Saturday, October 13, 2007

falling asleep on my feet

after another few hours at a natural sciences exhibition where the rehab centre had a stand (I was there yesterday as well). We get invited to a lot of shows, most of which entail standing around answering questions about the centre, telling them what we do, and in my case at least, feeding baby birds that can't stay home on their own. This one also involved a lot of schools who had to fill in a workbook, so it was also answering the same 14 questions over and over. And over again. Although I did think it kind of defeated the purpose of having questions at all and made me feel very old, because I kept thinking that back in the dark ages when I was at school we would have been expected to go home or to the library and learn something by actually looking up the answers.
In books, never mind having internet access to all the info you could ever want about anything. Make that old and crotchety....

For light relief though, I picked up a fledgling spotted eagle owl (pic is of a nestling) at dusk yesterday in a local park - had been seen on the ground by dogwalkers who were absolutely sure it had a broken wing. I couldn't feel a break, but wanted to make certain, so I brought it home to get a second opinion from another volunteer. When we were both happy that there were no breaks, and the reason it wasn't flying was just because it doesn't know how to yet, the centre manager asked that it be returned either to the park if possible, or to one of the adjacent houses. So this afternoon, I took it back, found a safe and well-camouflaged spot for it close to one of the adults and released him. Before I left, I had the satisfaction of seeing a parent flying down to him. A feel-good rescue all round.

And now, at a ridiculous hour for a Saturday night, I'm off to bed. There are nine little beaks who will be waiting eagerly from sunrise on to be filled - as well as a whole lot more who really don't believe that they are big enough to eat by themselves yet and will add their plaintive cries to the mix. No wonder birds have short maturation periods; if they took as long as most mammals do, the parents would die of exhaustion before they ever raised any young to the self-feeding age....

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