Welcome to the new home of That Avian Blog!
Certain of North America’s birds, such as cardinals, indigo buntings and bobwhite quail, feature prominently in European aviculture but are prohibited by law to bird keepers in the USA. Licensed wildlife rehabilitators may, however, care for injured birds in certain circumstances (the birds must be released once recovered or turned over to a suitable facility if release proves inadvisable).
Those seeking experience with native species should consider training as a wildlife rehabilitator. Licensing requirements vary from state to state, so check with your local Department of Environmental Conservation, or corresponding state agency, for details.
Some of my most memorable bird-keeping experiences arose in conjunction with 30+ years of caring for injured wild birds. Most recently, I raised an American kestrel, Falco sparverius (“sparrow hawk” to old timers such as myself). This tiny falcon, arguably the world’s most colorful, has made an amazing comeback in urban areas throughout the USA. I know of a nest in the heart of NYC’s noisy East Village neighborhood, and have received individuals recovered from midtown Manhattan, the south Bronx and central Brooklyn. In contrast to most falcons, the kestrel feeds largely upon insects – in NYC it favors cicadas in late summer, but I have yet to discover what forms the bulk of the diet at other times.
The bird I raised recently proved unable to fly adequately due to his injuries, and is now a quite favored addition to the collection of a well-run nature center.
I’ll write about my bird-rehabilitation experiences from time to time. Meanwhile, please share your own thoughts and questions. Thanks, until next time, Frank.
Information concerning wildlife rehabilitators and rehabilitation centers, as well as other useful links, is posted at: