August 22, 2016
Thanks to the rain, the flowers along the sidewalk garden are looking renewed !
There are 88 birds at the Center.
16 birds are in flight cages, soon to be released.
Last week 9 birds were released, including 2 humming birds,
We have successfully rehabilitated and released 181 birds this season!
Supervisor Gabby Costello
“I’m currently spending my fourth year at the Bird Center. Working here has allowed for the unique opportunity to help wildlife directly, and to do so alongside a wonderful group of hard-working people. Thanks to all of those that have helped us release birds this summer!”
Gabby takes a call from one of the many people who call the Bird Center every day with questions or for help with newborn House Finches whose nest has fallen from a tree, a Cardinal that’s been caught by a cat, mama Mallard duck and her babies who are trying to cross the road, or a robin that flew into a window.
Family of Swans Killed in Washtenaw County
ANN ARBOR, MI – The Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV
) is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for intentionally driving over a family of Trumpeter Swans in Lodi Township.
A family of swans, including one adult and four babies, were reported dead around 8 a.m. Wednesday, August 17. They were found near a pond, numerous feet off the side of the road, near the intersection of Parker and Scio Church roads.
Law enforcement personnel examining the evidence believe the swans were intentionally run over. Based on tire track markings, experts suggest the vehicle was a Jeep or pick-up truck with 18-20 inch all terrain tires.
In addition to animal cruelty, because Trumpeter Swans are classified as a threatened species protected in the state of Michigan, HSHV together with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) are conducting a joint investigation.
Adult pairs of Trumpeter swans often mate for life and generally have very strong family bonds.
“Whether our companion animals or wildlife, all animals have feelings and deserve our respect and empathy. There is just no excuse for this cruel act,” says Tanya Hilgendorf, President and CEO of HSHV.
“We know there is a strong link between human violence and violence against animals. It is important we find out who did this not just because of what they did to this family of swans and the people who cared about them, but also for the safety of the community,” says Hilgendorf.
HSHV asks that anyone with information please call the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s tip line at (734) 973-7711
or HSHV’s 24-hour animal cruelty hotline at (734) 661-3512
When I walked in, Swifts and Swallows were flying around the room, exercising their wings. The Swallows (left) have a home base where they fly to and land: a perch with water and mealworm treats. They are still being fed every half hour. (right) The Swifts fly back to their screen roost to rest. They are also being fed every 30 minutes, announcing that they are hungry with their really loud chittering They all came in as little babies and will be released into the wild, healthy and ready to go after one long month.
Let’s see, how many feedings is that?
Caring for these birds is both labor intensive and a labor of love. THANK YOU to the interns and supervisors who make these little miracles happen.
There are 3 Swifts in the photo. They are all from the same nest, but one is smaller and it likes to snuggle up in between its siblings.
DETROIT AUDUBON FIELD TRIPS
Swift Night Out at the Swift Sanctuary and Historic Winery
Saturday September 24 * Sunday September 25 * 6 pm to Sunset * Swift Sanctuary in Farmington, MI
Join us with our partners at the Swift Sanctuary to watch the spectacular show as up to 50,000 Chimney Swifts swirl around and around like a tornado before the avian funnel cloud swirls right down into this historic winery. As far as we know this is
THE largest roost of Chimney Swifts in North America!
Bring a lawn chair to watch this incredible show! There will be a band, refreshments, a raffle, and tables to add to the festive atmosphere leading up to the grand mass descent of thousands of swifts into the chimney for the night. This event will help raise funds for the expensive upkeep of this historic chimney!
These Green Herons were found at Washtenaw Community College. Their nest had fallen down and one bird injured its wing during the fall. They were transferred to Howell Nature Center by an intern. They sound like newborn babies when they make their alarm calls and are quick to bite at fingers when they come too close to their nest bucket.
From a distance, the Green Heron is a dark, stocky bird hunched on slender yellow legs at the water’s edge, often hidden behind a tangle of leaves. Seen up close, it is a striking bird with a velvet-green back, rich chestnut body, and a dark cap often raised into a short crest. These small herons crouch patiently to surprise fish with a snatch of their daggerlike bill. They sometimes lure in fish using small items such as twigs or insects as bait.
From the Audubon Bird Guide
It was early evening. I was sitting outside. The sprinkler was watering the garden. It was hitting the branches of a small tree. Something moved on the leaves of a branch. The light was fading. It looked like a hummingbird but I couldn’t quite tell! I lifted my camera and took several shots, went upstairs and download the pictures onto my computer. Wasn’t I lucky?
|August 16, 2016
Dear Bird Center,
I was trying to time my visit to see the birds (and the humans) in between the torrential rainfalls we’re blessed with. The rain let up a little and I made it to the car. By the time I arrived at the Bird Center the rain had stopped. Bailey, Esha and Lena were sitting outside finishing their lunch.
We have only about 100 birds at the Center, a sign that the nesting season is almost over and soon migration will begin. Two of the Swifts were flying around the high-ceilinged room. There are 6 new swifts, 3 old enough to fly and exercise their wings, and 3 nestlings that look like little aliens, covered in new spiky feathers. Above, the 3 older Swifts hanging on their screen as a Barn Swallow looks on.
Interns will be leaving soon.
Elizabeth leaves Aug. 16, Esha Aug 31, and Lena Aug 28. We will serve cake at shift change on those days. Please let Carol know if you can join us to say goodbye.
Intern Esha Biswas with a Swift
Message from Director Carol Akerlof:
Volunteers needed to do a load of Bird Center laundry. As far as I can tell I am the only person doing laundry. This entails at least one load per day and often as many as three! This means that many of my family and BC duties are not getting done. In the past we have offered $15 per laundry load and advertised for volunteers. Can you do a load of laundry? If you see a bag of dirty laundry, grab it and take it home. Bring it back clean, and you will receive $15!
The Bird Center’s table at Sasha Farm’s Humane Fair last Sunday.
Board member Georgette Hanson, and Supervisors Gabby Costello and Rachel Gumpper are ready to answer all your questions about birds and work we do at The Center. Gabby also volunteers at Sasha.
SASHA Farm is the midwest’s largest farm animal sanctuary. At our shelter, not only do we provide food and water, veterinary care and a roof over their heads, we also give the animal residents affection, social interaction with others of their own species, and a sense of security.
The sanctuary currently shelters over 200 animals, each with its own story to tell. Some were dumped and discarded, some left to die. They have come from unhappy circumstances, often mistreated or neglected, but now have a safe, permanent home at SASHA Farm.
VISIT Sasha Farm! It is a peaceful place, with chickens, geese, cows, cats, dogs, donkeys, mules, horses, pigs… did I forget the goats? All existing together with the help of many volunteers, like Gabby.
UPDATE ON THE HORNED LARK
A Horned Lark was found on one of the runways at the Detroit Airport. It had been blown down the runway by an airplane and was brought to The Bird Center by the airport’s Wildlife Biologist. It has tissue damage to the wingtips and is unable to fly, but otherwise is a healthy and a very, very lucky bird.
We have arranged for it to live at the Toledo Zoo as part of their Birds of the Midwest exhibit.
As always, we still need Saturday volunteers! Please feel free to stop by and help out for a hour or two! Your time is always appreciated! Thank you!
Enjoy the clouds and the rain, and the cool breeze!
August 7, 2016
On Wednesday, all 110 birds were moved from the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital back home to The Bird Center. .When I went to the Center on Wednesday morning, Volunteers Judy Lobato, Bee Freidlander, and Patricia Zimmer were delivering the first baskets, the incubators were there, and tables were being moved into place. It was strange to see the room empty of birds and so very quiet. A great big THANK YOU to all the people who volunteered their time and their cars, transported birds to and from AAAH, and swept and cleaned Mary Street.
The first group of Barn Swallows were released!
Supervisor Rachel Gumpper tells what happened:
“As you may know, we released 5 of our swallows on Monday, August 1! These are the guys that all of you have worked so hard to take care of and feed every 15 minutes. These birds would have died if they weren’t brought to us and now thanks to you and all the care you gave them, they have a second chance 🙂
The release went perfectly. All five of them flew out beautifully and immediately integrated with the other wild swallows already there! I watched them for a hour before leaving and our birds would fly out above the water (hopefully catching bugs) just as well as the other swallows! If it weren’t for their face feathers, I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart from the ones who were already there.
I wanted to share some of the photos I took with you. Here is the link to the pictures:
If you zoom in on some of the pictures you can see what birds are ours based on the feathers! My favorite is a picture of one of our swallows in mid-landing next to a couple other swallows (he’s looking right at the camera).
I took videos too of the release that are really cool. I’ll put then onto the computer at the BC and you can watch them there if you want!
Again, good work and lets keep it going through August!”
Rachel also gave me this impressive list :
Aside from the swallows, we have successfully rehabilitated and released several other birds this year! Here’s a list of all the birds we have released in just the last two weeks !
2 Blue Jays
2 Blue Birds
8 House Sparrows
1 House Wren
1 Downy Woodpecker
1White Breasted Nuthatch
I Mourning Dove
That’s 41 birds including the Barn Swallows!
TO ALL THE VOLUNTEERS, INTERNS AND SUPERVISORS WHO HAVE CARED FOR THE BIRDS THAT HAVE BEEN GIVEN A SECOND CHANCE, NOW FLYING SINGING NESTING MATING EATING BUGS SEEDS….
Aug. 2, 2016
Help prevent the spread of oak wilt; don’t move firewood
Now that the season has shifted to August – well past the “no pruning of oak” time of year (April 15 to July 15) – there still are steps residents can take to minimize the spread of the deadly oak wilt disease.
Notably, Michigan Department of Natural Resources forest health experts say not moving firewood is critical to limiting oak wilt. Wood from oak wilt-killed trees can produce spores, which can infect healthy oaks if they’re wounded in spring the following year.
According to Bob Heyd, DNR forest health specialist, oak wilt is a serious disease of oak trees. It mainly affects red oaks, including northern red oak, black oak and pin oak. Red oaks often die within a few weeks after becoming infected. Because white oaks are more resistant, the disease progresses more slowly.
“The spread of oak wilt occurs overland to new areas from April through July as beetles move spores from trees killed this year by oak wilt to wounds on healthy oaks next year,” Heyd said.
“We need to stop that cycle, and that’s why it’s important for people not to move firewood for the rest of the summer and fall seasons,” he said. “With the transport of firewood and other tree-related activities, you have to assume the risk is present, whether you live in metro Detroit or in the Upper Peninsula.”
Once an oak is infected, the fungus moves to neighboring red oaks through root grafts. Oaks within approximately 100 feet of each other – depending on the size of the trees – have connected or grafted root systems. Left untreated, oak wilt will continue to move from tree to tree, progressively killing more red oak over an increasingly larger area.
“There are other oak problems that can easily be confused with oak wilt,” Heyd said. “Unlike most other problems, oak wilt causes the tree to suddenly drop its leaves in July or August. In fact, an oak wilt-infected tree dropping its leaves can happen all the way up to fall.”
Heyd advises residents who suspect their trees have oak wilt to first confirm their suspicion. “Once confirmed,” he said, “you’ll be given information on the variety of treatment options available.”
The Bird Center will have a table at the Ann Arbor Bird Show. If anyone is interested in promoting the Bird Center, please contact Linda Whiteaker at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 248-520-6003
You are welcome to attend as a visitor. Admission charges apply.
The AACBC Invites You to
Our 30th Annual
EXOTIC BIRD EXHIBITION
WHEN: Sunday, 14 August, 2016 10 am to 3 pm
Featuring vendors selling terrific products
for your avian pals.
Admission: $3.00; children 12 and younger free
Where: Dawn Farm
, 6633 Stony Creek Rd , Ypsilanti , MI
Bird Watching Magazine HOW TO PREVENT WINDOW STRIKES
By Jennifer Horton
This article originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of BirdWatching
“At first glance, it looks like an insanely prolific morning of birding: 4,136 Song Sparrows, 3,632 Dark-eyed Juncos, 3,362 Swamp Sparrows, 2,532 White-throated Sparrows, and 1,417 Hermit Thrushes.
But the numbers don’t represent living birds. They tally the birds that died after colliding with one Chicago building from the fall of 1978 to 2004. And a frightening number of birds of other species were also killed. In all, 31,705 individuals from 141 species were found dead at the building.
The story is similar across the country. Collision with manmade structures ranks second among causes of death among migratory birds in North America. (Habitat loss is No. 1.) Approximately 100 million birds die in collisions every year – some experts put the number as high as one billion.
Tall urban buildings aren’t the only obstacles migrating birds face, though. Most of the windows birds collide with belong to houses. According to George Fenwick, president of American Bird Conservancy, a home may kill a dozen or more birds a year without the owner being aware. Daytime collisions typically occur for one of two reasons:
1. The window is reflecting the surrounding habitat, and birds can’t tell the difference.
2. The window is transparent, and birds see through it to appealing objects on the other side.
Even if the impact doesn’t kill a bird immediately, it may be injured or stunned, making it vulnerable to predation later.
Nighttime presents its own challenges. Many birds migrate then, using natural light from the moon, stars, and setting sun as navigational tools. Our brightly illuminated cities and neighborhoods interfere with this behavior by letting artificial light leak into the atmosphere. The glow draws birds in, and they can become trapped. Once in a beam of light, they may be reluctant to fly back out, or become disoriented and pulled off course. Confused and exhausted, they often collide with buildings, homes, or each other.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Toronto, New York, San Francisco, and other cities have started lights-out programs aimed at persuading building owners to turn off lights from dusk to dawn during migration season. Results are promising. Lights Out Chicago, for example, has saved 10,000 birds annually. You can do your part to make the skies friendly for migrating birds by deterring window collisions and minimizing light pollution at your home. Below are some of the best products on the market for doing just that.
Three simple ways to prevent window collisions
Taking the simple steps listed below – in addition to deploying the products described on the following pages – will dramatically reduce the chance that birds will be harmed in collisions at your home.
1. Move feeders close to your windows – 1.5 feet or closer. From this distance, birds won’t be able to build up enough momentum to hurt themselves if they do fly against the glass.
2. Close curtain and blinds when possible to break up the illusion of clear passage or reflected habitat.
3. Move houseplants away from windows. Birds may view them as refuges and try to perch on them.”
The article also lists a number of products you can buy or make to prevent birds from hitting your window.
HUMANE FAIR at Sasha Farm and Sanctuary Sunday August 14
The Bird Center will have a table at Sasha Farm’s Humane Fair.
Come to the Fair from 12-4PM. Visit with all the animals that have been rescued and now live at this amazing sanctuary and enjoy a Vegan lunch.
Open shifts. Saturday always needs help, so please take a couple of hours.
Just show up and surprise those over worked interns and supervisors!!
MON AUG 8 9-12PM
TUES AUG 9 4-6PM
WED AUG 10 ALL SHIFTS FILLED
THU AUG 11 9-12PM
FRI AUG 12 1-3PM 3-6PM (or 1-4 PM and 4-6 PM)
SAT AUG. 13 all shifts open
SUN AUG 14 7-9PM
Have a pleasant week. Enjoy the cooler weather!