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:
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.
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.