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Arctic Views of Snowy Owls From Barrow, AK

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July 28, 2014

Return of the Pileated Woodpecker

We haven't seen the Pileated Woodpecker for a while and now it returns to load up on suet. For more information on one of the most striking and largest woodpeckers in North America check out http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/pileated_woodpecker/id. For more information on Blue Jays check out http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Blue_Jay/id. Click 'More...' for information on the feeders and feed. Details regarding the large cage feeder can be found here http://johnsoncity.wbu.com/content/show/93283. 

July 27, 2014

E3 has Bandages Removed

Almost six weeks after injury, E3's bandage was able to be removed by the veterinarians at the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center. The good news is that E3 seems comfortable without the bandage and is holding his wing in a nearly perfect position. However, at this time, his wing has a limited range of motion. This is to be expected after being wrapped, and because of the callus and scar tissue that have formed around the break. E3 has been slowly stretching his wing at his own pace, which is great as this activity increases the flexibility of his joints. Without a return to a full range of motion in his injured wing, it less likely that E3 will be releasable, but he still has a way to go with rehabilitation before the veterinarians know what he will ultimately be capable of doing. E3 has been preening and rearranging the new feathers that grew in over the injury site and continues to be a good patient. Here is a picture of him just after his bandage was removed. 

July 23, 2014

Male Parent Delivers Lemming to Owlet, Female Parent Looks On

Once the young leave the nest when they are about 25 days old, they are fed entirely by the parents for at least another five weeks. Here we see the almost entirely white male delivering a lemming. After around 5 weeks after leaving the nest the young can begin to hunt for themselves. They are probably partly fed for at least another week or two while they are still poor at hunting. As you can see this owlet still has some grey downy feathers. Spending a month on the ground close to the nest, their appearance changes quickly. Plumage around the eyes and beak turns lighter. Black and white speckled wing covert feathers become noticeable. You can see these feathers when the owlet stretches its wings. Flight and tail feathers grow daily. By the time they are six weeks old, the young start looking like adults with black speckles and some remaining downy plumage, mainly on the head. The tail feathers take longer to develop than the flight feathers. Once these are developed the young should be able to start flying.  

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