a real bird.

"I suppose the hawk paid us a compliment on Jeff’s design," said Louis.

No human, hawk or puppet was injured.

MANY THANKS FOR TODAY'S CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE BLOG FROM ALL THE PALE MALE IRREGULARS THAT DO SO MUCH FOR SO MANY ANIMALS IN MANY WAYS, AND ON MANY LEVELS.

DONEGAL BROWNE


6 comments:

Sally said...

What about imping tail feathers onto tom and letting him go again?

Donegal Browne said...

Sally,

Now there's an idea. Do they ever imp full tails at the rehab down there?

Karen Anne said...

I only read about imping recently. I thought you needed some of the original feather in place to do that? Would it work if the tail feathers were gone completely, which is what it sounds like?

Donegal Browne said...

Karen Anne,

Imping is usually used when there are broken or damaged feathers. So yes, the technique is the connection of a new piece of feather to a "stub". But as I still haven't been able to track Tom down, I don't really know what he has left. Whether the feathers were completely pulled out or whether there are some stubs left.

I'm trying again tomorrow.

Karen Anne said...

Are we worried about no Tom sightings lately? Yes...

Donegal Browne said...

Actually I am a little concerned about Tom as I've not tracked him down yet. Then again I'm not familiar with all his haunts as I've been away on and off. Therefore I've sent out some feelers to try and find out who has seen him lately.

If anyone has seen him lately and is reading, do let me know when and where. I'm still not convinced he's okay out there.