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2017 SWF June Newsletter
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Fledgling Time and the Summer Solstice!

What is a fledgling?  A fledgling is a baby bird that has outgrown its nest, but cannot quite fly yet.  Parents will still feed the young out of the nest and even on the ground.  This happens with all birds from eagles, hawks, owls and falcons; to little blackbirds, robins, finches and hummingbirds.  Depending on the species, baby birds are nearly full size between 3 to 12 weeks, but still have to learn to fly and find food.

Keeping your pets and children away from them is the hard part.  Pets may want to eat them and children want to rescue them.  The best advice is if they are not in a life threatening situation, leave the fledglings alone.  If found in the street or on the sidewalk, pick them up and place them in a nearby tree or bush.   It does not have to be the same tree their nest is in, just nearby, so don't worry if you don’t know where the nest is.

June has kept us busy with hummingbirds, finches, sparrows, blackbirds, robins, a pygmy owl, kestrel falcons, coopers hawks, a red tailed hawk and a golden eagle arriving for care.  Most of the babies that arrived in May have been released, but more keep coming.  Some birds look very similar as babies, so it can be difficult at times to be sure exactly what type of bird we have in our care.  This uncertain identity happens among some of the small songbirds, small owls, and among the varied types of doves and pigeons.  As the birds get a little older, their identity becomes clear.

In the next month or so we will have some young kestrel falcons, coopers hawks and golden eagles ready for release, so check our Facebook pages regularly for updates.  The time between arriving in critical condition, weak or sick or a fledgling, until it is time to release these critters varies quite a bit with each animal, so it is hard to pinpoint an exact date that they will each be ready for release.  This is why we often times only have a few days to a couple weeks notice for when a release is coming up.  Other times, our Director of Wildlife Services and head wildlife rehabilitator, Martin Tyner, determines that an animal is ready to go and cannot stay in our facilities safely any longer.  When this is the case, he will often release them immediately himself, as the welfare of the animals is always our top priority.

The kestrel falcon that came in last January with his right wing feathers so badly damaged that he could not fly, is finally beginning to molt.  This means he is dropping a few old and damaged feathers and is in the process of growing new ones in their place.  This is a process that happens naturally, usually during the summer months when food is more abundant.  It takes a little time as they all do not fall out at the same time.  We hope he will be ready for release around the end of July or so.

As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, most of the smaller birds, from finches to robins, are released around the Tyner's home with plenty of trees, bushes, flowers, bird feeders and water for them to enjoy.  It is a gradual process, and one we look forward to incorporating into the Cedar Canyon Nature Park around our Visitor Center once it is built, where the public will be able to enjoy seeing more of this process from a distance among beautiful natural habitat.

The baby squirrel that arrived in May was released at the Cedar Canyon Nature Park late in June.  It went from being very dependent on us for its survival and nourishment to becoming quite independent and wild within just a few weeks.  When they get to this stage, it becomes very clear how much they really do belong in the wild and are not meant to be kept as pets.

SWF Wish List
 
Have you been wanting to donate to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation (SWF), but have been unsure how you might be able to help?  Are you decluttering and wish you could donate some of your useful items to someone who could really use them?  You may be in luck!  The SWF has begun to put together a Wish List of items that we would like for our offices and for the maintenance of the Cedar Canyon Nature Park (CCNP).  Please note, the items donated need to be in good enough condition that they can be used for their required purpose without needing repair.  Also, some items may not be able to be picked up right away as we depend heavily on volunteers and have to work around their schedules.  Take a look through our list and see if you might have some items that may help us out.  Contact us at info@gowildlife.org or on Facebook if you have items you have an interest in donating and we will let you know if they will work for us and how soon we can acquire them.   
  • Shipping Containers (40ft)
  • Leaf Blower (preferably cordless)
  • Snow Blower
  • Shop Vac
  • Shovels
  • Rakes
  • Hand Trowels
  • Work Gloves
  • Broom
  • Push Broom
  • Mop
  • Heavy Duty Outdoor Hose
  • Heavy Duty Outdoor Extension Cord
  • Freezer
  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • Metal Doors
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Outdoor Trashbags

Items will be added to this list as development of the CCNP continues, such as office and staff room furniture.  You can keep up with our progress by checking out www.gowildlife.org and following us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook.  Thank you for your continued support!  
The baby great horned owl that was brought to us in April by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources was released on June 24, just before sunset at the Summer Solstice Event held at the Parowan Gap.  A powerful bird of prey, once the great horned owl was ready for release, we only had a few days to post about it.  This particular owl was released by Connie Sowards on behalf of the Family Support Center.  The Family Support Center is a non-profit organization that provides a variety of services that help local families get back on their feet.  This release was performed in front of the great horned owl petroglyph found at the Parowan Gap just as the sun was beginning to set.  Learn more about the Family Support Center and the services they provide at their website.

The golden eagle that arrived June 23rd was found trapped in a slot canyon by Jim and Caitlin Clery, owners of Utah Canyon Outdoors in Escalante.  They, along with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ranger, Michael Thompson rescued this juvenile just in time.  Once Martin Tyner had the opportunity to examine the eagle, it was determined that it is one of this year’s babies that left the nest, learned to fly, but got separated from its parents.  It was half its normal body weight when it arrived.  Emaciated and dehydrated, Martin immediately gave the eagle a feeding on its arrival.  View a video of its first feeding below with Caitlin holding it.

We were concerned about it surviving the night, but after a week, he is now eating with gusto on his own.  He has a strong will to live and Martin believes he will make a full recovery and will be ready for release towards the end of July or early August.  Check out the Clery's story of this eagle's exciting rescue here.  Please note, the eagle photo below was taken by the Clery's and the owl release photo was taken by Bobby Valero.  Thank you for sharing your photos with us!  We have been taking a lot of video footage of our rescued wildlife.  Follow us on our Facebook page, YouTube channel and visit our website to catch more videos as they are edited and uploaded!
Eagle rescued from slot canyon gets first feeding.
June 30th was the first Campfire Concert in the Canyon for the 2017 season!  For those who are unfamiliar with these annual events, the SWF holds a Campfire Concert at the Cedar Canyon Nature Park campfire area the last Friday of each month from June through September.  That means, this years Campfire Concerts will fall on June 30th, July 28th, August 25th and September 29th.  Each Campfire Concert normally starts off with an educational speaker around 6:15pm.  Then, local musicians perform starting at about 7:00pm and continue until 8:30 or 9:00pm.  Food vendors are invited to set up in our parking area throughout the event, the Youth Volunteer Corp provide free face painting for kids to enjoy, s'mores are available at the campfire, and an SWF booth is set up with volunteers available to answer questions and accept donations.

Our June 30th Campfire Concert started out with Bill Heyborne, an SUU professor and the head of the SUU Animal Ambassadors.  He talked about snake safety and introduced the crowd to two young snakes and two tortoises who came with him.  Everyone enjoyed having their questions answered and handling the animal ambassadors.  Next, local musician Marc Duncan with Duncan's Galactic Soapbox performed.  The children had a wonderful time getting their faces painted by the youth volunteers and everyone enjoyed snacking on s'mores and relaxing surrounded by nature and beautiful music.  

You will not want to miss our July 28th Campfire Concert.  This one will be extra special, focusing on Utah Foster Care as our educational speakers starting at 6pm.  As mentioned previously, we have some kestrel falcons in rehabilitation right now.  Three will be ready for release Saturday July 8th, but the fourth kestrel falcon that is molting may be ready for release towards the end of July.  The releases will take place at the Cedar Canyon Nature Park.  As kestrel falcons are the smallest falcons, they are safe for older children to be able to release.  We were inspired to partner with Utah Foster Care for a special children's release.  Children who are old enough who have been in the Utah Foster Care system will have the opportunity to submit creative works entitled "Take Flight".  Four children will be selected to release the kestrel falcons.  We want this experience and release to be meaningful for all of the children in, or have been in the foster care system and their families.  Utah Foster Care is currently in desperate need of foster families.  In Cedar City alone there are more children in the system than there are foster families available.  There are also many children in the system who are in need of forever families.  Visit the Utah Foster Care website to learn more about becoming a foster parent or about children that are waiting for adoption.  Information about Utah Foster Care will be given at the Campfire Concert and some of the children will share their creative works.  Depending on when the kestrel falcons are ready for release, they may be released at the Campfire Concert or a few days before or after.  Follow our social media pages as the date gets closer.  Local food truck Pronto Pups and local food vendor Dutch Oven Delights will be in our parking area serving delicious food, and as always, face painting and s'mores will be available.      

Cedar City also has lots of July events, so keep an eye out for our SWF booth at July Jamboree, the Renaissance Faire, and others.  Any donations made at our booths in July will put you in a drawing for a beautiful wolf poster.  The drawing will take place at our July Campfire Concert, so make sure you put your name and phone number on your ticket so that we can contact you if you win!
The Information Destination at the Cedar Canyon Nature Park has continued to progress.  Summit Valley Plumbing, our plumbing subcontractor, and Hahn Electric, our electrical subcontractor, got to work running the plumbing and electrical cables in preparation for their final hook up, which will provide the ADA restrooms with running water, flushing toilets, solar light tubes for lighting the interior and dark sky friendly lighting for the exterior.  Dark sky friendly lighting is designed to reduce light pollution, which we feel is vital for the Cedar Canyon Nature Park to allow for it to continue to be a place where the night sky and its many constellations can be enjoyed without park lighting affecting what can be seen.  Local supplier, Electric Avenue supplied and installed the solar light tubes for us and Stout Roofing, our roofing subcontractor, dried in our roofing in preparation for the installation of our steel roofing which will be completed in July.  The last weekend of June, Ben Herring of Back to Basics, our subcontractor in charge of excavation, began work on the installation of our septic system and water hook-up.  He will finish leveling the area around the Information Destination in preparation for our concrete paths, grade our trail head and build up our retaining wall in July.  You can also expect to see our doors and frames installed by Imperial Window and Door in the next couple of weeks.  We expect the Information Destination to be completed in August.

Additionally, grant requests have begun to be sent out seeking funding for our Welcome Center and Museum of Natural History as well as our Eagle Flight Cage.  If you are interested in volunteering your time in helping out with pouring concrete, landscaping around the Information Destination and our Native Plant Garden, gathering sandstone for our stone facade, writing grant requests or some of our other awesome projects, please feel free to contact us on Facebook or via email at info@gowildlife.org.
Copyright © 2017 Southwest Wildlife Foundation Inc., All rights reserved.


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