December 21st, 2013
One thing’s for sure at the Hawks Aloft office — Life is never dull! Thanks to our Raptor Rescue Team, we never know what will come our way. This week, Davedda and Tony Thomas volunteered to drive to Vaughn, New Mexico to transport birds to Albuquerque. The birds were coming up from Desert Willow Animal Clinic where Dr. Samantha Rayroux takes in injured birds in that part of the state. We put the call for help out on e-mail, and Davedda called right back! It’s a 2+ hour drive one way to get to Vaughn, plus the return! So, it was mid-afternoon when they showed up with their precious load of cargo.
Two of the boxes held one bird each: a Great Horned Owl and a Merlin (a small falcon). Lori Paras from the Santa Fe Raptor Center was on hand to take them the remainder of their journey to her facility, the Santa Fe Raptor Center for care. That left one box, destined for Wildlife Rescue of New Mexico, a local wildlife rehabilitation organization, containing an educational Chihuahuan Raven also known as the white-necked raven. Look carefully at the boxes – one of them is not like the others.
Seems the young lady had been pounding away on the five hour journey up from Carlsbad and had worn a small hole in the box top. With a little extra lift,
she got her first look at us. The female raven was illegally held by a family in the Carlsbad area, where she lived in their house with free reign, and liked to eat pizza. An obvious imprint, this was not a good start for a bird that should have been wild. She will become the newest member of the Wildlife Rescue educational ambassadors. Lisa Morgan, our Raptor Rescue Coordinator and I had offered to put her equipment on, the bracelets and leather straps that all education birds wear. So, we opened the box a little wider and
she made herself right at home in the office. We enjoyed her company for a couple of hours and what a treat it was! It was hard to hand this charmer of a bird over to her new caretaker, Jim Battaglia. We hope to keep visiting rights.
Although she might be physically perfect, imprinting is irreversible as the animal does not recognize its own species, and thinks that it is like those that raised it.