Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Keeping the birds' heads above water

I really want to post about my visit with Trixie before she left, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.
The big story around here is the water. What they are calling "moderate" flooding, has shut down roads and schools all over the area. For example, Isabelle's school was closed today due to a power outage from high water. We haven't seen this much water since the big Flood of 1997.

After a program last night (and being soaked to the skin getting birds and putting them back...can't use an umbrella) I was looking at the driveway at RAPTOR and thinking, "Well, Mill Creek won't get this far." There was a nice stream of water coursing down the driveway, but that happens frequently during heavy rain.

Today, the water got that far.

raptor flood 1
When I arrived for the board meeting, all of the education birds from the west side of the yard had been evacuated to the barn in carriers. The water is deep enough to drown all of our small birds and even our larger, non-flighted ones. Birds of prey can't swim much, by the way. And if they are permanently disabled, their chances are zero.

raptor flood 3
Mill Creek isn't even visible through these trees when it is in its banks. And here it was, in the yard. And yes, that is SNOW.

During the 2 hour meeting, the water had reached my car:

raptor flood 2
There was a small spit of dry land to the back door, but my feet got wet as I got in the front.

Isis raptor flood
Isis: "I hate this carrier. But I would rather be here than in my mew, treading water."

The trick is to figure out how to house the birds until the cages are dried out. That might take 2 days. Perching them out in the yard won't work, even if someone babysits them. The yard is so saturated, the perches won't stay up.
The last part is what makes me really nervous: There is one way into the street that RAPTOR is on...over a bridge that crosses Mill Creek. If that closes, I guess we would have to swim across?

1 comment:

Mary said...

That's too much. Floods in a rain/snow storm. Sorry...

Last spring the raptor center here lost of a nest of bald eagle hatchlings during flooding rains.

I hope the sun gets warm and dries everything quickly!