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Chippy the barn swallow

Juvenile barn swallow
One of the benefits of the museum is that we are exposed to a wide range of animals, not just fish. As a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, I have the opportunity to care for many types of local wildlife from red foxes to barn swallows and everything in between. This swallow (pictured above) was found at Little Creek Reservoir dehydrated, malnourished, and exposed on a very hot day. I have mentored staff member Patrycja Lawryniuk on its care and she thankfully shares the duties caring for it. Birds are often mistakenly picked up by humans who assume they were abandoned – most are not – and people quickly realize that they take an extraordinary amount of care. This little guy is fed every 45 minutes from dawn to dark. Because of its high metabolism it has grown quickly from a fledgling (above) to a flighted adult (pictured below) in less than two weeks.
This handsome bird, nicknamed “Chippy” has thrived primarily on insects, and will soon be released back into the wild to catch his own bugs. When you get an up-close experience with a bird, and I am reminded every time, you realize how delicate, beautiful and complex birds are. And what a joy it is to watch them fly off into the wild. 
***Wild animals, especially birds should only be cared for by licensed caregivers or animal medical professionals. If you do find an injured/orphaned bird here is a helpful website; http://birding.about.com/od/birdingbasics/a/findbabybirds.htm 

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