Hello and Goodbye

Say hello to Herman, the new mascot at Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve.  Herman is a young white tailed deer, and part of the small herd residing at the Preserve. He was born in 2010, and is now starting to grow his first antlers. We put out salt and mineral blocks, and occasionally feed them corn.

Herman seems unafraid of people, approaching anyone who seems friendly. People may enjoy this activity, but Herman is placing himself at risk, since people, unfortunately, can’t always be trusted. He’s been going for snacks with some of the neighbors, who can’t resist this cute guy. Herman licks people for the salt from their sweat.  As he matures and grows into an adult buck, this may not be so much fun.  Please, if you see Herman at the Preserve, enjoy the opportunity to observe a wild creature up close, but resist the temptation to pet or feed him. Deer should be afraid of people, for both their safety and ours.

Adell was found hanging around a neighbor of Tavia’s a few weeks ago, and Raptor Rehabilitation of Ky. came to get her.  We call her Adell because she was put in a Dell computer box for the trip to the Rehab Center.  It seemed an appropriate name. (Click any photo for a larger version.)

After a while, it was decided that nothing was really wrong, and the bird could be released back into the wild.  Since Raptor Rehab was scheduled to come to our Ravishing Raptors Open House on June 18, it was the perfect time and place for the release.   When the crate opened, she didn’t hesitate but flew directly to a large pine tree near the parking lot.

As often happens at these releases, Adell was instantly spotted by a pair of Northern Mockingbirds.  Crows, Blue Jays and Mockingbirds are among the most persistent of birds known for mobbing hawks. That is, these smaller birds will chase and harass the larger hawk any time they see one. Some people say it’s to defend their own nests, or to warn other nesting birds nearby.  But I have seen this mobbing behavior in other seasons when there are no nests to be found.  I think they do it just to be mean.

As a young bird, poor Adell didn’t know what to do.  Here she is in a new location, and the neighbors just aren’t being nice at all!  She turned around and moved from branch to branch trying to avoid the Mockingbirds. Eventually, she learned the first lesson and simply flew away to a quieter part of the woods.

Adell has an unusual coloration for a Red Tailed Hawk.  Her breast is a distinct rusty color, while most Red Tails have a white or creamy breast. If she stays in this area, we will be sure to recognize her and wish her well. These photos are all taken by Tavia Cathcart, since I was part of the Raptor Program that day and actually made the release!

Naturally yours,