Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2011 Stats

Since the Humans assume us birds can neither read nor count (silly Humans), they never give us the reports, charts and handouts they're always going ga-ga over. This assumption becomes especially irksome this time of year when the species and success numbers from 2011 come in. So, over the years, we've developed our own way of getting our talons on the information. Namely, theft.

Which Raptor do we send in to steal from the Humans? A small and darting falcon? No, too noisy. A silent owl, then? No, we can't put our attitudes aside long enough to be productive. Then who?

The Bald Eagle. Yes, that big and noisy bird is actually the queen of kleptoparasitism, or the act of stealing food from other animals. It's not a far leap to adapt those skills to steal documents instead of food. I'm afraid I can't give away any more details without endangering our clandestine operations.

Suffice it to say, she was able to obtain the preliminary numbers from 2011, including admissions, releases, and species counts. Enjoy!

  • Total number of bird cases: 242  (an average number, but plenty to keep the Humans busy)
  • Total number of raptor and vulture species: 22 (again, average)
  • Admissions by species (most notable):
    • American Kestrels: 59
    • Great Horned Owls: 48
    • Red-Tailed Hawks: 43
    • Swainson's Hawks: 27
    • Coopers Hawks: 8
    • Eastern Screech Owls: 8
    • Common Barn Owls: 7 (considerably lower than usual)
    • Prairie Falcons: 7
    • Sharp-Shinned Hawks: 7
    • Turkey Vultures: 5
    • Mississippi Kites: 2 (including the RMRP's first-ever adult)
  • Release rate of birds that survived the first 48 hours: 82%!!!
In total, one hundred and four injured, ill or orphaned raptors were given a Second Chance at Freedom in 2011. They came to the RMRP with broken wings, lacerations, burn wounds, emaciation, head trauma, poisoning, and more, and they left here with wings spread wide, eager (and able!) to touch the skies yet again. This incredible work was completed thanks to the hard work of the staff and volunteers, the generous donations received throughout the year, and, of course, to the remarkable spirit and tenacity of the birds themselves. 

Well done everyone!!  (And a big thank you to the Bald Eagle for her skills in surveillance and lock-picking...)

Want to congratulate us? Have questions about the numbers listed above? Leave a comment, I promise I'll get back to you! 


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