May 19th - Spring has finally arrived even though it was 2 weeks late. It was a miraculous transformation.
I thought the snow would be here until June. However, early May was
unusually warm and in a couple of weeks the snow disappeared and the flowers
appeared. On May 15th
the last patch of snow left the front lawn. Some signs of winter
still remain in front of the loft.
first youngsters arrived on May 8th. By the weekend 4 more teams arrived
and another 4 teams arrived early in the week. Birds are settling in
well and no serious
health problems have occurred. As always a few youngsters had some
difficulties adjusting to their new environment. At feeding time they are watched closely to ensure
that all youngsters are eating well.
May 27th - The birds were let out for the first time
on Saturday and on Sunday. It was a typical first day. They slowly
sauntered out and 3 birds went up almost immediately. A few found new
perches in the trees and by the end of the second day the vast majority of
birds went out on there own. In about a week
the laggards will have no choice but to go out. On Sunday a strong gust
of wind shook the tall pine tree next to the barn and spooked about 20 birds.
Six birds spent the night out. All the birds were kept in on
Monday to allow the new arrivals some extra settling time. Today they
were kept in because of rain.
May 31st - Since Wednesday the birds have been out daily. Many
are making short circles around the yard and those not so venturesome are
flying up and down from the loft roof to the ground or to the roof of the house.
Some still choose to spend the odd night out. There could be some AWOL birds
but I won't know until I do an inventory early in June. So far the hawk has
not been a problem.
As expected some birds are struggling in making the adjustment to the
loft. The first thing that is noticeable is a lack of appetite. If a
youngster stops eating it is isolated. Three had to be sent to the sickbay
but were released back into to the loft after their appetites improved. In
the last few days three more had to be admitted and after the second day their
appetites began improving. Presently no youngsters are in a critical state
and none have been lost due to sickness. Participants will be notified in the
next few days if any of their youngster have been sent to sickbay.
My general impression is things under control at this time. At
this early stage trapping is going very well. The vast majority of birds
are coming in as soon as I whistle them in. Droppings are
very acceptable considering this is the intake period. I am cautiously optimistic
because from experience I realize June can be a very long month even though it
has only 30 days.
More on health management in early June.