We originally received a call about an injured Red-tailed Hawk sitting on a low fence on an entrance ramp to the expressway. Although we responded to the call right away, by the time we arrived there was no sign of it. We searched all around to no avail and then left. Same thing two days…
Sometimes the job of a wildlife rehabilitator is frustrating – you work long hours to save a patient only to lose it in the end, or in this case you never find your patient at all…. Thursday night we admitted a gorgeous female Red Fox that McHenry County Animal Control recovered in Huntley. She died…
“A Great Horned Owl baby is on the ground” the caller said. From the description, the bird was clearly a nestling and far too young to be on the ground. Mom and Dad owl were attentively watching over the baby from nearby trees. Hoping that Mom or Dad wouldn’t hit me as I approached the…
This is my most recent post to the North American Birding Blog…. Last night I gave an educational program on owls. I have to admit, had someone asked me whether owls swim I would have answered no. In fact, I may have flippantly responded “Can pigs fly?” Well, that was until today. Today I responded…
A member of the public reported that a dog was adrift on a piece of ice on Lake Michigan off of Lake Shore Drive and Fullerton. A canine, yes, but of a different sort. When the Chicago Fire Department arrived on their rescue boat, they realized it was a coyote – not a domestic dog….
Volo, a male Red-tailed Hawk, came to us imprinted on humans and with a medical condition called Metabolic Bone Disease. Volo was being raised illegally for approximately 3 weeks, with improper diet and with inappropriate contact with humans. When he arrived at Flint Creek, he was not able to stand and he was in significant pain due to calcium depletion is his joints and bones. Volo is a great example just how quickly serious and irreversible damage can occur when animals are raised illegally – even for a short time.
Volo cannot ever be released back into the wild because he is imprinted on humans.
Turkey Junior was found in the winter of 2004 when he was less than a year old. He was on the ground and had been unable to make his migration south due to lead poisoning from eating a wounded animal that was shot with lead shot. Because he was subject to Illinois’ cold temperatures, he also suffered severe frostbite on many of his toes. Most of Junior’s toes had to be partially amputated. Because of the likelihood of future foot problems, Junior was deemed non-releasable.
Long Eared Owl
Spirit, a Long-eared Owl, arrived at Flint Creek Wildlife on New Year’s Day 2008. She was emaciated and in extremely low condition. She had been unable to hunt for many days due to the old compound fracture to the wing and she was literally starving. Because the exposed bone was already drying out, we were unable to save the distal portion of her wing. She is a partial amputee and is, therefore, non-flighted and non-releasable.
Sovereign, a male Peregrine Falcon, was transferred to Flint Creek Wildlife from the University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Center where he was being treated for a fractured scapula. His right wing is completely fused and he is Flint Creek Wildlife’s most physically challenged birds. Sovereign is completely non-flighted and his cage at Barrington is adapted to his special needs.
Pip is a captive-bred Common Barn Owl and was the first hatchling from an ongoing Barn Owl reintroduction project designed to reintroduce Barn Owls, an Illinois endangered species, back to the State. Pip, named for when a chick first cracks its shell using its egg tooth, was born in 2002 and is the offspring of two non-releasable education barn owls that have now both passed away. The organization that hatched Pip decided to imprint him on humans and keep him for education.
Although Pip has been kept for education, Pip’s siblings have been released back to the wild.
Great Horned Owl
Pennsylvania, a female Great Horned Owl, broke her wing in five places when she fell over 100′ from her nest onto a brick patio below. Pennsylvania is a huge female Great Horned, weighing twice as much as each of our male Great Horned Owls. Pennsylvania is non-flighted.
Old Red, a female Red-tailed Hawk, suffered from a broken toe when she arrived into rehabilitation in 1992. Based on her chocolate brown eye color at the time of her admission, her age was estimated at at least 8 years old – meaning that her year of birth is estimated at 1984.
Old Red’s toe did not heal correctly and the bones fused. She now also has septic arthritis and only has about 30% use of that foot. As a result, she would not be able to hunt successfully and is, therefore, non-releasable even though she is fully-flighted.
Old Red is the first bird that our founder, Dawn Keller, flew in programs when she was a volunteer at Spring Brook Nature Center (before founding Flint Creek Wildlife). Old Red is Flint Creek Wildlife’s logo.
Old Red has made numerous television appearances and has met various celebrities including the former Chicago mayor Richard Daley.
Meepy, a Barred Owl, was found in 1992 and was raised illegally for a period of time before being taken to a licensed rehabilitator. Because she was raised improperly, she is imprinted on humans and cannot ever be released back to the wild.
Meepy is fully-flighted and is used in flight programs.
Magic, a female Merlin, arrived at Flint Creek Wildlife with an old fracture to her wing that did not heal correctly. She can fly short distances but cannot fly well enough to survive in the wild.
Eastern Screech Owl
Kotori, a female red-phase Eastern Screech Owl, was brought to Flint Creek Wildlife in 2007 after she had been kept illegally as a pet for approximately 3 months. Her nest tree (Screech Owls are cavity nesters) had been cut down and the people who cut down the tree divided up the nestlings rather than getting them to a licensed facility. We were never able to ascertain what happened to Kotori’s siblings.
Kotori is in perfect physical health but is non-releasable because she is imprinted on humans.