Monday, August 1, 2011

Testing Results

Bob called me late this afternoon and said he received the results from USU on Amelia and Sally. He laughed that it would be easier to drop a copy off than to try to find it in his insane email inbox. When he arrived, we reviewed the results and had a brief discussion on the surprising findings that Sally was said to be emaciated. The rehab expert disagreed, saying the bird she handled seemed healthy weight. We also noticed that the report listed both birds as male - that is a little concerning but I suppose it could have been a clerical mistake. Bob concluded in the end that learning to fly in a city is very tough. There are unforgiving surfaces everywhere and he wonders/maybe assumes that Sally may have been the bird that smacked in to the window during that first week. Another question is how long was she stuck on the office building, or was she already sick and fell there, hitting her head.

The watch for Charlie and Bobbie will continue off and on as people have time to come downtown in the evenings. It is probably the best time, since Charlie does not seem to appear until the sun sets. Slowly over the next few weeks, if not earlier, the sightings will be fewer. Another new development is the adults coming back to the nest box and hanging out for long periods of time. I asked Bob about it today and he said it's possibly a 'taking back' of their territory behavior OR the light at the time of year triggers a nesting behavior. Bob joked that if they lay another clutch, he's turning the project over to me - he's too tired!

So here is the summary of the results from the wildlife department:

There was no sign of infectious disease in either bird. The lab saw evidence that both birds suffered from a huge fall. Bird number 1 had a ruptured crop (see definition at end of post) that led to a bacterial infection as well as a bruised heart. Bird number 2 was extremely emaciated and the crop/intestines were completely empty. The second bird also had a contusion on the top of the head attributed to a large fall.”

The summary from the lab written in the report on each bird was listed as follows:

Bird #1:

Cause of death is bacterial sepsis caused by infection of the crop compounded by infection of subcutaneous tissue secondary to rupture of the crop. Crop infections (ingluviitis) can occur due to ingestion of heavily contaminated ( bacteria) feed or is more commonly secondary to crop stasis in young birds.

Bird #2:

There is no evidence of infectious disease in this animal. The entire GI tract was empty indicating this animal did not feed for at least a few days. Metabolic complications associated with inanition in young birds include hypoglycemia, which may have contributed to a fall in this case, explaining the contusion on the top of the head.

Definition of crop: In a bird's digestive system, the crop is an expanded, muscular pouch near the gullet or throat. It is a part of the digestive tract, essentially an enlarged part of the esophagus. As with most other organisms that have a crop, the crop is used to temporarily store food. Not all birds have a crop. In adult doves and pigeons, the crop can produce crop milk to feed newly hatched birds.Scavenging birds, such as vultures, will gorge themselves when prey is abundant, causing their crop to bulge. They subsequently sit, sleepy or half torpid, to digest their food.Most raptors have one; like falcons, hawks, eagles and vultures (as stated above) but owls do not.


Anonymous said...

THANKS SO MUCH, LIZ, for doing this for all of us who wait to hear the latest news...All we can do is accept this sad news, and hope and trust that Charlie and Bobbie are thriving...We hope so much for that happiness.
Let us know what you think about the light being on (continuously???) in the Great River nest box??? It seems wrong and unnatural to me......

skygirlblue said...

Thanks from me too, Liz...I am so thankful that no diseases were found...but, it just saddens me to read what they did find. I guess it raises more questions for me than answers. But, I'll leave it at that.

RE: Light at Great River...I'm not a huge fan of "night lights" at some of these nests but a lot of these cam nests have them. Some are infrared and others, normal. I've watched GRE well into their night, and I really can't tell if they are being affected by the light. I guess like kids of all kinds, they seem to be able to doze/sleep anywhere and anytime. For Urban birds everywhere (and I don't really consider GRE urban) the city lights never go out. But one thing's for sure, the kids at GRE have really been putting on a show the last day or so...all 4 were there yesterday and got a few lessons in what NOT to do with high wind conditions!!!

Thanks again, Liz...and I pray that Bobbie and Charlie continue to thrive.

Anonymous said...

why does the report have such large inconsistencies in it, such as the gender?

Anonymous said...

Thank you to all who work so hard to let everyone know and share the joy of these wonderful creatures. Please do not dispair because of the loss of Sally and Amelia. The good you do clearly outweighs the sorrow we all share.
PS Would anyone consider moving the box to the roof of a building where the babies can practise flying short runs and wingacize before taking that leap?

Anonymous said...

placing the box on the roof, would allow the sun from the entire day, to strike the box and cook it like a pizza oven. on the east side, only the morning sun hits it, and from high noon to evening, it is in the shade.