Laura Jordan offers advice to keep birds safe
Throughout the summer, Medina Raptor Center Executive Director Laura Jordan works from sun up to sun down. She has worked tirelessly since she founded the nonprofit bird rehabilitation center in 1991 to educate the community about birds as well as to provide the appropriate general and medical care to birds in need.
Although most birds are currently reaching the end of their nesting season, Medina County residents may still encounter young or injured birds in need of help. To keep you informed and to keep our wild feathered friends safe, Jordan offers some pointers to keep in mind.
“It is normal to see fledgling birds on the ground.”
When baby birds “fledge,” they reach the point in their life where they have developed the feathers necessary for flight. When these birds are ready to leave their nests, it is normal for them to spend around four days on the ground as they learn to fly. These birds are being taken care of by their parents, who will continue to feed and watch them. Grounded birds should be observed for sign of injury or abandonment.
“Fledgling birds are very commonly mistaken for injured birds.”
Fledgling birds will flutter their wings and seemingly bounce around. In birds, a common sign of injury is the inability to stand up. If they fall over, are bleeding, or are found grounded in a dangerous area, such as beside a road, there is cause for concern.
“The Medina Raptor Center will be finishing its busy season in August. We’ll likely see a lot of baby raptors that fail to figure out how to hunt on their own.”
Young birds of prey learn to hunt from their parents. If they do not properly learn to hunt, they may starve. These birds will behave very differently than fledgling birds, and may look and act ill.
“Baby birds play as a part of their learning process—and your litter may look fun.”
This is always a problem for young raptors, who tend to get a hold of plastic. Litter may inevitably result in injury for many birds that are drawn to trash.
“They are cute, but wild birds are not pets. Not only is it against the law, but diet is critical to these creatures.”
Each species of bird has a unique diet. Foods that humans often feed birds, such as cereal or oatmeal, are not a part of their natural diet and are very hard on their digestive system. Birds have no mammary glands and do not produce milk, so they also cannot consume milk.
“We coexist with wildlife, yet a huge disconnect seems to exist within people.”
Jordan advises people to take the opportunity to learn about the wildlife in their backyard, as it is important to understand how humans impact their wild neighbors. The Medina Raptor Center is focusing on offering educational activities and guided tours of the rehabilitation center to the county now that their “busy baby season” is over, and many other local organizations offer educational opportunities as well.