Blog Archive April 2008

Great Horned Owlet Falls

Posted on 1 April 2008 by Dawn Keller

Earlier tonight, we received a call from a nice couple in McHenry County advising that they had a baby owl that fell from a tree. We went out to assess the situation.

After a physical exam, we determined that the owlet was in fine physical condition - no broken bones or other indications of a problem. Mom and Dad Owl were both present and watching the physical exam from two nearby trees - both disapprovingly, I might add.

We couldn't locate the nest, but the owlet was old enough to be out of the nest (a brancher) so we got an extension ladder and propped it against a tree that was in between the trees from where Mom ad Dad Owl watched. As darkness fell, I climbed the tree and placed the owlet in the crook of the tree.

The homeowners emailed me just a bit ago to advise that the owlet had climbed even higher into the tree.

In conjunction with the homeowner, we will keep an eye on the owlet over the next several days to make sure that Mom and Dad continue to care for it. We will take it to our rehabilitation center, if necessary, but it's always better to leave them with Mom and Dad when safe to do so.

Kudos to McHenry County Animal Control for ensuring that the owlet call was handled by a federally licensed facility!


Happy Anniversary to Northerly Island!!!

Posted on 1 April 2008 by Dawn Keller

Today is the second anniversary of Flint Creek Wildlife's bird hospital at Northerly Island. Our sincere thanks to the Chicago Park District for donating the space for our bird hospital, the City of Chicago for its ongoing support of our work, Chicago Animal Care and Control for being such exceptional partners, other fine Chicago organizations like the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Grant Park Conservancy, the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium for supporting our work and last BUT NOT LEAST our wonderful volunteers! We'd also like to thank three individuals whose hard work and vision were instrumental in advancing the initial concept of a bird hospital - Bob O'Neill, Robbie Hunsinger and Maddy Fields-Gollogly.

We started with two bare rooms (see photo left) and today have a fully functional triage center that saves the lives of 90% of the birds that are admitted. We have come far and with your support we will continue to grow. Looking back, it's amazing what we've accomplished in two short years:

  • Created triage center capable of treating over 1,000 birds annually (see photo below).
  • In conjunction with the Chicago Park District, we've added new educational programming and bird walks at Northerly Island.
  • Established rescue and recovery teams that aid injured birds that collide with city buildings - in many sections of the city that never before had coverage.
  • Offer a variety of educational programs for local schools and organizations.
  • Work with Lincoln Park Zoo and the Field Museum to help injured Peregrine Falcons (managed under Mary Hennen's Field Museum Peregrine Project).
  • Provide tours of the bird hospital and an overview of migration in concert with educational programs offered by the Shedd Aquarium.
  • Implemented many, many internal improvements to deal with lots of phone calls and lots of data!
  • Partner with Chicago Animal Care and Control in many ways, including treating injured wildlife that arrives at their faclity and having them help us with transport of injured birds in the city.
  • Work with dowtown building managers and fine organizations like Birds and Buildings Forum to mitigate bird-collision risks and address procedures if birds collide with buildings.
  • Have improved bird survival rates dramatically as compared with when birds are transported to the suburbs for initial care.
  • Thanks to all of our supporters and volunteers for helping us save lives. We simply couldn't do it without you!