Friday, June 11, 2010

A Little Red-tail Gets Some Help From Her Friends

Photo by Francois Portmann
(Now isn't she a little beauty!)

An almost annual occurrence-- a Unisphere Fledgling needs a little help. Enter Francois Portmann and Bobby Horvath with Peter Richter in reserve.

A note from wonderful wildlife rehabilitator Bobby Horvath--
This morning Francois called me to report that he was the Flushing Meadow Park Unishpere nest and 1 fledgling was at the bottom of the dry fountain and it is only partially flighted and could get itself into trouble. There is a current construction project going on under the sphere and the area is completely fenced in and worse there is a very deep trench completely around the the whole perimeter exposing the undergound plumbing . It is at least 6 feet deep in most spots and if any youngster fell into this it would never get back out. This coupled with the fact there is drilling ,cutting, and workers present make it unsafe for adults to attempt to deliver food to this first jumper.

It was a judgment call but we removed her from under the ball and put her in a tall oak in the middle of a group of trees right in the middle of the path used most often by the parents and close by the museum where previous fledges spent most of the time perched on the roof as witnessed by Peter who follows this pair closely. It was seen flying short distances about 3 feet off the ground and hopefully just needs a few days to acclimate itself to the new branch perches it's unaccustomed to by its uncertainness and flying a bit higher for safety.

The remaining sibling is exercising and might have jumped off by the time I got home but Peter plans on being there to observe. I gave it a quick look-over and its mouth was clear and color good and was in good flesh so we left it there hoping for the best as usual. It is a dangerous time for them but the park is unusually quiet for this time of year with the construction most likely keeping many people away from that attraction. If anything goes wrong the supportive construction crew also has all of our contact numbers so either Peter, Francois or us could get back in there if need be.

All was quiet when we left and we are keeping our fingers crossed for them. If any of my three rescues caught up quick we would love to give 1 a chance reuniting with these parents since it is a good spot and they have succeeded doing this in the past. I banded this one and gave her orange nail polish in case we got the other and it would make iding easier . Thanks Francois for the help and good timing today. Bobby

For those interested
I just posted the pics on my blog:

P.S. I was well enough today to drive out to the Emerald Grove Rd. nest. Jewel wasn't on the nest.
JEWEL HAS FLEDGED! I couldn't see her for the dense foliage but when I arrived I heard her begging heartily from the copse of trees near the nest so all is well!

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