Raptor Rehabilitation and Research

 ! FIRST AID !        NEW >> "Rosie", the Peregrine


With the growing number of birds my interest in them grew. I started taking notes and tried to spend as much of my time with them as possible. As mentioned in the INTRODUCTION imprinted birds seemed worth keeping an eye on. I have always felt kind of guilty when I came across such a poor being, the life of which had been partly "destroyed" by man.

It is sometimes a hard job to find out to which extent a bird is imprinted. I do not even know the complete life history of one single imprint, as they are confiscated birds and thus got a "life-sentence" at EGS Center. The idea behind all my work is to find out as much as possible about each individual using the methods of ethology: mostly watching the bird's behaviour towards man, towards other birds of the same species and taking notes. I have asked myself right from the beginning of my studies, if it were possible to "rearrange" the lives of these birds and make their future more rewarding. I have found out that in most cases it is. With a lot of instinct I dare say you can even "guide" them back to an almost normal life. The clue is to get to know the birds' personalities. They are all different, even if they are siblings of the same species. First of all you have to accept them as they are if you really want to help them. A pair of Saker Falcons (Falco cherrug) are my true favourites at the moment. The birds being very responsive, I managed to pair them successfully after a trial-and-error period of two years. Though both birds are imprinted on man and treated me as their partner with all the well-known behavioural details, they copulate now, lay and incubate their eggs quite normally. And the eggs proved to be fertile ...

"Jurii" and "Lady" at the nest ledge during courtship and feeding - believe it or not, I took these photos inside the aviary, only about 8 feet away! (Click to enlarge, use the BACK-button of your browser to return!)

I have also tried to build the ideal aviaries and changed their interior ever so often to adapt them to the needs of the birds, which is of course also a matter of money. I have never taken a penny from anybody else and not tried fund raising yet, but this will surely be necessary in the future (Welcome all you raptor-crazy millionaires out there!!). This has become an important part of my research work: How does the interior of an aviary affect a bird's life and behaviour? I have to fight one great disadvantage - the facility is inside town! This limits the height of aviaries a lot. Have a look:

Outside and inside view of some aviaries (Click to enlarge, use the BACK-button of your browser to return!)


P. Mortem
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