Wildlife researcher Joe Rogers has a lot to say about birds, and kept even the youngest attendees fascinated. Of course, talking while showing off a live raptor keeps things exciting.
Rogers visited Wild Birds Unlimited on Northland Drive on Saturday, July 25. He brought live, rescued birds of prey to demonstrate during his educational talk. Included were owls, hawks and a turkey vulture.
Rogers shared many reasons our birds are on the decline in Michigan, and told how every resident can do simple things to help our feathered friends thrive. He also told stories along the way.
Among his key points is the great importance of providing nesting boxes for birds. Dead wood is often removed in our forests, but they are key habitat for bird families. Rogers said he and volunteers once put up 80 nesting boxes on a property. In the first year, over 60 were occupied.
The birds Rogers uses for demonstrations are all rescued birds who cannot be released back into the wild. While showing off a turkey vulture—a very clean bird—he warned onlookers of the birds’ defense. When turkey vultures eat too much they may be unable to fly. If an animal approaches, such as a coyote, the vulture vomits on them. This startles the attacker and makes the bird light enough to fly away.