Thursday, January 04, 2007

Victory to Get New Feathers!

Victory continues to undergo intensive conditioning inside of a flight cage at the Ohio Wildlife Center. She shows strong lift and power but does tire easily. One problem is that several of her flight feathers are broken, an unfortunate occurrence when a bird of prey is kept inside of a cage. It isn’t known if her fatigue is a result of the injury or compensation for the broken feathers. So, the next stage in her treatment is give her “new” feathers to replace the broken ones through the process of imping. The imping of feathers was developed by falconers and uses unbroken feathers from one bird to repair the feathers of another. Donor feathers are obtained from other birds that have died or live birds that have molted. Individual feathers have a unique shape and length and must be matched closely before being joined to the remaining shaft on the bird. Once Victory gets her “new” feathers, her caregivers will be better able to evaluate her true capacity for flight and will have a better idea of if/when she may be releasable.

There hasn’t been much activity at the nest ledge lately, which is typical for this time of year. Orville has been seen occasionally but Scout has not been confirmed since the middle of December. It is possible that she may have migrated out of the downtown area for the winter.