The May 4th Meet the Fledglings program was a huge success thanks to the Wild Bird Fund and the 70+ visitors who came out to meet some of NYC’s most notorious residents- baby pigeons!
The event began with a fascinating presentation by Rita McMahon of the Wild Bird Fund. First, she spoke about the different birds that live in our city. Did you know that Ibises have made nests in the East River? Or that a Snowy Owl has been sighted at Jones Beach? Rita also told us about some birds that have been rehabilitated by the Wild Bird Fund. One great success story was Gully the Laughing Gull who came to the WBF with a broken leg. When Gully’s leg healed enough, he had to use it; so he learned to run on command when his trainer clapped! “Finally, Rita talked about when and when not to rescue a bird, which is also explained well on this “I Found a Baby Bird,Now What?“ flyer that the Wild Bird Fund passed out at the event. Here is Rita giving the presentation:
Then it was time to feed the birds! Each child who came got to feed some baby pigeons a piece of puppy chow or give them seeds from a special feeder. The WBF volunteers helped, and they could tell when the birds were getting full by feeling under their wings. Take a look at how the feeding happened!
After the birds were full, everyone made nests for future baby bird patients at the WBF. All we needed to make a nest were:
– one-foot-square piece of soft, natural fabric
– one pint-sized plastic mesh berry box
– one crew sock
– one pair of kids’ safety scissors
We centered the fabric square over the berry box and pressed it down. Then we cut off the leg part of the sock and placed that at the bottom of the box. That’s all! This nest is soft on the sides and has some scratchy fabric at the bottom for the birds to sink their feet into so they don’t tip over. All the kids donated their nests to the Wild Bird Fund. Here are some photos of the process and finished products.
All in all, everyone had fun, and it was a great way to honor John James Audubon and our exhibition, Audubon’s Aviary. If you haven’t visited the exhibition yet, you have until May 19th to do so. See you around the galleries!
All photos are by Valeska Stupak