Tuesday, July 29, 2014
That's The Spot
Earlier this month I received news that World Bird Sanctuary’s Education Training Center, or ETC, would be housing a white pelican nicknamed Nigel. I have written about him in a previous blog, but for those who don’t know, Nigel was rehabilitated at the wildlife hospital located at WBS.
From this perspective Nigel is all beak (photo: Adam Triska)
After several months of rehab, Nigel has shown some improvement but still is unable to walk. It was decided that the best thing would be to keep Nigel in the care of people for the remainder of his life. The injury to his left leg and foot is just too debilitating for him to survive in the wild.
Nigel spends his days in an indoor pool where he swims and eats at his leisure. One of Nigel’s favorite activities of the day is when we help him preen the feathers around his head and neck. Preening can be described as the behaviors associated with the cleaning or upkeep of the feathers on a bird. We noticed that he was unable to remove the outer casing of the new feathers growing in, and it seemed uncomfortable for him, so daily we help him out by lightly scratching around his head and neck. I scratched on the back of his head and he stretched his neck out and started to move his bad leg in a scratching motion, just like a dog does when you scratch behind its ears! It was a great indication that he was enjoying the extra attention. It was also a comical and gratifying experience for me.
As much as we enjoy Nigel, hopefully his stay at the ETC will be short. We are currently working to place Nigel at a different facility. We want to send him to a place where he will be able to enjoy an outdoor pond and some new pelican friends. He has been a great resident and teacher to the new interns and volunteers and will be sorely missed when he goes to his new home.