A couple of days after the wild fire, I was called to help with an egret emergency. There was a huge egret rookery at Brakenridge Park in town and the fledglings were learning to fly and ending up in the water or landing on the concrete sidewalks and breaking fragile legs and wings.
The Parks department had begun clearing out the lily pads that were in the river along with the algae that was covering the surface of the water. They had no idea the juveniles needed the foliage as part of their learning process. The egret's feet are made for walking on the lily pad leaves, and their rookery, several huge old oak trees, lean directly over the water. So as the young ones tried out their new found wings, what they found was water.
Many of the birds came in soaking wet, cold, and emaciated. The babies need a lot of food in order to have the energy to learn to fly and if they're cold and wet and stuck in water, they cannot be fed.
Over 100 birds have ended up in the clinic and are getting around the clock are for what ails them. A rotation for release is beginning with healed birds being moved outdoors to become acclimated once again before being transported to a release site.
Spending time with my animal friends always puts me in a good place. Something about unconditional love... something about these beings being so true to themselves, something about them always being happy to see me. Just makes everything O.K.
A baby black vulture just arrived with a friend who is just a bit older. Together they will grow and then be released. For now, they are learning from our resident and visiting vultures just how good life at the sanctuary can be. How can you resist that sweet face!!
A Muscovy duck bathes in a wading pool. It has been so hot and dry that all of our waterfowl take turns cooling off and bathing. He didn't mind one bit that I was taking photos... secretly I think he stayed in longer because I was there.
This is Ms Ripley. She came to us because a girl's mom didn't want a large pig as a pet. She loves people. I've become especially fond of her--my very first experience of pig love. She comes running up to me, rumbling all the way, and plants her nose right on my leg. If I am sitting, she will find any skin and park her nose on it, breathing deeply with eyes partly closed. To me, she smells like sweet celery...
And here's Gracie. She's getting so big and turning so black!!! Her favorite thing ever is to be scratched under her chin--to her chest. Her eyes looks skyward and her chin follows--soon, she is standing very still, loving every scratch. If you stop, she will take a step closer to you and look at you with her big brown eyes and nudge you with her large wet nose.
Keep scratching or walk away.
Walk away from that look?