Fly Away Home

A rehabilitated grosbeak sitting in a tree after release

Last week, we received a call about an injured bird in the valley. After being taken to the vet and receiving some medical attention, he came to us for rehabilitation. While resting and healing, he was visited by the local sparrows, who never left him without company.

A black and yellow bird sitting in a cage prior to being released into the wild after being treated for injuries by a licensed wildlife rehabilitator
The Grosbeak before releas • Photo by Dawn Harrison

Deciding when a bird is well enough to fly is a bit tricky, but when he gives you a look that clearly says, “Let me out!” after flying around his cage—thus showing he’s ready to take to the skies—you may just make the same call I did and decide he is ready to be on his way. The bird specialist at the local vet informed us that this particular bird, a Grosbeak, is migratory and that we should release him near trees on our property. So fellow Earthfire employee Chelsea and I did just that. Upon opening the cage, he immediately showed that he was strong enough to fly by jetting out into the open and joining his sparrow friends in a nearby tree. Once free, he sat contemplatively in the tree assessing his options, and by sunset he was gone.

Foxes on the Hunt

What do you do when the beautiful hens have given more eggs than can be used? You have an Easter Egg Hunt of course! But not just any hunt, I’m talking about an Easter Egg Hunt for the foxes! First comes the hard part of distracting them so that you can hide the eggs. I found that the best way was to have a decoy person to keep their attention elsewhere. Once hidden (in plain sight but not at ground level), ‘talking’ foxes into participating in a hunt is actually quite easy. They know you had treats when you went in with them. When you leave and they didn’t get said treats, they go hunting! All it takes is one of them to find the treasured prize and then everyone else knows what they’re looking for! That’s when the real fun begins! I didn’t think it would be very exciting with limited hiding options in winter, but I was happily proven wrong. Each time someone found their prize, they played keep away until the next one was found and so on. I must admit that I am now hooked on egg hunts, Easter or no Easter! I assume that the foxes will be happy to accommodate.

Brown and black goat wearing a red collar gives a comical look to the camera
Adrianna the goat • Photo by Earthfire Institute

Adrianna: The Self-Milking Goat

Adrianna the goat has learned a new trick. She is producing milk although she’s not been bred in years—but that’s not the trick. This morning she was curled up on her hay and looked much like a dog does when cleaning itself. Her leg was cocked up and she was pulling at her teat. My initial thought was that she was grooming herself, but my errant thought was soon put out to pasture. As she heard me walking up, she gave me a look that told me just how proud she was of herself. Her beautiful face was perky and innocent as the corner of her mouth dribbled foamy milk. Needless to say, she has learned how to milk herself. I guess she’s not so impressed with my milking skills! It was quite precious—and of course, I didn’t have a camera with me…

For more Earthfire Stories, subscribe to our newsletter.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our privacy policy.