At the end of June I made a transport for Raptor Center of Tampa Bay. Injured or lost baby birds were still coming in and needed to get to a rehabber in St. Pete. This one was a small load. A baby mockingbird, a sick kestrel and 2 loud baby crows made the trip. Those crows were cawing the entire ride to St. Pete.
The 4th of July was going to be a stay at home and relax kind of day but the call came out for a much needed transport. I left Brett watching sports on the couch and headed to Brandon. Those baby opossums were so cute! She was holding the smallest “runt” of the litter, checking to make sure it was warm enough to make the trip.
Nancy from Raptor Center posted this on the Facebook page with the stories of what happened to these babies.
A week later I was at Moccasin Lake Nature Park waiting to take a baby kestrel to Apopka. The Avian Reconditioning Center in Apopka is a great place for lost baby raptors to grow up and get released. They had just received another young one so the one I was taking would get a “sibling” to grow up with. While I was waiting on the kestrel I walked around for a few minutes and checked out some of the permanently injured birds that live there. The eagle was found with a bad wing injury and is not able to be fully flighted. I was surprised to see the swallow tail kite there sitting on the perch at the front of the cage. There were 2 in the exhibit as well as a Mississippi kite (which is a rare bird around here).
The baby kestrel was ready to go and I stepped in the kitchen for a minute and got to see the meals going out to all of the injured birds. Doesn’t that look yummy (don’t look closely at the bowls if you are squeamish)? I looked away from the cart and noticed an adult kestrel sitting on the desk. I’m assuming he got his breakfast first.
This tiny baby kestrel was making the 2 hour trip to Apopka. This was my first trip to the Avian Reconditioning Center. It’s a huge place with big barn size flight cages on the property. I wish I had taken some pictures but it was so hot and they were busy so I dropped of the little one and left.
Brett and I were sitting at home late on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, not doing much since it was so hot and my foot was bothering me, when I started surfing through Facebook and saw a post from a rescue group needing a transport for a sick bird. I have been following Raptor Center of Tampa Bay on Facebook for a while but I really wasn’t paying attention until I saw the transport request. They needed a pick up of a sick red shoulder hawk at a 24 hour emergency veterinarian and brought to Nancy, the rehabber out in Brandon. I thought “I could do that”, sent them a note that I was coming and jumped in the car. Someone had found the hawk sitting on the side of a busy road and stopped to pick him up and took him to the vet. When I got to the rehabber she pulled him out of the box and said he was a juvenile and was very undernourished. He didn’t even fight her. She was going to try and nurse him back to health.
A few days later the Raptor Center needed another transport. This time from Nancy’s home in Brandon where the Raptor Center is located to another rehabber in south St. Pete. Since there isn’t one big rehab center in the Tampa area for raptors they get placed in smaller rehabs around the area. Penny in St. Pete had room to rehab these critters so off I went to pick them up. The original hawk I had transported earlier was the first one loaded in my car. He looked comfortable and ready for the 45 minute ride.
The bat was found by someone who kept it for a week, feeding it powered milk and ground mealworms. One thing I learned is you should never feed any animal cow’s milk (except cows). Even cats really shouldn’t have milk.
Four baby screech owls made the trip. I think all of them had fallen out of the nest or the nests couldn’t be relocated. Look at those eyes!
Two juvenile crows came along as well. These guys were scratching the box so I didn’t even peek in. Nancy took this picture.
The rehabber in St. Pete lives near the Bay Pines National Cemetery where my parents are buried so I stopped in before heading home.
They decorate with flags for Memorial Day weekend and they were still there a few days later.
I went for an after dinner walk and found this duck family in the pond near my house. I’ve been seeing this pretty creme mallard for a while now. I saw the family recently and the babies were getting big. Sadly, there were only 4 left.
Frog on our downspout after a storm.
Saw this lizard next to our dock. This is the first one I’ve seen with a rust head. Can they really blend in that well?
Here’s the same creme mallard back in May. She was floating around behind our dock.
Curious blue jay.
Hibiscus poking through the fence.
I took this through the kitchen window.
Taken through the bedroom window, the juvenile night heron was creeping around our neighbor’s dock.
Our neighbor a few houses down has an almost dead palm tree in their backyard. I came home from work and saw the tree full of crows eating the berries (or are these nuts?). Taken directly into the sun.
A few crows waiting their turn to get on the palm tree.
Something spooked them and they all flew off in a hurry. At this point it was almost dark.