By Dr. Scott Ford
Yesterday my husband and I went for our first long drive this year to go pick up some chicken chicks from our friend, Foxfeather Zenkova. Although the pandemic is far from over, we were forced to make this trip now or never due to the timing of the hatch. We took precautions of wearing masks when we went into public spaces, which was very little anyway.
It’s always a fun visit as the Zenkovas live in a world of birds. Emus, ducks, chickens, turkeys, peacocks, parrots, and some really unique education birds including a kestrel and a vulture! She is legally permitted to have and train these birds as well as to act as a way station for several species of wild birds.
As luck would have it, she had just rescued a baby bald eagle and I was only too happy to check it out. She works in cooperation with The Raptor Center (TRC) at the University of Minnesota, which is considered to be the premier raptor center in the entire US. I’m happy to say that the eagle checked out fine. We considered shipping on for x-rays and blood work, just to be extra sure, but that always has to be weighed carefully against the benefits of just getting it back with its parents for rearing. After conferring with TRC, it was decided to place the bird back into a lower part of the same nest tree and monitor for the parents to take over caring for it.
Foxfeather has her own non-profit that seeks to help treat wild birds and educate the public about birds of prey. Her special species of interest are vultures. She keeps up a lively Twitter account about her vulture and bird adventures. And, she’s also a talented artist! Check out her store (foxloft.com) or her Patreon and support her work while getting something fun and birdy for yourself!