Welcome from Missi, Avian Ambassador at Wild Bird Rescue, Inc.

I came to Wild Bird Rescue in the summer of 2009. Some woman found me on the ground and picked me up. Good thing she knew what to do. She took me to Wild Bird Rescue. At the door, a nice lady named Lila, picked me up and took me into a room called the infirmary. After a complete exam, Lila put me in this large box called a carrier. I stayed there for a few weeks while everyone decided what to do with me. Because I had completely lost my left eye, I would not do well if released back into the wild. The Migratory Bird Act of 1918 says I have to be releasable or be euthanized. Lucky for me Wild Bird Rescue decided to keep me around as their first education bird. I like to be called their Avian Ambassador...I think that sounds more important. Don't you? I will be going out to schools in the fall to help with presentations. I wonder if I get to use PowerPoint? I hope you enjoy keeping up with my trials and tribulations while I am learning how to work on the glove.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April 28, 2011

We may be sad but the birds are rejoicing in Heaven today.  You will be missed my friend.  Phee Phew!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 19, 2011

Phee Phew! Phee Phew! Baby bird season has begun! Wild Bird Rescue has dozens of doves …Eurasian Collared Doves, White Wing Doves, and Mourning Doves. The sparrows have arrived too. The high winds last week knocked two nestling Red-tailed Hawks from a very tall Pine Tree and also a nestling Great Horned Owl. Today we got our first ever nestling Eastern Bluebirds. Eastern Bluebirds nest in very remote areas so it is highly unusual for someone to stumble upon a downed nest.  Things are starting to get very exciting at Wild Bird Rescue! (Below is a photo of a Red-tailed Hawk)  Phee Phew!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April 10, 2011

Wild Bird Rescue knows the start of baby bird season has arrived when the first nestling dove arrives.  Currently we have one nestling and three fledglings.  Unlike most birds, which place food into the nestling’s mouth, doves feed their babies differently.  The nestlings will reach down into the mother’s crop as she pumps out formula called crop milk.  It’s not really milk at all but a mushy mixture created just for the nestlings high in protein.  When we get a baby dove in, we can’t replicate that feeding method so our rehabbers must gavage feed the nestlings.  A special formula is drawn up into a syringe and fed by placing a gavage feeding tube in the nestling’s crop.  The formula is then pumped into the nestling slowly as the syringe is squeezed sending formula down the tube and into the crop.  Isn’t this little one a real cutie? Phee Phew!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March 30, 2011

Mother Nature had to get one last laugh at me.  Due to the colder nights, I've had to be temporarily moved back inside…but I don't really mind.  There has been so much going on at Wild Bird Rescue getting ready for baby season.  In fact, we have two Eurasian Collared doves right now...the first of the season.  Lila tells me the rehabbers are trying out a new diet this year which will improve growth and feather quality.  I think our rehabbers are simply amazing.  They are always researching new protocols and the latest techniques.  Wichita Falls is very lucky to have such a place in which to take orphaned and injured birds.  Can you imagine our city without Wild Bird Rescue?  I hate to think about it because I would have been euthanized by Animal Control along with thousands of other helpless birds.  If you would like to see Wild Bird Rescue continue their wonderful mission, just send in a donation or at least tell these fine folks know how much you appreciate their efforts.  Phee Phew!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 22, 2011

Ahhhhhh…Spring is in the air.  I hear songbirds singing and insects calling. Trees are budding out and the green blades of grass are peeking through the brown soil.  WHAT I DON’T LIKE IS THE WIND BLOWING!  What’s up with the 45 miles per hour winds today?  How’s a bird going to get any quality time in the sun with the wind constantly blowing her off the perch?  I think I’m ready to move back inside.   Phee Phew!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

March 19, 2011

I am so excited!  Tomorrow's the big day!  Have I piqued your curiosity yet?  I am moving out to my outside mew.  The early morning temperatures have warmed up enough for me to finally get outside.  Yippee!!!  Of course Lila will still have to watch the weather.  It's still possible for a late freeze, which I absolutely can't stand.  If that happens, I'll have to come inside for the night.  Phee Phew!

Monday, March 7, 2011

March 7, 2010

Lila didn’t visit much with me yesterday as she had to bag dead bodies in our freezer.   Yes, unfortunately we can’t save all our birds and due to safety protocols, we don’t just throw them in the trash.  In the past they’ve had to be incinerated.  Fortunately, US Fish and Wildlife Service has set up National Feather Repositories for Native American tribes.  One such repository is just over the Oklahoma border.   Sia, in Cyril, Oklahoma, is part of the Comanche Nation Ethno-Ornithological Initiative.  Over the past three decades, Sia has participated in research with native eagles and raptors of historic cultural significance to the Numunuh (Comanche).  Now when a beautiful Red-Tailed Hawk or a bright red Cardinal must be euthanized due to a profound injury , its Spirit lives on in the heart and soul of the Numunuh as part of their tribal ceremonies.  Phee Phew!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March 2, 2011 Special Addition

Lila couldn’t wait to get this information out to all my fans so she had to startle me from my perch to start blogging again today. About Mid December, the game warden spotted a Whooping Crane North of Electra in a flock of 5,000 Sandhill Cranes. The game warden called Bob with the location. Lila decided to call Tom Stehn, Whooping Crane Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. After several conformations that it was indeed a Whooping Crane, the flock of Sandhill Cranes was closely monitored throughout the winter. Here is the email Lila received this morning from Tom.

“If you look at the dates and locations of single white-plumaged Whooping Cranes confirmed in North Texas this winter, it seems logical to me that there has been a single whooping crane moving from Electra to Anson to Pampa from December 30, 2010 through March 1, 2011. It may have never made it to Aransas, instead wintering with Sandhill Cranes.”

Number Date Nearest Town Location

1 white-plumaged crane 12/30 through 1/2/11 Electra, Texas WNW of Wichita Falls

1 white-plumaged crane 2/7/11 through 2/13/11 Anson, Texas NNW of Abilene

1 white-plumaged crane 2/28/11 through 3/1/11 Pampa, Texas NE of Amarillo

March 2, 2011

Bob reported two Purple Martins at the rescue center this morning.  I decided to get on my bird thinking cap and do some research.  Here is what I learned.  Purple Martins are the largest member of the swallow family in North America, measuring 7 1/2 inches long and weighing 1.9 ounces. Purple Martins spend the non-breeding season in Brazil then migrate to North America to nest. East of the Rockies they are totally dependent on human-supplied housing.

The pair-bond of the Purple Martin is monogamous. The male and female cooperate equally in building the nest out of mud, grass and twigs. The female lays two to seven pure-white eggs at a rate of one egg per day. The female incubates the clutch for approximately fifteen days, then the young hatch. The parents both feed the young continuously for a period of 26-32 days until the young fledge. The young continue to be dependent on their parents for food and training for an additional one to two weeks after fledging.

Martins, like all swallows, are aerial insectivores. They eat only flying insects, which they catch in flight. Their diet is diverse, including dragonflies, damselflies, flies, midges, mayflies, stinkbugs, leafhoppers, Japanese beetles, June bugs, butterflies, moths, grasshoppers, cicadas, bees, wasps, flying ants, and ballooning spiders. Martins are not, however, prodigious consumers of mosquitoes as is so often claimed by companies that manufacture martin housing. Very facinating birds but not as cool as me!  Phee Phew!
(Obtained from the Purple Martin Conservation Association)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March 1, 2011

Awwww…Spring is just around the corner.  Lila was telling me just the other day, it won’t be long until I get to return to my outside mew.  She has a little fixing up to do first.  She wants to put some Astroturf on my safety perch in the corner and also around some of the boards on which I attempt to land.  She said it had something to do with my tail feathers looking nice.   I think she is waiting until Spring Break to do the work.  I can’t wait!!! Phee Phew!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

February 26, 2011

I had such a nice time today with Trooper at the Home and Garden Show.  The folks were so nice, even though I bated from the glove several times.  Hearing Lila’s voice through those speakers just set me on edge.  Trooper handled it better than I did.  I was also glad to see I had one of my blog followers in the audience.  It’s nice to know that someone is reading my prose.  Phee Phew!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February 16, 2011

Lila went to Lubbock to pick up a new Eastern Screech Owl on Sunday. The owl was found by a DPS Trooper so South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center named her Trooper. I am going to have to get used to the fact that Lila will be sharing her time with the both of us now. Wild Bird Rescue has an awesome group of educational birds in training for future programs. Our new program will be called Ambassadors of the Sky. It will include two Eastern Screech Owls, Moonblink the Barred Owl, and me of course. Now when schools request a program, they don't get just me but 4 birds of prey. Welcome to Trooper and glad you are here with us. Phee Phew!  Thanks to Elizabeth Hawley for the photo of Trooper.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February 9, 2011

Hello World!   I finally got Lila to get off her duff to help me type a post.  She said something about the cold weather and staying busy...blah...blah...blah!  I don't care!  My readers need to hear from me on a regular basis!   I can't just walk into Bob's office, log on, and write my own blog.  How are my fans going to know how I am doing?  The next time I'm off line for a week or two, please let Lila know how you feel! 

So World...I've been busy...busy molting feathers for Spring!  Even though I live in Texas, my body clock is telling me it is almost time to start migration.  I need all my primary and secondary feathers in tip, top shape.  If you will recall from my earlier posts, my kinfolk are in Argentina for the winter.  They too are molting feathers in preparation for the 9,000 mile trip back to the Great Plains of the United States.  About this time of year, I get a yearning to see them but it won't be too long.  April is just a couple of months away!  Phee Phew!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

January 16, 2011

Lila had such a busy day at Wild Bird Rescue.  She didn’t even get to my aviary until 10:30 this morning to feed me.  She had to drive out on Highway 281 to meet a couple of Highway Patrol officers.  A Red-tailed Hawk had been hit by a car and was down in the road.  Luckily this hawk had no broken bones, just head trauma.  Then an Eastern Screech Owl was brought under the same circumstances…hit by a car.  The prognosis is not good as it is bleeding internally.  The last bird in today was a Cedar Waxwing which had been shot by with a BB gun.  It appears to be a grazing wound but this little fellow is not out of the woods.   The infirmary is full!  Sadly, the “Bent and Broken” season is in full swing.  Disheartened for my feathered kin…Phee  Phew!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 10, 2011

Brrrrrrrrrrr...it's cold!  Even though I am shacked up in the inside aviary, I can still feel the cold wind creeping through my window like icy fingers ruffling my feathers.  I am so glad I'm not living in my outside mew this time of year.  Have you ever wondered how wild birds which don't migrate stay warm in these extreme temperatures?  Well...so have I.  I borrowed Lila's laptop and put my toes to work googling this question.  Here's what I learned.  On cold, wintry days, most birds fluff up their feathers, creating air pockets, which help keep the birds warm. The more air spaces, the better the insulation. Some birds perch on one leg, drawing the other leg to the breast for warmth.   On sunny winter days, many birds will take advantage of solar heat by turning their backs to the sun.  Birds will also shiver to raise their metabolic rate and generate more body heat as a short term solution to extreme cold. Wow, I didn't know we birds had a built in furnace like that.  No wonder I've been ruffled all day...I just creating additional air pockets to keep me warm.  And you thought I was just getting fat!  Phee Phew!

Friday, January 7, 2011

January 7, 2011

Did you know that Texas has an Eagle Fest?  You heard me correctly!!!  Rains County is the Eagle Capital of Texas.  This year’s Eagle Fest will be held February 5th in Emory, Texas.  The event includes a barge tour where a Bald Eagle might be spotted.  Dr. James Conrad from Texas A&M will be speaking on Bald Eagles too.  Last Chance Forever and The Blackland Prairie Raptor Center will have live exhibitions with their birds of prey.  Why…if I had both my eyes, I might just fly there myself.  Phee Phew!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

January 6, 2011

Today a Bald Eagle was spotted flying over Lake Wichita.  Occasionally Wild Bird Rescue will get a call in the summer mistaking my kind-the Mississippi Kite for a Bald Eagle.  However, Bald Eagles can be found in Texas only during the winter months when Kites are long gone to South America.   Actually Bald Eagles share the same family with me, the Accipitridae family; which also includes hawks, all types of kites, and old-world vultures.  Bald Eagles were placed on the Endangered Species List in 1967 and remained there until 2007 when US Fish and Wildlife Service removed them from the list.  However, Bald Eagles are still protected by the Migratory Species Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.  Okay girls and boys…class is over for today.  Come back tomorrow to learn more about our National Bird, the Bald Eagle!  Phee Phew!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

January 5, 2011

The game warden brought in a barred owl which had apparently been hit by a car.  Bob, Lila, and Steve did an initial exam which showed the owl to be blind but no other apparent injuries.  Head trauma often causes temporary or sometimes permanent blindness.  This owl was treated with Dexajet and eye drops.  This morning when Lila stopped by to feed me, she looked in on the barred owl.  It was bright, alert and appeared to have regained some of its sight.  With continued care, we hope this beautiful owl will be released back into the wild where it belongs.  Phee Phew!

Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3, 2011

Wow another year has come and gone.  Great things continue to happen at Wild Bird Rescue.  First, we have two new educational birds...Eastern Screech Owls.  One is a red phase and the other a gray phase.  The owls will take their rightful place in the education mew as soon as they are ready.  Secondly, Wild Bird Rescue has plans to build a new raptor aviary and a new shorebird aviary.  Hopefully construction will begin in 2011.  As for me?  I am still the same old fabulous Missi.  Be on the look out for me in 2011.  I'll be out at numerous events and presentations.  Hope to see you soon!  Phee Phew!