Sunday, June 10, 2012

bird rehabilitation

a baby scaly-naped pigeon is a delight to behold! they are small but very dense little creatures, with gigantic beaks, giving them an endearing prehistoric look

the scaly-naped pigeon is an elegant bird when it is older and has grown into its adorable prehistoric-looking beak.  these birds, especially the babies, are seldom seen--they are tree pigeons and spend their lives up high in the trees eating berries and seeds.

st john is very lucky indeed to have federally permitted wildlife rehabiliator phyllis benton in its midst--she is one of my closest friends and taught me everything i know about getting injured and orphaned birds back out into the wild. i am one of her sub-permittees and a devoted volunteer. we have no family pets at our house, but every now and then, especially when phyllis is off-island, an avian menagerie assembles almost out of thin air.  calls come from the national park or concerned citizens. i recently scheduled a pick up at a local eatery and was handed a styrofoam to-go container decorated in pen with air holes and adorned with a living plumbago bloom, a gentle shelter for a baby bananaquit. another call took me all the way across the island to the maho bay campgrounds, where i was handed an open box with a paralyzed laughing gull.  this was my first case of botulism, which is very easy to treat if caught early enough.  and after several weeks, this fellow was released back at maho bay :)

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