On Saturday , September 25, the club visited Tri-State Bird Rescue in Newark, Delaware. Sixteen youth birders and fourteen adults experienced a wonderful tour given by Jill Constantine, a Tri-State volunteer who is a great educator.
Tri-State’s mission is to rehabilitate and release orphaned and injured wildlife, as well as educating the public about the importance of protecting our wild birds.
Jill showed us the special kitchen where the bird’s meals are prepared. Containers of various dried seeds and fruits line the shelves, while mealworms and other insects are be found in the fridge. The freezer holds special treats for the raptors: frozen rodents and fish! We learned that the Bald Eagle dines on a large rat and a whole fish each day!
Tri-State also specializes in caring for birds that get caught in oil spills. We saw the special tubs and trays where oiled birds are scrubbed with water and Dawn dish detergent(!), which slowly removes the layers of black slime from their feathers.
Outside the building, we saw the large flight cages that allow rehabilitated birds to regain strength and exercise their flight muscles. We also met a special bird that is used for education: Ishta Tanka, a beautiful Peregrine Falcon that cannot be released. This amazing raptor is still powerful and impressive inside a flight cage. His eyes are outlined in bright yellow!
After the great tour, we headed out for a bird walk on the birding trail through Middle Run Natural Area, a park that surrounds Tri-State. In the fields, the skies were full of high-flying Tree Swallows migrating south. A Cedar Waxwing perched nicely so we could look at it through the scope. We saw a Cooper’s Hawk, a flock of Blue Jays, Gray Catbird, and a pretty Eastern Phoebe.
We look forward to visiting Tri-State and Middle Run again!