I was out of town yesterday (more on that later) and I received a text from Miguel that we had somebody new on the farm. He wanted to know what I wanted to do about it.
Miguel said he was hurt and could not fly. Well heck. These things, besides eating chickens, are Federally protected. I grabbed my trusty smart phone and started looking up Wildlife folks. I wanted to talk to a State agency because they are locals and generally more helpful but I figured this guy was Federal so I’d start with the Feds. I found the local number for the US Fish and Wildlife folks and a voice mail answered that rattled off the NC state agency number and a number in Atlanta for the Feds. Oh well, I tried.
So then I looked up the State wildlife crowd and as expected I had a nice lady on the phone in about 30 seconds. She emailed me the number for their “raptor specialists” and wished me luck. Two numbers actually for two different people. So I called the first guy. I told him who I was, what was going on, and the state folks had given me his number. He spends a few minutes trying to convince me that the bird is actually ok, it’s just sitting over food. I said that my guy who is actually looking at it is smarter than the average bear and can tell the difference between a hungry animal and an injured animal. Then he tells me he’s actually going to the beach so I could I call the other number they gave me.
So I call the second guy. I tell him I have a picture of the bird and he says to send it over. I send the picture above and he calls me back and says, “That bird is sitting on food. That’s the classic pose of a bird over food.” I explain again that being farmers and all, we can tell the difference between feeding and dying. Reluctantly he says to throw a box over the bird and he will send a volunteer out.
We’ll see how that goes in the next post.