Rehabilitation wildlife sees raptors flock as Oklahoma summer temperatures soar

This summer’s scorching temperatures have not only affected Oklahoma’s human population, but its wildlife population as well. in Wild Care Oklahomaa Noble Wildlife Rehabilitation Facility, the heat has caused an influx of juvenile Mississippi kites.

Mississippi kites are birds of prey that nest in the southern United States before they fly to South America to spend the winter—but when it’s too hot, children’s kites jump into their high nests to escape the heat.

faced Oklahoma Standard temperatures This summer, as residents prepare for another round of hot summer days with a nearly 100C high, more kites continue to appear in droves at the rehabilitation facility.

Director Inger Giuffrida said the best thing to do when you find a kite is to contact Wildcare.

“Because kite nests in Mississippi are on treetops, two things happen: One, they fall in very good ways,” Giuffrida said. “And secondly, it can be very difficult to get them back to the nest.”

Giuffrida recommends the following steps to take if a small raptor is found:

  1. Call WildCare at 405-872-9338.
  2. Look around for the bird’s parents. They often cry or hover over their heads, or they may dive into the bombs of humans who approach their children to protect them.
  3. If you can see the nest, take a picture of it.
  4. Gently place the plane in a box with a towel and a tight-fitting lid.
  5. Bring it to WildCare as soon as possible, and provide the staff with any relevant information about the bird’s parents and the nest.

Courtesy of WildCare Oklahoma

The plumage of juvenile Mississippi kites develops darker colors with age.

Giuffrida said that although the height of the nests can make regeneration difficult, there are alternative solutions. Temporary nests can be built on lower branches, and mother birds of prey often continue to care for their young in the new nest. But reuniting kites with their families is not possible in every case, and these juveniles remain at the center to be bred with other kites.

Other extreme weather events have affected kites in Mississippi in recent years. Giuffrida said last February severe winter storm Delayed the arrival of spring insects, and without them the kites would have lost their primary source of food. In the end, this has meant that many parenting kites are delaying having children until it is too late.

“We’ve seen kids come even at the beginning of September, and it was very tragic because they don’t have enough time to grow up and prepare to go back to South America,” Giuffrida said. “And I lost a lot of those kites in Mississippi last year because of the severe weather we had.”

Kites require around-the-clock care, with feedings every two hours during the day. Giuffrida said the center needs more volunteers to fill the kite feeding schedule. Information about volunteering It can be found here.

Giuffrida said the facility has received 109 kites from Mississippi so far this year, 52 of which have been juniors or semi-kids. And there may be more on the way — she said in 2020, 60% of their kites came after August 2. That year, WildCare recognized 242 kites.

Going forward, as the effects of climate change continue to show extreme weather events, Giuffrida said sensitive ecosystems and the groups of wildlife that live in them could face irreparable damage.

It’s just climatic interdependence. It has direct and immediate effects on things like insect populations. And people are like, “Well, who cares, they’re just bugs?” Goffrida said. “Well, insects pollinate our food and provide an essential food source for thousands of different animal species. And so they have a direct effect on us. We may not have felt it last year, but we have been for many years. [extreme weather]And we will definitely do that.”

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