Raptor Manual

September 13, 2018 | Author: Carlos Juan Martínez Pámanes | Category: Falconry, Survey Methodology, Birds Of Prey, Birds, Tetrapods
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BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR CAPTIVE RAPTORS IN GEORGIA

A TECHNICAL GUIDE FOR THE USE OF RAPTORS IN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS Joe N. Caudell

Wildlife Biologist Warnell School of Forest Resources University of Georgia

Ken A. Riddleberger, Jr.

Senior Wildlife Biologist Special Permit Unit Wildlife Resources Division Georgia Department of Natural Resources

A PUBLICATION OF THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES WILDLIFE RESOURCES DIVISION

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We would like to thank the faculty of the University of Georgia Warnell School of Forest Resources including Drs. Brian Chapman and Sara Schweitizer. We also thank Dr. Cheryl Greenacre of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, for taking the time to assist with this project and manuscript. We also thank Mike Conover of the Jack H. Berryman Institute for Wildlife Damage Management for allowing us the time to complete the manuscript and for providing funding for travel to the 1999 Annual Conference of the Wildlife Society where portions of this manual were presented. Additional funding and support was provided by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the University of Georgia, School of Forest Resources. We thank John Karger of Last Chance Forever, San Antonio, Texas for providing a technical review of the manuscript.

Note: The Georgia Department of Natural Resources neither endorses products listed herein nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products listed.

Current Address:

2

Joe N. Caudell Jack H. Berryman Institute Utah State University 5210 Old Main Hill, Natural Resc, Rm. 206 Logan, Utah 84322-5210 [email protected]

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION NON-RELEASABLE RAPTOR MANAGEMENT Using this Manual ............................................................................................................................. 7 Contents ............................................................................................................................................ 7

CHAPTER 1 THE SURVEY Methods............................................................................................................................................. The Sample .......................................................................................................................... The Survey .......................................................................................................................... Results .............................................................................................................................................. Sample Results ................................................................................................................... Survey Results .................................................................................................................... Discussion .........................................................................................................................................

8 8 8 9 9 10 11

CHAPTER 2 FACILITY REQUIREMENTS Housing .............................................................................................................................................. General Enclosure Design ................................................................................................................. Location ............................................................................................................................................ Indoor Enclosures ............................................................................................................................. Outdoor Enclosures .......................................................................................................................... Indoor / Outdoor Enclosures ............................................................................................................. Wall Construction ............................................................................................................................. Roof Construction ............................................................................................................................. Entry Design and Construction ......................................................................................................... Floor Substrate .................................................................................................................................. Separation of Species ........................................................................................................................ Visual Separation .............................................................................................................................. Separation from Other Animals ........................................................................................................ Space Requirements .......................................................................................................................... Food Platform ................................................................................................................................... Perches .............................................................................................................................................. Baths ................................................................................................................................................. Cleaning ............................................................................................................................................ Common Disinfectants ...................................................................................................................... Chlorine Bleach .................................................................................................................. Virkon-S®........................................................................................................................... Phenol (1-stroke®) ............................................................................................................. Hot Water ............................................................................................................................ Quaternary Ammonia Solutions (Quats) ............................................................................ Chlorhexidine ..................................................................................................................... Facility Management .........................................................................................................................

15 15 15 16 17 17 17 19 21 20 22 22 22 23 24 24 26 26 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 28

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CHAPTER 3 EQUIPMENT

Jesses ................................................................................................................................................. Jess and Aylmeri Sizes ......................................................................................................... Traditional Jess .................................................................................................................... Modified Jess ...................................................................................................................... Snap Jesses .......................................................................................................................... Aylmeri Bracelets ................................................................................................................ False Aylmeri Bracelets ..................................................................................................................... Maintenance ....................................................................................................................................... Leashes and Swivels .......................................................................................................................... Falconer’s Knot ................................................................................................................................. Scales ................................................................................................................................................. Gloves ................................................................................................................................................ Miscellaneous Supplies ..................................................................................................................... Hoods ................................................................................................................................................. Travel Enclosures ...............................................................................................................................

29 29 29 30 31 31 32 32 32 33 34 34 34 34 34

General Feeding Habits ...................................................................................................................... Laboratory Mice ................................................................................................................................ Laboratory Rats ................................................................................................................................. Day-old Chicks .................................................................................................................................. Commercial Bird-of-prey Diet ........................................................................................................... Other Commonly Used Diets ............................................................................................................. Quantity ............................................................................................................................................. Quality ............................................................................................................................................... Vitamin and Mineral Supplements .................................................................................................... Casting ............................................................................................................................................... Food Preparation and Storage ........................................................................................................... Water .................................................................................................................................................. Laboratory Mice Husbandry .............................................................................................................. Housing .............................................................................................................................. Cage Tops ............................................................................................................................ Water Bottles and Holders ................................................................................................... Feeding Apparatus ............................................................................................................... Food .................................................................................................................................... Bedding Material ................................................................................................................ Breeding Stock ....................................................................................................................

35 35 35 35 36 36 37 37 39 39 39 39 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40

CHAPTER 4 FEEDING

CHAPTER 5 RAPTOR HEALTH Veterinarians ...................................................................................................................................... Maintenance Exams ........................................................................................................................... Handling Techniques ......................................................................................................................... Weighing Raptors .............................................................................................................................. Fecal Exams ....................................................................................................................................... Zoonosis ...........................................................................................................................................

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41 41 41 42 42 42

Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies ..................................................................................................... Vitamin A ............................................................................................................................ Vitamin B Group ................................................................................................................. Vitamin C ............................................................................................................................ Vitamin D ............................................................................................................................ Calcium and Phosphorus ..................................................................................................... Trace Elements .................................................................................................................... Parasites ............................................................................................................................................. External Parasites ................................................................................................................ Internal Parasites ................................................................................................................. Conditions Related to the Environment ............................................................................................. Chemical Poisoning ............................................................................................................ Frostbite .............................................................................................................................. Heat Stroke .......................................................................................................................... Physical Injury ................................................................................................................................... Diseases and Other Illnesses .............................................................................................................. Aspergillosis ........................................................................................................................ Avian Tuberculosis .............................................................................................................. Bacterial Enteritis ................................................................................................................ Bumblefoot .......................................................................................................................... Candida ............................................................................................................................... Capillaria ............................................................................................................................. Coccidiosis .......................................................................................................................... Gapeworm ............................................................................................................................ Hypoglycemia ...................................................................................................................... Inflammation of the Crop..................................................................................................... Newcastle’s Disease ............................................................................................................ Pneumonia ........................................................................................................................... Respiratory Infection ........................................................................................................... Roundworm and Tapeworm Infestation ............................................................................... Salmonellosis ...................................................................................................................... Sour Crop ............................................................................................................................ Starvation ............................................................................................................................. Stomatitis ............................................................................................................................. Toxoplasmosis ..................................................................................................................... Trichinella ............................................................................................................................ Trichomoniasis (Frounce) ................................................................................................... Stress ................................................................................................................................................. General Signs of Distress ................................................................................................................... Beak and Talon Trimming ..................................................................................................................

42 42 42 42 43 43 43 43 43 43 43 43 43 43 43 44 44 44 44 44 44 44 44 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 45 46 46 46 46 46 46 46 47

CHAPTER 6 EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS Selecting a Program Bird ................................................................................................................... Raptor Behavior.................................................................................................................................. Handling ............................................................................................................................................ Educational Program Training ........................................................................................................... Educational Programs ........................................................................................................................ Teaching Strategies ............................................................................................................................ Sample Raptor Curriculum ................................................................................................................

48 48 48 48 49 49 50

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LITERATURE CITED ............................................................................................................................................. 56 APPENDICES

Appendix 1 Specifications for Humane Handling, Care, Confinement, and Transportation of Wild Animals in Georgia ............................................................................................................................ 59 Appendix 2 State of Georgia Regulations for Wildlife Exhibition ....................................................................... 63 Appendix 3 USFWS Standard Conditions, Special Purpose - Possession / Education (Live Specimen) ............ 65 Appendix 4 Survey Instrument Sent to Participants in Georgia ............................................................................ 67 Appendix 5 Survey Instrument Sent to Participants Throughout the United States ............................................. 72

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INTRODUCTION The objective of this manual is to provide guidelines for the care and use of non-releasable raptors (NRR) in environmental education (EE) programs. The guidelines are based upon scientific data and current management practices. It is written to provide caretakers, biologists, and prospective permit applicants with a concise guide to captive raptor management. EE centers in Georgia and throughout the United States were surveyed to examine current management practices. Housing, feeding, levels of veterinary care and other important aspects of captive raptor management were documented. The information was then compiled with literature from peer-reviewed scientific journals, literature from raptor centers with existing management plans, onsite visits, and interviews with professional caretakers to develop a set of general guidelines for the care and use of NRR in Georgia. All NRR possessed are to be used for educational programs. These birds should not be cared for simply because they cannot be returned to the wild, although every bird may not be handled. If a bird does not prove to be useable for educational programs and facilities are not available for on-site programs, the bird can be relocated to another facility, another handler, or euthanized. It is generally neither feasible nor desirable for an educational facility to keep every NRR that is offered. USING THIS MANUAL This manual is not intended to be the final word on NRR management. It can be used by the caretaker to improve or affirm current management practices. This manual also can be used by law enforcement personnel or wildlife biologists who may perform inspections of raptor facilities. Although we reviewed many sources in developing this manual, it does not cover all management techniques. A technique considered useful by some sources may not work in every situation. If new management techniques are used or developed, the methodology and results should be carefully documented. Documentation is important for several reasons. For instance, if a bird continually injures itself on a particular cage material, this should be recorded. The caretaker may develop or discover a new material that has not been described previously. If

the center was inspected or reapplied for a permit, such documentation may be crucial to the re-issuance of permits or passing inspection. Officials are more likely to allow a new material to be used if the caretaker can show the process used in choosing the material. Careful documentation also may be used in preparing journal articles so that others can share in the same technique. CONTENTS • Chapter One describes the results of a survey used to document common management practices in Georgia and throughout the United States. Data from the survey are referred to several times throughout the manual. The remainder of the manual is a review of common management practices and is often compared to the results of the survey. • Chapter Two covers facility design, construction materials, and other information on housing raptors. • Chapter Three contains information about additional supplies or equipment needed for a raptor education program. References are made to common management practices that were documented in the survey. • Chapter Four discusses feeding requirements for raptors. It provides information and suggestions about common food items used and rodent husbandry. No guidelines for absolute feeding amounts are provided since these vary by season, physiology, species, individual bird behavior, and location of facility. • Chapter Five describes common medical problems associated with housing NRR (listed in alphabetical order). Initiation of treatment should always be carried out by a trained professional. Common problems are described to assist the caretaker in communicating with the veterinarian about clinical signs. Other sections are included for maintenance of the bird’s health. • Chapter Six discusses handling raptors and developing educational programs. A brief section is included on training birds of prey for handling in an educational program. There is a section on basic bird biology and natural history, as well as a section on raptor natural history. This chapter also includes a sample education program and activities.

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CHAPTER 1: THE SURVEY1 Most native birds, including raptors, are protected by federal or/and state laws. It is illegal to injure, catch, or confine raptors except under appropriate licenses or permits (falconry, scientific collecting, education, etc.). At times, raptors are injured due to both natural and unnatural events. Some people feel a responsibility to help raptors injured through contact with humans by attempting to rehabilitate and release them back into the wild. However, many of these birds cannot be released with a reasonable expectation of survival. For these birds there are few options. They are commonly either euthanized or used in education programs. Non-releasable raptors (NRR) are often used in environmental education (EE) centers to enhance their educational programs. Federal and state permits are required for this purpose and proper care must be provided for these birds. Although accurate, inexpensive books written on the husbandry of many vertebrates and invertebrates are available, concise information written on the captive management of birds of prey is deficient. One recent publication (Arent and Martell 1996) documents management practices used by the Minnesota Raptor Center. Other sources of information include falconry books, veterinary manuals, rehabilitation guides, operating guides for established raptor centers, and scientific articles. The objective of this study was to document management practices of centers that use NRR for educational programs in Georgia and throughout the United States by surveying individuals and organizations who use raptors in educational programs. This information can be used as a tool for wildlife agencies when developing regulations, as a model when a center is designing a management plan, or as validation of existing management plans by established centers. The survey was followed-up by on-site inspections and interviews with caretakers. Results from Georgia were compared with centers from outside Georgia and with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) captive raptor regulations. Aspects of NRR management that caretakers cannot find in the literature are usually discovered by trial and error. This has led to an evolution of techniques that are sound in practice, but not published. Unpublished techniques developed by caretakers were compiled and assessed during interviews and on-site visits. These management recommendations may be useful to EE centers with NRR and may also be valuable for natural resource managers or law enforcement personnel who must deter-

mine if a management practice is sound in the event of an inspection. METHODS The Sample Questionnaires were mailed to a sample of individuals and organizations possessing raptors used in EE programs in 1996. The Georgia sample was compiled from persons possessing special-use permits for raptors. The United States sample was compiled using two methods. A search was conducted using LYCOS®, YAHOO®, Infoseek®, and EXCITE® search engines from 1 January 1998 to 1 February 1998. Keywords included raptor(s), bird of prey, environmental education, rehabilitation, and combinations of these. Links were examined at each site to locate additional related internet sites. A list of raptor centers throughout the United States that indicated that they rehabilitated raptors, used raptors in EE programs, or maintained raptors in captivity was compiled from internet web pages. Those indicating that they had e-mail were then sent a query to determine if raptors were used for educational programs and if they would participate in the survey. The survey was mailed to respondents providing a positive response. The second method was to survey list-serv users. Membership registers and messages were examined to determine how many members likely held NRR for education programs. E-mail inquiries were placed on two list-servers for rehabilitators and one for falconers. The inquiry consisted of a message explaining the nature of the survey, time needed to complete the questionnaire, and purpose for the research. Respondents indicating that NRR were possessed and used for EE programs were mailed a survey. Both methods were dependent upon the respondents owning a computer and having access to the world wide web (WWW) or listservers. The Survey The survey questions were based on Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §27-5-6 which contains the specifications for management of captive wild animals (Appendix 1). In general, the survey consisted of questions about the species and number of raptors possessed, facilities, space requirements, feeding, watering, sanitation, employees, separation of species, veterinary care, handling, and transportation (Appendix

Note: At time of publishing, Chapter One had been accepted for publication in the Journal of Raptor Research (Caudell and Riddleberger in press) 1

8

4). Questions were designed to obtain quantitative data for each of these areas. The United States survey was slightly modified to increase response rate (Appendix 5). The Georgia surveys were mailed from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR) office in Social Circle, in late August 1997. A second survey was mailed to non-respondents during the first week of January 1998 and reminders sent three weeks later. Request for United States participants were e-mailed from the last week of December 1997 until 20 February 1998. Surveys were mailed to United States participants with return envelopes enclosed. Respondents and non-respondents in Georgia were randomly chosen from a stratified sample for on-site visits in March and April 1998. Questions regarding training procedures, past inspections, and educational programs were asked. Table 1-1:

Measures of central tendency were calculated for cage sizes. Percent occurrence were calculated for materials used in raptor facilities. Relative percent occurrence were calculated for both physical injuries and common food items. RESULTS Sample Results Twenty-three individuals and organizations that possessed Georgia permits for raptors used in EE programs were sent the questionnaire. Seventeen surveys were returned (74% response rate). Of the five centers that did not return the survey, two reported that they did not have the time to answer, one did not believe that they used birds in programs in the way specified in the instructions, and two did not respond. Nine centers (six respondents and

Numbers and relative frequency of non-releasable raptors used in environmental education programs in the United States and Georgia. US Survey

Scientific name

Common name

Buteo spp. Otus spp. Falco sparverius Bubo virginianus Strix varia Falco spp. Haliaeetus leucocephalus Tyto alba Aquila chrysaetos Cathartes aura Asio spp. Aegolius funereus Accipiter spp. Parabuteo unicinctus Coragyps atratus Circus cyaneus Pandion haliaetus Ictinia mississippiensis Polyborus plancus Athene cunicularia Glaucidium spp. Nyctea scandiaca

broad-winged hawks screech owls American kestrel great-horned owl barred owl falcons bald eagle barn owl golden eagle turkey vulture eared-owls boreal owl woodland hawks Harris’ hawk black vulture northern harrier osprey Mississippi kite caracara burrowing owl pygmy owls snowy owl

Total Relative Number Frequency 84 45 43 41 29 29 28 25 17 14 13 11 10 10 10 5 5 3 2 2 1 1

19.6 10.5 10.1 9.6 6.8 6.8 6.5 5.8 4.0 3.3 3.0 2.6 2.3 2.3 2.3 1.17 1.7 0.7 0.5 0.5 0.2 0.2

Georgia Survey Total Relative Number Frequency 27 15 1 15 19 0 1 10 0 5 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0

28.13 15.6 1.0 15.7 19.8 0.0 1.0 10.4 0.0 5.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 2.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

9

three non-respondents) were chosen for on-site inspections. From the internet search, 43 sites were located that likely had NRR for educational programs. Of these, 11 facilities indicated that they had birds and would participate in the survey. From the list-serv, 42 facilities were identified that likely had NRR for educational programs and 29 responded. Forty surveys were mailed. Nine surveys were returned from the internet search and 27 were returned from the list-serv search. Response rate from the combined groups was 90%. The two samples were not mutually exclusive. Four centers used in the United States sample also possessed raptors in Georgia. These four were selected because they voluntarily returned the survey and had internet access. Survey Results Number and species of raptors possessed were analyzed by genus. Sixteen Georgia facilities reported housing 98 raptors during 1996. Thirty-six facilities in the United States reported housing 428 raptors. Buteo was the most frequent genus used for educational programs and were found at more centers than any other genus in both Table 1-2:

Enclosure sizes for non-releasable raptors used in environmental education programs in the US.

hawks

eagles

large falcons

small falcons

vultures

large owls

small owls

mean STDS1 median n range

5.0 3.4 4.2 30 2.1-18.3

5.3 1.8 5.4 12 2.4-7.6

3.3 1.7 2.4 13 1.2-7.3

3.3 1.6 3.1 21 0.9-6.1

6.9 3.9 4.9 5 3.7-12.2

4.8 3.5 3.7 31 1.8-18.3

2.2 0.9 2.4 27 0.9-4.6

mean STDS median n range

3.2 1.6 2.4 30 1.4-9.1

4.2 2.0 3.7 12 2.4-9.1

2.6 0.8 2.4 13 1.2-3.7

2.6 1.7 2.4 21 0.8-9.1

2.8 0.6 2.4 5 2.4-3.7

3.1 2.0 2.4 31 1.2-12.2

1.7 1.1 1.4 27 0.6-6.1

mean STDS median n range

2.9 0.8 2.4 31 1.8-4.8

2.9 0.5 2.8 12 2.1-3.7

3.2 1.7 2.4 13 1.8-8.0

2.4 0.7 2.4 21 0.9-4.6

2.8 0.6 2.4 5 2.4-3.7

2.6 0.7 2.4 32 1.8-4.6

1.9 0.5 2.0 26 0.6-2.5

mean STDS median n

19.9 22.3 11.8 31

24.0 16.5 16.7 12

9.2 6.9 7.4 13

9.9 11.6 5.8 21

21.0 16.2 11.8 5

19.1 30.7 9.6 34

4.0 3.6 3.2 27

range

2.9-111.6

5.7-55.5

2.2-27.0

0.7-55.5

8.9-45.1

2.8-148.8

0.5-18.9

Measurement Length (m)

Width (m)

Height (m)

Area (m2)

STDS - sample standard deviation

1

10

the United States and Georgia (Table 1-1). Enclosure sizes among facilities varied (Table 1-2) as did the types of materials used in cage construction. There was no obvious differences between the median enclosure size of species found in Georgia and the United States. Most facilities throughout the United States (92%) provided a water dish large enough for the raptors to bathe in if necessary. All facilities in Georgia provided a large water dish. The two most commonly used perch materials were artificial turf and tree branches (Table 1-3). Other perch materials included rope, stumps, large stones, and wood blocks. Perch material selection was not mutually exclusive. A tree branch or wooded block was sometimes wrapped with rope. More than one perch often was used in the enclosure, as was the case in 93% of the facilities. Round river rock was the most widely used substrate material in the United States (Table 1-4). In Georgia, the two most commonly used substrates were pine needles and crushed gravel. Other commonly used substrates were crushed gravel, sand, concrete, and newspaper. The two most common building materials used for the sides and tops of enclosures were solid wood or wooden

Table 1-3: Relative percent of perch materials used at raptor facilities throughout the United States and in Georgia. Material Branches Artificial turf Stumps or logs Rope Large stone Wood block Coca mat Other

US Survey

GA Survey

27.3 24.6 17.3 11.8 6.4 6.4 2.7 3.6

38.9 22.2 16.7 11.1 2.8 5.6 0.0 2.8

Table 1-5: Relative percent of materials used in wall construction at raptor facilities throughout the United States and in Georgia. Material Solid wood Wood slats Plastic mesh Conduit bars Hardware cloth Chain-link fence Netting Chicken wire Other

US Survey 29.6 25.9 11.1 7.4 7.4 4.9 4.9 2.5 6.2

GA Survey 8.7 17.4 17.4 4.4 13.0 13.0 4.4 8.7 13.0

slats (Table 1-5 and 1-6). Plastic mesh was the next most widely used material followed by netting, galvanized hardware cloth, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) bars. A large percentage of mesh, tin, shingles, and chain-link fence was used. A combination of construction materials was used in some enclosures. For instance, roof or sides may be made partially with tin and partially with netting. The number of employees or volunteers at facilities varied. The average number of employees in facilities in Georgia was 4.5 (SD=5.1) and ranged from 1 to 20. The average number of employees in facilities throughout the United States was 14.8 (SD=22.2) and ranged from 1 to 83. The amount of formal training provided to employees

Table 1-4: Relative percent of substrate materials used at raptor facilities throughout the United States and in Georgia. Material Round river rock Crushed gravel Dirt Grass Sand Pine needles Concrete Newspaper Other

US Survey

GA Survey

24.2 12.9 12.9 12.9 9.7 6.5 4.8 3.2 12.9

11.5 19.2 15.4 3.9 7.7 19.2 7.7 7.7 7.7

Table 1-6: Relative percent of materials used in ceiling construction at raptor facilities throughout the United States and in Georgia. Material

US Survey

GA Survey

Solid wood Wood slats Tin Plastic mesh Netting Chain-link fence Hardware cloth Shingles Conduit bars

15.1 15.1 12.8 11.6 10.5 8.1 8.1 7.0 2.3

8.7 4.4 30.4 17.4 8.7 8.7 8.7 8.7 0.0

Other

8.1

4.4

or volunteers ranged from a few hours to months. The mean number of years of the primary caretaker’s experience reported in Georgia was 12.2 (SD=8.6) and ranged from 4 to 30 years. The mean number of years of the primary caretaker’s experience reported throughout the United States was 13.5 (SD=8.3) and ranged from 4 to 40 years. The level of experience ranged from having no formal experience to having training as veterinary technicians. In Georgia, three caretakers reported having rehabilitation experience and three reported having a wildlife-related degree. Approximately 33% of the caretakers across the United States had rehabilitation experience and only one reported having a degree in wildlife or a related field. 11

Table 1-7:

Relative percent occurrence of problems reported in both the US and GA surveys.

Problem

US GA n =428 n=132

Problem

1

Physical injury Bumblefoot Old age Feather problems Internal parasites Re-injury Avian pox Oral lesion, beaksores Obesity Bacterial infection

2.26 1.40 1.40 1.27 0.93 0.70 0.70 0.47 0.70 0.47

0.76 0.76 0.00 0.00 0.76 0.00 0.00 1.52 0.00 0.00

External parasite GI problems Vitamin deficiencies Stress Respiratory infection Egg bound Cloacal prolapse Predation Salmonellosis Other

US n=428

GA n=132

0.47 0.47 0.23 0.23 0.23 0.23 0.23 0.23 0.00 0.70

0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.52 0.76 0.76

n=total number of reported problems

1

Information on cleaning frequency and methods, pest control, carrying cages, and program length was requested only on the Georgia survey. The frequency of cleaning water bowls and food dishes ranged from once per day to once per week. The frequency of cleaning cages and substrate ranged from once per day to once per month. Commonly used disinfectants and cleaning solutions included chlorine bleach (57%), other disinfectants (including Simple Green®, Lifeguard®, and unnamed disinfectants), soap and water (14% each), Lysol®, and dishwasher detergent (7% each). Few centers (25%) have an established pest control program for either external parasites, internal parasites, or predators. Most facilities (88% ) have at least one transport cage per bird. All facilities provided a rest break between performances that was at least as long as the performance period. All facilities in Georgia and throughout the United States had regular veterinarians. Of the veterinarians used in Georgia and throughout the United States, 75% and 86%, respectively, reported having prior raptor experience. Visits to raptor facilities by veterinarians in Georgia ranged from none to weekly. Throughout the United States, visits to raptor facilities ranged from none to daily. Of the 98 NRR reported being housed in Georgia, only 10 (10.2%) problems were reported in 1996. Of the 428 raptors housed in the United States, 62 (14.5%) problems were reported (Table 1-7). Raptors were fed a variety of foods (Table 1-8). Few birds were fed strictly one food. The most commonly fed foods among all birds were mice or rats. The most notable exceptions were bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and Accipiter spp., which were fed mostly fish and chicks, respectively. Nutrient supplements were used by 60% of 12

the facilities. Vita-hawk® and Vionate® were the two most commonly used supplements. There did not appear to be any major discrepancies or misrepresentation between our inspections and responses to the survey. The most noticeable differences were due to acquisition of new birds and new construction. DISCUSSION Although it was stated in the instructions that responses from Georgia were voluntary, mailing the survey from the GADNR Special Permit Unit may have affected the responses in several ways. Fear of not receiving permit renewal may have influenced persons to return surveys. Also, one participant refused to participate due to animosities with the GADNR (personal communication). The primary sample bias from throughout the United States was that most respondents were probably from the better centers (i.e. those with enough funds for internet access and computers and those that were willing to provide details about their center’s operations). Participants may have been more willing to assist a university research project rather than a governmental agency. Most people interviewed expressed positive support toward the research. However, some distrusted GADNR’s role in the project believing that GADNR was attempting to “crack down” on how they were allowed to keep their birds. Others on the list servs expressed animosity toward the USFWS for revising the special use permit requirements. Some people explicitly stated that if USFWS had been involved, they would not have participated in the survey. Species abundance at education centers reflects popular beliefs about certain species. Accipiter spp.

Table 1-8:

Percent food items fed to captive raptors used in environmental education programs. Food Items

Species Accipiter spp. Aegolius spp.

Aquila chrysaetos

n

Mice

Rats

Poults

BOP2 diet

Road kill

Quail

Insects

Other

9.7 ± 2.5

9.7 ± 2.5

4.7 ± 1.2

0.0 ± 0.0

0.0 ± 0.0

66.7 ± 8.6

0.0 ± 0.0

9.3 ± 2.4

0.0 ± 0.0

0.0 ± 0.0

0.0 ± 0.0

3

mean±SE

3

mean±SE 83.3 ± 4.3

10 mean±SE 3.9 ± 1.4

Asio spp. Bueto spp., Parabuteo sp. Bubo virginianus

2 mean±SE 100.0 ± 0.0 34 mean±SE1 31.9 ± 4.6 23 mean±SE 45.6 ± 5.0 7.5 ± 2.0 103 Cathartes sp., Coragyps sp. 10 mean±SE 26.8 ± 3.2 43 0.0 ± 0.0 Falco sparverius 24 mean±SE 69.8 ± 4.5 Falco spp. Helianthus leucocephalus

Ictinia mississippiensis Otus spp. Strix varia Tyto alba

7 12 43 2 24 103

0.0 ± 0.0

13.3 ± 3.4

0.0 ± 0.0

3.3 ± 0.9

51.9 ± 5.0

8.7 ± 3.6

0.0 ± 0.0

7.9 ± 2.5 10.5 ± 2.3 0.0 ± 0.0 15.1 ± 3.5

0.0 ± 0.0 29.3 ± 4.4 23.4 ± 3.7 42.5 ± 7.5 47.0 ± 5.6 57.5 ± 8.4 1.7 ± 0.8

0.0 ± 0.0 0.0 ± 0.0 0.0 ± 0.0 12.5 ± 2.9 7.8 ± 3.5 1.0 ± 0.4 11.5 ± 3.6 3.9 ± 2.8 0.9 ± 0.4 36.1 ± 7.8 7.1 ± 3.1 3.0 ± 1.3 7.1 ± 1.2 0.0 ± 0.0 1.0 ± 0.5 5.0 ± 1.9 0.3 ± 0.1 25.0 ± 9.6 12.2 ± 2.8 0.4 ± 0.3 0.2 ± 0.2

mean±SE 20.7 ± 2.9 1.4 ± 0.6 mean±SE 1.3 ± 0.5 24.9 ± 2.8 10.0 ± 2.4 16.3 ± 3.8 mean±SE 50.0 ± 0.0 0.0 ± 0.0 mean±SE 75.2 ± 4.8 1.3 ± 0.7 42.0 ± 7.7 6.0 ± 2.6

15 mean±SE 45.5 ± 5.7 133 16.9 ± 4.6 14 mean±SE 38.9 ± 4.3 73 22.1 ± 6.9

24.0 ± 5.0 28.5 ± 7.4 21.4 ± 3.8 32.1 ± 7.4

0.0 ± 0.0 7.0 ± 2.2 5.0 ± 2.7 4.0 ± 1.6 2.0 ± 0.9 12.5 ± 4.8 9.4 ± 3.0

0.0 ± 0.0 0. 9 ± 0.8 0.0 ± 0.0 0.0 ± 0.0 0.0 ± 0.0 0.0 ± 0.0 1.0 ± 0.6

0.0 ± 0.0 9.4 ± 3.2 8.7 ± 3.5 0.0 ± 0.0 16.1 ± 2.5 0.0 ± 0.0 3.6 ± 1.1

10.0 ± 2.7 0.0 ± 0.0 11.3 ± 3.9 0.0 ± 0.0 25.0 ± 8.4 10.0 ± 3.8 0.0 ± 0.0 0.0 ± 0.0 18.9 ± 4.6 0.4 ± 0.3 37.5 ± 8.2 5.0 ± 3.0

0.0 ± 0.0 38.6 ± 5.6 0.0 ± 0.0 2.7 ± 1.3 10.8 ± 3.4 0.0 ± 0.0 0.0 ± 0.0 10.0 ± 3.8 0.0 ± 0.0 0.0 ± 0.0 2.5 ± 0.5 47.5 ± 0.5 0.2 ± 0.2 1.7 ± 0.9 1.0 ± 0.6 2.0 ± 1.2 5.0 ± 3.0 0.0 ± 0.0

29.3 ± 7.2 49.9 ± 3.3 24.0 ± 6.8 0.0 ± 0.0 1.4 ± 0.6 2.0 ± 1.2

21.8 ± 5.1 0.0 ± 0.0 28.8 ± 7.5 19.7 ± 6.8 28.6 ± 4.6 0.0 ± 0.0 33.6 ± 8.2 7.1 ± 3.6

1.7 ± 0.7 2.7 ± 1.2 1.1 ± 0.4 0.7 ± 0.4

1.0 ± 0.4 0.0 ± 0.0 6.4 ± 2.2 0.0 ± 0.0

6.0 ± 2.9 3.1 ± 1.4 2.9 ± 1.0 2.9 ± 1.5

0.0 ± 0.0 0.0 ± 0.0 0.0 ± 0.0 0.0 ± 0.0

SE=standard error BOP=commercial bird of prey diet 3 data from Georgia survey 1 2

generally are considered “nervous” birds that are difficult to keep in captivity and undesirable as educational birds (Arent and Martell 1996). Therefore, they are not a commonly used species. Most Buteo spp., such as redtailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), are regarded by falconers as a “beginner’s bird” and are recommended highly as educational birds (Parry-Jones 1994, Arent and Martell 1996). The American kestrel is another bird that adapts well to captivity and to use in educational programs. Golden eagles, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and prairie falcons are recommended for experienced handlers only. Ospreys are considered to be one of the most difficult raptors to maintain in captivity. Most owls can be kept successfully in captivity and are useful for educational programs (Arent and Martell 1996). As with all generalizations, there are always exceptions. Each bird should be evaluated based upon its individual merits and nature. In many cases, differences between species used in Georgia and throughout the rest of the United States can be attributed to regional species abundance. Spotted owls, golden eagles, snowy owls, and pygmy owls do not normally occur in Georgia (Johnsgard 1988, 1990). Because many birds used in educational programs are

injured migrants or resident species, a disparity of species used between regions of the United States is expected. However, even though American kestrels are resident species in Georgia and are considered an excellent program bird (Arent and Martell 1996), they are rarely used in Georgia. Types of raptor species used in educational programs are discussed further in Chapter Six. Median enclosure size is probably a more important measure than mean enclosure sizes for deciding upon minimum recommended enclosure sizes. Several centers reported having enclosures much larger than the mean enclosure area (Table 1-2). This may be due in part to large numbers of birds being housed together. However, the number of birds per enclosure was not determined in the survey. Another source of variation could be attributed to the fact that centers with birds used for display only were asked to participate if these birds were part of educational programs, such as walk-by lectures. From on-site inspections made in Georgia, larger enclosures were often used as static displays rather than for housing birds that were “manned” (held on a glove during programs) for educational programs. 13

Providing additional width and length may be more important in NRR housing than providing additional height. Many NRR have damaged wings or reduced vision and do not need tall cages. Perches set too high in a tall cage may cause injury to a raptor with an amputated wing if it falls (Gibson 1996). The mean enclosure height for redtailed hawks was 2.8 m with a range of 1.8 m to 4.8 m. Non-releasable raptors used for EE programs must be accessible while providing the bird with a non-stressful environment. The highest perch should be no higher than the caretaker can comfortably reach to capture the bird (Arent and Martell 1996). Gibson (1996) recommends that perches be set no higher than 1.2 m for amputee birds. Current (at time of printing) Texas Parks and Wildlife Department regulations regarding captive raptors (69.305.d-1) require a minimum height of 3.7 m for NRR. The space above the caretaker’s reach is either wasted or utilized by the bird to escape the caretaker. Gibson (1996) states that a high ceiling may cause stress to a bird if the perch is set far below it, as would be required with amputee birds. Static displays can be taller than cages used to house NRR used by handlers in programs. However, the safety of the bird should be taken into consideration in cage design and perch placement. Construction materials varied among centers surveyed. Wood, the most common material, was used in more than 50% of the facilities. Cages of wood had either solid sides or slats. Plastic mesh, welded-wire, and conduit also are appropriate materials for housing raptors (Parry-Jones 1994, Arent and Martell 1996, Gibson 1996). Both conduit and vertical slats should be spaced close enough to prevent the bird from placing its closed foot though the bars. Facility and enclosure construction is discussed further in Chapter Two. The type and amount of training of the primary caretaker varied considerably. However, this did not

14

appear to impact the level of care provided to the birds. Most facility management practices followed suggestions from the literature. Other management practices were based upon trial-and-error or experience from other facilities. The amount of training provided to assistants also varied. Several raptor facilities (personal communications) have levels of training for assistants; whereby, as the level of training increases, the type of bird the assistant is allowed to handle changes. This system works well with volunteers. Chapter Six provides further discussion on training both birds and volunteers. Few medical problems were reported. Since many raptor facilities have few or infrequent visits from veterinarians, problems that are difficult to diagnose or have clinical signs that slowly manifest over several months or years may go unnoticed by handlers. However, there were no significant differences between facilities that had veterinarians visit the facilities on a regular basis and those that did not. Some diagnoses are fairly obvious, such as bumblefoot or physical injuries, and can be made by experienced handlers. Others problems, such as bacterial infections or vitamin deficiencies, require a veterinarian. Common medical problems are discussed in Chapter Five. Most raptor facilities had a regular veterinarian with prior raptor experience. A veterinarian experienced with raptors can provide suggestions about housing, maintenance, and other aspects of raptor management. An inexperienced veterinarian may not be able to provide this type of information. Food items fed to the raptors varied greatly. Few centers fed strictly one type of food to birds. There also were few dietary related health issues reported. However, clinical signs from nutritional deficiencies may take years to manifest. Diets fed to captive raptors generally followed recommendations in the literature (Chapter Four).

CHAPTER 2: FACILITY REQUIREMENTS Non-releasable raptors (NRR) have different requirements than their wild counterparts. Wild raptors require large spaces for territories, breeding, and hunting. Nonreleasable raptors used in educational programs require space, food, water, and shelter, but those requirements are now met by the caretaker. Construction materials and methods, space requirements, perches, and related housing information are presented in this chapter. The goal of housing NRR used in educational programs is to provide for secure shelter and the bird’s well-being. HOUSING Educational birds have different housing requirements than raptors that are being kept for rehabilitation or falconry. However, the basic construction materials and methods are similar and ideas can be gleaned from the literature related to these related activities. The most significant difference between falconry or rehabilitation enclosures and enclosures for NRR used in educational programs is the arrangement of space. Injuries such as wing amputation and blindness limit the use of tall enclosures. However, for the bird to feel secure, enclosures should be tall enough to allow perching in an upright position at a height equal to the height of the caretaker. If cost is an issue, height should be traded for floor space. An enclosure 2 m x 2 m x 4m (length x width x height) is less desirable than an enclosure 3 m x 3 m x 2 m. The enclosure should be tall enough for the caretaker to stand in an upright position. Providing for the needs of NRR may require experimentation with materials, perches, jesses, and furniture. Flightless raptors may require perches that allow them to climb to a comfortable height. Because raptors tend to choose the highest perch in an enclosure, Gibson (1996) recommended that if a bird can jump down from a perch 1 m high without injury, the enclosure should be no taller than 2 m. If the ceiling is much higher, the bird may become stressed in its attempt to locate a higher perch. Another problem with amputee birds is a reduced ability to retain body heat (Gibson 1996). An additional heat source may be required to maintain body temperature in colder climates. Arent and Martell (1996) did not recommend the use of bilateral wing amputees for educational programs. Many problems exist with housing and using them effectively in educational programs. GENERAL ENCLOSURE DESIGN Enclosures should take into account the behavior, size, and natural history of the animal to be housed. A raptor enclosure should be designed to be maintained easily while providing safety, security, and sanitary conditions for its inhabitants (Clubb and Flammer 1994). It also must meet

the psychological needs of the birds. Birds should be provided with a secluded space, which is violated as little as possible. This can be a corner in a larger cage or a nest box in a smaller cage. Having visual barriers from other birds also is important in a secure environment. LOCATION In general, raptor enclosures should be in an area with minimal disturbance and low traffic. Harriers and Accipiter spp. are easily agitated and do not adapt well to areas with constant disturbance (Crawford 1983). Enclosures should also be easily accessible by handlers, both on foot and in vehicles. Preparing for off-site programs is much easier if the cages can be loaded directly into vehicles. If river rock or sand is used as a substrate, a nearby area should be provided for dump trucks to make deliveries. Vegetative cover is an important consideration. Overhead vegetation can provide relief from the summer heat. Evergreens provide year-round shade and can block winter winds with proper placement. However, sunlight is desirable in the winter to keep the birds warm. Deciduous trees provide shade in the summer while allowing sunlight to warm the enclosures in the winter. Do not place enclosures directly under large trees. Falling branches can damage the tops of enclosures. Proximity of enclosures to amphitheaters or arenas is important for on-site programs. Facility managers may choose to build seating near the enclosures (Fig. 2-1). Another option is to build temporary holding enclosures near existing performance areas. This will depend upon the facility design and resources.

Raptor enclosures

Performance area with bow perch

Seating for students

Figure 2-1: Layout for performance area near raptor enclosure 15

INDOOR ENCLOSURES Indoor housing (Fig. 2-2) has several advantages over outdoor facilities. These include pest control, the ability to manipulate lighting, temperature, and humidity, and protection from the weather (Clubb and Flammer 1994). Routine care is not affected by seasonal changes, rainfall, and weather conditions. Disturbance by predators and other wildlife and the exposure to infectious agents through contact with free-ranging birds is minimized. However, indoor facilities are generally more crowded than outdoor facilities. The per-unit cost of building and maintaining indoor units is generally higher than outdoor facilities. Indoor areas require more frequent cleaning to prevent the accumulation of feces, food waste, bacteria, fungi, and dust. An effective air exchange system is also necessary. Full spectrum lighting must be used to facilitate Vitamin D synthesis, which is important for the general health of the bird (Clubb and Flammer 1994). Walls and floors should be designed to allow pressure washing. Floor drains should be of sufficient size to prevent blockage by debris. The use of ventilation fans and air filters is necessary to ensure adequate air quality (Clubb and Flammer 1994). The air exchange system should also be quiet. Second-hand or inexpensive systems may produce excess noise which can stress the raptors. Owls are especially disturbed by noise (Gibson 1996). The air exchange and filtration system must be efficient. Air should be completely exchanged or filtered every two minutes. A humidifier may be required in the winter. Some ventilation may be created by screen-covered vents at ceiling level and floor level (Gibson 1996) that can be blocked with covers in the winter.

Figure 2-3: Minimal outdoor cage 16

Figure 2-2: Indoor enclosure

OUTDOOR ENCLOSURES Outdoor facilities provide raptors with more natural conditions than indoor facilities. Raptors in outdoor facilities are exposed to sunlight which is essential for producing vitamin D (Arent and Martell 1996), but care must be taken to prevent the raptors from overheating in the summer and becoming too cold in the winter. Providing a water dish to bathe in or lightly spraying the bird with water can cool the bird down. In the winter, a heated perch (Parry-Jones 1994) can be provided to prevent frostbite on the toes, as can shielding one side of the enclosure from the wind. Steps must also be taken to minimize contact with native wildlife including predators, other birds, and invertebrates. Placing perches away from the enclosure sides or burying wire around the perimeter of the enclosure can help minimize contact with predators. Figure 2-3 demonstrates the minimum requirements of an outdoor enclosure. This particular enclosure is used only to display birds during the day in fair weather. The bird is brought in each night into an indoor mews area. INDOOR / OUTDOOR ENCLOSURES A combination indoor/outdoor facility can be designed to provide optimum conditions (Fig. 2-4). Heated indoor facilities that are attached to outdoor cages provide distinct advantages for raptors. In the winter, the bird can move to the interior to get warm at night. The outdoor section of the cage provides opportunity to move outside to the sunlight during the day. Food and water can be left inside to prevent freezing.

WALL CONSTRUCTION There are many designs and variations for housing but quality materials are important when constructing any facility. What may work well for one bird, may not work for others. There is no perfect material for building raptor enclosures. A common material used in covering openings of enclosures for both falconry and educational raptors is vertical barring (Parry-Jones 1994, Gibson 1996, Caudell and Riddleberger in press). Vertical bars provide a visual barrier for the bird. Bars or slats should be spaced ~2.5 cm - 5.0 cm apart (Rapp and Crawford 1982) or be spaced no wider than the width of the bird’s closed foot. The slats themselves must be wider than the bird’s open foot. Commonly used vertical bars are wooden slats, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe, and metal conduit. The dimensions of wooden slats vary. The bars should be wide enough to prevent the bird from gripping them. Care should be taken when using metal conduit in colder climates. Frost-bite can occur if a bird’s foot contacts a frozen bar. PVC bars are easily handled. They also “give” if a bird flies into them. However, PVC can become brittle with age and exposure to sunlight and may break unexpectedly. Vertical bars often are used in conjunction with other materials, such as metal wire (Chapter One). The bars can prevent injury caused by flying into metal wire while retaining the security provided by the strength of the wire (Enderson 1986).

Education Building

Figure 2-4: Indoor / outdoor facility Figure 2-5: Behlan enclosure

17

Caution must be taken when using metal wire for enclosures. Chicken wire should not be used where raptors may come into contact with the material (Gibson 1996, Arent and Martell 1996). Rapp and Crawford (1982), Gibson (1996), and Arent and Martell (1996) reported that birds housed in facilities constructed with chicken wire may experience broken feathers, cuts on the cere, sliced toes, and broken talons from contact with chicken wire. The types of metal wire most commonly used for raptor enclosures are chain link fencing and welded-wire. Chicken wire and other types of metal wire can be buried in the ground or placed around the outside of an enclosure as an inexpensive predator guard. Wiemeyer (1987) reported housing eastern screech owls (Otis asio) in cages constructed with metal wire. Fledglings housed in these enclosures often had damaged ceres and eyes. Some of the eye injuries resulted from cage mates while others were probably caused by striking the pens or objects in the pens Crawford (1983) recommended that wire should not be used with Accipiter spp. or harriers. Behlan® wire can be purchased as a standard, circular enclosure (Fig. 2-5) or as panels for use in custom designs. Figure 2-6 shows Behlan® wire used in a rectangular, outdoor cage. Welded-wire is buried beneath the surface to prevent predators from tunneling under (the wire is barely visible in figure 2-6 under the leaf-litter before burial). Behlan® wire is strong and weathers well, but is expensive. Galvanized wire should not be used except on the exteriors of enclosures. Galvanized wire can cause zinc or lead toxicosis depending upon the type of galvanization. If galvanization is needed in areas where metal is prone to rust, such as on the coast, the wire should be scrubbed with acetic acid and a wire brush to remove any loose galvanization material (Clubb and Flammer 1994). Immediately after scrubbing, the wire and the surrounding area should be rinsed throughly. Some materials, such as the wire used in Behlan® enclosures, are galvanized, but are also coated with non-toxic materials. Vinyl mesh, such as Bird Barrier®, and netting are adequate materials for raptor enclosures (Arent and Martell 1996, Gibson 1996). Some caretakers have experienced problems with vinyl mesh. Specifically, they found that it did not provide enough of a visual barrier. Vinyl mesh also may cause feather or foot damage in active birds and the plastic may eventually become brittle and break. Gibson (1996) stated that plastic mesh is appropriate for use as ceilings and enclosures for educational birds. Some types of plastic mesh have rounded mesh while other have angled mesh. Angled mesh may cut the bird’s feet when grabbed. A sample should be requested before purchasing large amounts of material to determine if it is appropriate. The gaps in the netting should be small enough that the raptor cannot stick its head through and that predators cannot enter the enclosure. Birds are more likely to see the Bird Barrier® and are less likely to fly into it and become entangled. Vinyl mesh appears to be more flexible than 18

Figure 2-6: Rectangular enclosure with Behlan wire sides

Figure 2-7: Raptor enclosure with wooden lattice siding

either metal wire or vertical bars. This flexibility may prevent injury when a bird bates or attempts to elude the caretaker. The most commonly used siding material is wood, either in slats or solid wood sides (Chapter One, Caudell and Riddleberger in press). Wood is often used in combination with other materials, such as metal wire or plastic mesh. A common type of construction for NRR enclosures is to build a chamber with a wooden frame, solid wood knee wall, and mesh-covered openings extending to the ceiling. One facility used wooden-lattice as a wall panel material (Fig. 2-7). Wooden and plastic lattice can be purchased in various thicknesses. The thickest lattice should be used. It is not known how well this material will stand up to stress or time. Some caretakers feel that wooden lattice is poorly constructed and does not present the raptor with the same degree of visual barrier that vertical barring provides (J. Karger, Last Chance Forever, personal communication). McKeever (1979) reported using translucent solid panels in place of wooden panels. The entire facility should be set up on a concrete curb so thatno wood contacts the ground. This increases the life of the structure substantially in areas of high humidity. A concrete curb also deters predators from digging underneath. If the interior walls are not set upon a

concrete curb, wire should extend from the wall into the ground. A few caretakers reported that rain washed out sand floors leaving a gap between individual enclosures, allowing a larger raptor to pull a smaller raptor under the wall and kill it. Raptor enclosures should be built with the finished side in to aid in cleaning the inside (Gibson 1996). Also, this prevents raptors from perching on exposed studs used in construction. Common walls of two enclosures should both be finished. If enclosures will be visited and a finished exterior is desired, both sides can be finished. Building material should also be easy to clean. Rough surfaces will hold feces and other debris making them harder to clean. The surfaces should be smooth-sealed with a weather sealant to facilitate cleaning. Because hawks have “projectile” feces, a sheet of plastic can be placed on the walls behind a hawk’s perch to ease cleaning. Clean or replace plastic frequently to prevent build-up of feces. ROOF CONSTRUCTION When building the roof or any other part of the structure, there can be no exposed nails or screws. If a tin roof is used, there should be an air space between the tin and the birds. In the summer the metal will get hot and the

Figure 2-8: Partially covered roof. Notice that water drains to the inside of the enclosure. This should be avoided. A gutter system could be added to this structure to improve the design. 19

Figure 2-9: Raptor enclosure with roof sloping away from the interior of the enclosure

birds can suffer thermal burns if they touch the inside surface. Common roof materials include solid wood, shingles, slats, metal wire, plastic mesh, translucent panels, and tin panels (Chapter One, Caudell and Riddleberger in press). The roof can be completely open, partially open, or completely covered (Fig. 2-8). If the roof is completely open, a box or other covered structure where the animal can escape the elements should be provided. Opinions differ as to the amount of roof coverage. Arent and Martell (1996) and Gibson (1996) stated that a section of the roof should remain open (but covered with wire) to the elements to allow the bird to sun or bathe in the rain. Arent and Martell (1996) recommended that 25% to 50% of the roof be solid material to provide protection from the elements. If a partially open roof is used, the covered part should be pitched away from the open area to prevent water from draining into the enclosure (Fig. 2-9 and 2-10). However, complete roofs are stronger in high winds (Parry-Jones 1994). Solid roofs are also more resistant to damage in the event a tree limb falls on them. If nylon mesh or vinyl wire is used to cover open areas, they can accumulate leaf litter which is difficult to clean and can damage or stretch the wire.

Floor Plan Existing enclosure with single entry way

Add on double entryway Figure 2-10: Raptor enclosure with second entryway retrofitted to a single entry enclosure. Adapted from Glasier (1978). 20

Work area Fold down work table

Enclosure 1

Enclosure 2

Enclosure 3

Enclosure 4

Enclosure 5

Fig 2-11: Floor plan of facility in figure 2-12. This plan demonstrates the use of a hallway for a double-door system. ENTRY DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION The most important design aspect of entry construction is the use of double doors. When entering raptor enclosures, birds may fly at the opening and escape. A second door will prevent escape. Enclosures without double doors can be retrofitted with a second door (Fig. 210). Doors also should be equipped with spring hinges and latches that are easy to work. Do not use springs that are exposed because they can injure the birds. To maximize space and the use of construction materials, several enclosures can be designed into one facility with a hallway / workroom with a second entry that serves as the double door (Fig. 2-11 and 2-12) FLOOR SUBSTRATE The material used should be easy to maintain and not be a breeding ground for disease. Floor substrate should prevent birds from coming into contact will their own waste (Heidenreich 1997). Pine needles or other vegetation are aesthetically pleasing as floor substrate, but should not be used because such materials retain moisture and heat, are difficult to clean, and promote fungal growth such as Aspergillus (Parry-Jones 1994, Gibson 1996). Nevertheless, some facilities reported using pine straw and other similar materials with no reported adverse effects (Chapter One). Wiemeyer (1987) reported using fine hardwood chips for the propagation of eastern screech owls and included no mention of illness or death related to the substrate. If pine straw or other such materials is used, it should be changed at least weekly. Sand is commonly used as floor substrate (Chapter One). Opinions vary as to whether or not sand is an appropriate substrate for raptor enclosures. Gibson (1996) stated that ingestion of sand on food items can cause digestive problems. The Raptor Trust (flight cage plans, Millington, NJ USA.) recommended using crushed gravel covered with sand. Heidenreich (1997) also recommended

sand as an appropriate floor substrate for small aviaries. A thick layer of washed, round river rock or pea gravel is a good choice (Weaver and Cade 1991, Heidenreich 1997). Gibson (1996) recommended that pea gravel be at least 7 cm to 10 cm deep. To provide cushion for flightless birds jumping down from high perches, it should be at least 30 cm deep. Gravel is fairly inexpensive and allows proper drainage during heavy rain. However, Parry-Jones (1994) stated that large gravel can damage feathers. Parry-Jones (1994) also reported that finer pea-gravel can become so hot as to damage the birds feet. Round-river and crushed gravel were the most commonly used floor substrate material used by educational facilities throughout the United States (Chapter One). Gibson (1996) recommended that gravel be changed at least annually. The ground should be prepared before the rock is placed. A 10% solution of chlorine bleach in a hand pump sprayer can be used to spray the ground thoroughly and allow it to dry. Place rock in the enclosures 5cm to 10cm deep. To clean the cage, remove the soiled rock down to dry earth and replace it with fresh gravel. Both the ground and the gravel should be sprayed with cleaning solution, throughly rinsed with fresh water, and allowed to dry. Do not wash the interior of the cage while the birds are present. After rinsing, let the cage air out before returning the bird. Do not place the bird back in the enclosure if you detect any odors. Birds can experience respiratory distress if chlorine fumes are present. A concrete floor with central or corner drainage is easy to clean. Such floors also can be disinfected rapidly and do not have to be replaced periodically. However, if the concrete has a brushed surface, it can damage the bird’s feet (personal communication Burnie Kessner, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division). A thick layer of river rock can be added over the surface to prevent damage to the bird’s feet and still permit proper drainage. 21

Many raptor facilities use either dirt or grass in raptor enclosures (Chapter One). Heidenreich (1997) stated that large, open aviaries do well with planted grass and small bushes. The wire mesh ceiling allows rain to wash feces into the soil. The removal of dirt directly underneath perches several times per year help cages remain clean. SEPARATION OF SPECIES Animals housed in the same enclosure must be compatible. In Georgia, animals cannot be housed near other animals that will interfere with their health or cause them discomfort (Appendix 1). Raptors should not be in view of predators or prey species to minimize stress and related health problems. Many raptors are incompatible with conspecifics and some cannot be housed with a different sex of the same species. Most conspecifics can be housed together with the exception of human imprinted birds, american kestrels (Falco sparverius), and Accipiter spp. (Arent and Martell 1996). An imprinted bird may not have the “social skills” needed to protect or assert themselves. Birds already housed in an enclosure may harass a new cage mate, particulary if the new resident is disabled and cannot defend itself. McKeever (1979) stated that regardless of its disability, female owls will never be attacked or harassed by a male of its species. Turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) can be housed with several different species such as bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), greathorned owls (Bubo virginianus), red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), rough-legged hawks (Buteo lagopus), and Swainson’s hawks (Buteo swainsoni). Swainson’s hawks can be housed with all of the preceding species except the owls and eagles. Eagles can be housed with each other and turkey vultures. Great-horned owls can be housed with red-tailed hawks, rough-legged hawks, and turkey vultures. Red-tailed hawks can be housed with great horned owls, rough-legged hawks, Swainson’s hawks, and turkey vultures. Rough-legged hawks can be housed with the same species as red-tailed hawks. Peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) and prairie falcons (Falco mexicanus) can be housed with each other (Arent and Martell 1996). This list of compatible species is not complete or absolute. Some individuals may not be able to be housed with another bird. Do not put two birds in the same cage if one is the other’s prey. If two birds are placed together, observe them often to determine if one is being harassed and separate them if needed. If there is any doubt about whether a bird can be housed with another bird, contact a local rehabilitator, zoo, or other educational facility with raptors. If birds are housed together, each bird must have adequate food, shelter, and perches. If shelter boxes are provided, each bird must have its own. All perches should be placed at approximately the same height for each bird. If there is only one high perch, the birds may fight over it.

22

VISUAL SEPARATION In many cage designs, walls are shared. If this is the case, there should be visual separation between the cages if raptors of different species and sizes occupy adjoining cages. Some raptors feel threatened by the presence of another species or conspecifics and may become anxious, flighty, or may stop eating (Arent and Martell 1996). Solid walls between the enclosures reduces stress and prevents larger birds from injuring smaller birds (Fig 2-12). Two layers of mesh, mesh of a small size, or shade cloth are other alternatives. Another solution is to provide a shelter box. The size of this box is dictated by the size of the raptor. A screen can also be erected inside large cages to allow excitable birds (such as Accipiter spp.) the ability to escape each other visually (Rapp and Crawford 1982). SEPARATION FROM OTHER ANIMALS Raptor enclosures should be located away from other animal facilities. Disease may be spread between raptors and other avian species, such as domestic chickens. Pets should not be kept or allowed near raptor enclosures. The presence of canines and other animals may cause stress. Environmental education or nature centers that display other wildlife should prevent both visual and actual contact between raptors and other species. The presence of species that normally prey on raptors may be a constant source of stress to the birds. The birds also should be protected from native wildlife. Raccoons can dig underneath walls and kill or maim captive birds. Wire should be buried underneath the

Figure 2-12: Visual seperation at this facility is accomplished by solid partitions between the enclosures

Table 2-1:

Recommended minimum enclosure sizes for captive raptors adapted from Arent and Martell (1996).

Size of Raptor

Flight ability

Length (m)

Width (m)

Height (m)

Small Raptors1

flighted flightless flighted flightless flighted flightless

1.8 0.9 3.7 1.8 12.2 3.7

1.8 0.9 1.8 1.8 3.1 3.1

2.1 0.9 2.1 2.1 2.7 2.7

Medium Raptors2 Large Raptors3

American kestrels, screech owls, and saw-whet owls. Buteo sp., great-horned owls, barn owls, barred owls, and goshawks. 3 Eagles, vultures, and osprey. 1 2

Table 2-2: Type of raptor Hawks Eagles Vulture Large Falcons Small Falcons Large Owls Small Owls

Median enclosure dimensions of non-releasable raptors from raptor centers throughout the US (Chapter One this volume). Length (m) 4.2 5.4 4.9 2.4 3.1 3.7 2.4

Width (m) 2.4 3.7 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 1.4

floor substrate and outside the cages to prevent burrowing animals from entering the facilities. Burrowing predators quickly become discouraged when they encounter buried wire (Gibson 1996). Another method to discourage burrowing predators is to construct a concrete curb extending into the ground. Enclosure wire should be small enough to prevent predators from reaching in an grabbing the birds. Some animals may transmit pathogens to the birds. Rats that enter in an attempt to eat the raptor’s food items may have been poisoned or diseased. Contact with wild raptors or other birds should be minimized. SPACE REQUIREMENTS Determining the space requirements for raptors is difficult. Few attempts have been made to set minimum standards for enclosure sizes for birds of prey. Arent and Martell (1996) provide suggestions for both flighted and non-flighted raptors (Table 2-1). Heidenreich (1997) provided suggestions for aviary dimensions. Both California Department of Fish and Game and the Texas Parks and Recreation Department have established guidelines for enclosure size for NRR. Other enclosure suggestions can be found by examining literature regarding the propagation of raptor species (Carpenter et al. 1987b, Wiemeyer 1987,

Height (m) 2.4 2.8 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.0

Area (m2) 11.8 16.7 11.8 7.4 5.8 9.6 3.2

Weaver and Cade 1991), falconry literature (Glasier 1978, Parry-Jones 1991), and rehabilitation literature (McKeever 1979, Conroy 1981). Guidelines for enclosure sizes in Georgia are based on median cage sizes for raptor centers from across the United States (Table 2-2). Enclosures should be constructed and maintained to provide sufficient space for each animal to make normal postural and social adjustments with adequate freedom of movement. Inadequate space may be indicated by malnutrition, poor condition, debility, stress, or abnormal behavioral patterns. However, for NRR used for educational programs, larger spaces are not always better. Spaces that are too tall may make it difficult for the caretaker to catch the bird. Individual species habits and requirements should be taken into consideration when designing raptor enclosures. Harriers and Accipiter spp. must have as much room as can be provided due to their nervous disposition (Crawford 1983). Smaller raptors, such as screech owls (Otis spp.) do not require as much space as larger birds. It is important to determine which species are desirable for the program, set a limit for the number of species housed at the facility, and build enclosures to suit those needs.

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(~10 cm x 10 cm x 100 cm) over the holes. Mark the end of the post where the screws are to be attached. Remove the post and put silicon sealant on the bottom of the post and around the screw holes. Attach the post to the oil pan with appropriately sized wood screws. Allow sealant to set according to the directions. Fill with water and check for leaks. Screw a section of plywood to the top of the post. Place the tray on top of plywood for easy removal to clean food residue from the tray. The pan should be large enough to provide enough weight to prevent the platform from tipping over. To increase weight, gravel can be placed in the bottom of the pan.

Figure 2-13: Ant resistant platform FOOD PLATFORM A clean feeding container for the birds is essential. Contact between feces and the bird’s food should be minimized. Even though the ground may appear clean, fecal material may be present that can contaminate food. A non-porous material should be used as a food container, such as school lunch trays, slabs of slate, pet food dishes, and plastic plates. Dishes should be resistant to damage caused by the bird perching on it or biting it. A dish can be placed on the ground or an elevated platform. Elevated platforms should be large enough for the bird to perch on comfortably and eat its meal. A perch constructed of appropriate material should also be provided. The food platform itself can be attached to the wall or placed under the feed slot. In areas where ants pose a problem, a free-standing, “ant-resistant” platform can be constructed (Fig. 2-13, J. Karger, personal communication). A large water pan, such as a new oil change pan, can be used as a base. Drill three to four small holes in the center of the pan. Place a post

PERCHES Proper perches are important for bird health (Rapp and Crawford 1982). Forbes and Parry-Jones (1996) stated that the majority of bumblefoot cases are caused by improper perches. Each species and each individual bird may have different perching needs. Often a bird will sit on an inadequate perch, even if it is causes foot damage (Glasier 1978). Perches that are too small can exert too much pressure on a localized spot on the bird’s foot, leading to bumblefoot. Size and shape are important considerations when building perches. Falcons prefer to perch on flat surfaces but other raptors like to grip around an object (Forbes and Parry-Jones 1996). Arent and Martell (1996) suggest that bumblefoot can be prevented in some species with the use of specifically designed perches (Fig. 2-14). Forbes and Parry-Jones (1996) note that falcons have bumblefoot more often than other raptors. They recommend that falcon feet be checked 2-3 times per week for early signs of bumblefoot. Be observant of the bird’s behavior both in the enclosure and sitting on the perch. It may be necessary to change the perch size, location, material, or height before the bird is comfortable. Perch widths are determined by the size of the raptor’s foot (Fig. 2-15). This measurement can be used as an

2.5 cm

Cork bark or other covering

2 cm

9 cm 2 cm

4 cm

4 cm

1.3 cm

Shaped wood block

4 cm

Figure 2-14: Cross-section of shaped wood blocks used for raptor perches. Adapted from Arent and Martell (1996) 24

X

Figure 2-15: Location of measurement for determining perch width; X = width of perch initial size for the trial and error process of providing the proper perches. Birds with new perches should be monitored daily for perch use and pink spots (erosions) developing on their feet. Perch size may need to be adjusted for the size of the bird. The bird’s toes should never encircle the perch (Rapp and Crawford 1982). Avoid putting perches in the corner of the chambers. They should be a minimum of 0.5 m from a wall to prevent the raptor from damaging its feathers by hitting the walls. There should be perches in both the indoor and outdoor areas of the enclosure. Rapp and Crawford (1982) recommend two to three perches per enclosure. Check outside perches for underlying surface wetness. Physically

check perches each day. Flightless raptors require step-up perches or perches that are low enough for the bird to hop onto (Rapp and Crawford 1982). Rough or irregular materials are necessary to prevent foot problems. Smooth perches can result in “hot spots” on the raptor’s foot. The hot spots are the equivalent of blisters in humans. The material must be easily cleaned and replaced. Climate is also a factor in determining what type of perches to use. In warm moist climates, such as Georgia, the material must not absorb or hold water. Absorbent materials can cause fungus to develop in the perch and possibly infect the bird with pathogens if the raptor’s foot is damaged. Monsanto Tall Turf ® and artificial turf are commonly used perch materials (Chapter One, Jones 1993). They are durable, inexpensive, and have rough surfaces that are beneficial to the raptor’s feet. They also are easy to clean and hold up well in warm, humid climates. Cork bark is another perch material that is inexpensive, aesthetically pleasing, and has many irregular surfaces (Forbes and Parry-Jones 1996, Heidenreich 1997). However, cork bark is rarely used in the United States (Chapter One). Tall Turf® and cork bark are used to cover both perches and platforms. Cork bark and artificial turf can be easily attached with “cable ties” (available from hardware stores). Tall turf should be replaced when it starts looking flat and thread-bare. Natural branches, stumps, and logs are the most commonly used perches in raptor facilities throughout the United States (Caudell and Riddleberger in press, Chapter One). Natural branches must be the correct size, the bark must be intact, and they must be replaced often, especially

Tree branch or other bar Perch ring Rubber strap

Figure 2-16: Bow perch; perch cover goes over tree branch or bar. Rubber strap (Fox 1995) is used for cushioning when the bird bates.

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when they become smooth. Avoid cherry (Prunus spp.), rose (Rosa sp.), beech (Fagus spp.) and other smoothbarked wood. Do not use branches or stumps with thorns or other sharp protrusions. Replace any perch material that shows loss of irregular surfaces, build up of fecal matter, or other condition that may damage the bird’s foot. Weaver (1991) and Jones (1993) recommended using “coca mats” for falcons. The mats are long lasting and provide cushion to prevent bruising of the feet. Indoor/ outdoor carpeting is another perch material commonly used throughout the United States (Chapter One). Some facilities recommend using sisal or manilla rope to wrap perches (Jones and Gumbs 1984, Arent and Martell 1996). Rope is aesthetic and provides an irregular surface, but in Georgia and other humid climates it may pose problems. If rope is used, it should be checked regularly for mold and fraying. Bow perches are used often in falconry and educational programs. Jones (1993) described the construction of a horizontal bow perch that can be affixed permanently in raptor enclosures. Bow perches (Fig. 2-16) can be covered with rope, coca mat, astroturf, or leather (Jones 1993, Parry-Jones 1994, Fox 1995, Arent and Martell 1996). Cable ties can also be used to attach perch covers to bow perches. They are inexpensive and can be replaced each time the perch material is replaced. However, they should not come into contact with the bird’s feet. Crawford (1983) recommended that a small piece of emory cloth wrapped around a portion of the perch will provide an area for birds to “freak” their beaks. Large stones placed in the enclosures may also facilitate this process. Not all birds will utilize these items efficiently and trimming of the beaks may be required. BATHS Some birds of prey do not drink often (Glasier 1978, Bird 1987) because they get most of their water from prey items. However, many birds do like to bathe occasionally (Glasier 1987, Carpenter et. al 1987a). A water container should be large enough for the bird to bathe in, but not so deep that it could drown. Water containers can be made from several different materials. McKeever (1979) suggested that the surface of the pool not be plastic or metal, since both are slippery and frightening to owls. However, Wiemeyer (1987) used stainless steel watering pans for eastern screech owls with no reported problems. In the winter, freezing temperatures can pose a problem with providing water. Caretakers at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland placed warmers underneath metal water pans during winter months to prevent freezing (Wiemeyer 1987). In the Southeast, long periods of freezing temperature are infrequent. Water can be checked often or removed at night to prevent freezing. In large water containers, placing a perch on one side that dips into the water will allow a bird to move in and out of the water easily. Adjustments in design should be made 26

to accommodate birds with disabilities. Perches near the bathing container allow the bird to dry upon exiting the water. If the bird is wild and has not yet adapted to captivity, the bath should be placed on the side of the cage least likely to be approached by anyone (Glasier 1978). A commonly used design for exhibition facilities is to build a concrete pool in the enclosure. The surface should be lightly brushed while the concrete is setting to prevent slipping. It should not be so rough that cleaning is hampered. The sides should allow the birds to move in and out freely and facilitate cleaning. Another option for exhibition facilities is to use baths that blend in with the bird’s environment. The largest owls (e.g. great-horned owls) will require a water container ~2 m in diameter (McKeever 1979). Smaller owls, such as screech owls, will require a container with a diameter of 0.3 m. Depth is more critical than diameter. The depth of the water should not come above the abdomen of the bird when it is standing in the container. Small owls should have water 5 cm deep. Larger owls require water 15 cm deep. Weimeyer (1987) used a 20 cm diameter x 7 cm deep container for eastern screech owls. The sides should not be so high or steep that it would hamper the bird exiting from the container. Water containers should be cleaned daily because some species tend to defecate in water. It is important to flush the container with a large amount of water to remove chemical residues after disinfection. CLEANING Good hygiene involves frequent cleaning of the bird’s enclosure and is far more important in the prevention of disease than the use of disinfectants (Perry 1994). Organic debris must be physically removed before a disinfectant will be effective. Water and food containers should be physically scrubbed or placed in a dishwasher at least twice weekly (preferably daily) to prevent slime and algae from forming (personal communication, Dr. Cheryl Greenacre, University of Georgia School of Veterinary Medicine). Place the bird in a spare enclosure or travel carrier to prevent stress while cleaning, even if your bird enjoys being sprayed with water. Remove feces from cage walls and perches using a water hose and a brush. A garden hose adaptor used to add soap to the water will facilitate the process. A mild soap will work to remove most mutes and debris. When cleaning, take precautions to avoid inhaling spores and dried aerosolized particles of feces. Arent and Martell (1996) recommended that each pen be cleaned daily. This includes removing castings (pellets coughed up by raptors consisting of undigested food) and food remains and providing fresh water. Pens should be throughly disinfected at least once per week. Birds should not come into direct contact with or be exposed to the fumes of any disinfection agent. The constant use of powerful disinfectants in the absence of a disease threat is not beneficial and continued contact with these chemicals

can be detrimental to the birds and to caretakers (Clubb and Flammer 1994). Gravel should be completely replaced every 2 years (Ardent and Martell 1996). Gravel underneath the perches and other areas contaminated with feces and food remains should be removed weekly and throughly washed. Gravel can be washed by spreading it out and soaking it with a disinfectant. It should then be rinsed thoroughly with water and allowed to dry. The surface underneath the gravel should be sprayed with disinfectant after the gravel is removed and allowed to dry. Before the bird is returned, fresh gravel must be placed on the cleaned surface. Hard surfaces, such as concrete, can be cleaned in the same manner as the walls. Ideally, cleaning tools should not be used for more than one cage (McKeever 1979). The initial outlay for a large number of brushes and other tools will be offset by the reduction in the possible spread of pathogens. However, for birds in permanent collections that are in close contact, providing separate brushes may not be necessary. COMMON DISINFECTANTS A disinfectant is a germicidal compound that is usually applied to inanimate objects. A compound may act both as an antiseptic and a disinfectant, depending on the drug concentration, condition of the exposure, and number of organisms. To achieve maximum efficiency, it is essential to use the proper concentration of the disinfectant for the purpose intended. The logic that “if a little is good, then more must be better” is not only uneconomical, but often has toxicological implications (Fraser 1991). Many disinfectants emit toxic fumes and should only be used in a well ventilated area and never near the bird. Disinfectants should be rinsed thoroughly from the enclosure and off accessories to prevent the bird from coming into contact with chemical residue. Household chlorine bleach is the most cost efficient of the common disinfectants. Few disinfectants are effective in the presence of organic residue. Directions on the use of the chemical should be followed closely. All disinfectants are toxic and should be used in a conservative fashion for the specific purpose of preventing exposure to infectious agents. There is no such thing as a safe disinfectant. If it is safe, it does not kill microbial agents (Clubb and Flammer 1994). The least toxic agent that will effectively meet the disinfecting needs should be chosen. In most cases, a 5% dilution of sodium hypochlorite is the safest and most efficacious, with the least potential for leaving toxic residues. A disinfectant should kill disease agents to which raptors are susceptible (Arent and Martell 1996). These agents include strains of Pseudomonas, Salmonella, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Escherichia coli, Chlamydia, Candida, and Mycobacterium. Chlorine Bleach - Chlorine exerts a potent germicidial effect against most bacteria, viruses, protozoa,

and fungi (Fraser 1991). Chlorine bleach is effective in killing Pseudomonas spp., Salmonella spp. Streptococcus spp., and Staphylococcus spp. and other bacteria (Clubb and Flammer 1994) It is ineffective against Mycobacterium spp. To use as a disinfectant, chlorine bleach should be mixed with water on a 1:10 ratio (bleach:water). The longer chlorine is in contact with an organism, the more effective it is (Ritchie and Harrison 1994). The effectiveness of chlorine bleach can be increased by either decreasing the pH of the water or by increasing the temperature (Clubb and Flammer 1994). It is important to use only liquid chlorine bleach and not granulated chlorine. The latter can release toxic levels of chlorine gas. Birds should never come into direct contact with chlorine bleach. Exposure to chlorine fumes can cause epiphora, coughing, sneezing, rhinorrhea, and dyspna in most avian species (Ritchie and Harrison 1994). Chlorine can react with some metals and it is also difficult to rinse out of porous materials. Virkon-S® - Virkon-S® (a phenol) is a broad spectrum disinfectant designed primarily for use in chicken houses. It is effective against many bacteria, viruses, and fungi. A normal application requires spraying or soaking the object in the solution and then rinsing (Durvet Inc. 1996). Phenol (1-Stroke®) - Phenol (carbolic acid) is bactericidal / fungicidal used at 1-2% concentrations. The bactericidal activity is enhanced by warm temperatures and is decreased by alkaline medium, lipids, soaps, and cold temperatures. Phenol has been implicated as a carcinogen (Fraser 1991). Hot Water - Water above 180 oC can be useful for disinfecting food and water dishes. Many dishwashers use water at or above this temperature; however, check the manufacturer’s literature to be certain. Do not use the same dishwasher that is used on household dishware. Quaternary ammonia solutions (Quats) - Roccal® is a name brand of quat used in veterinary hospitals. Quats are used as table washers and cold sterilization. They can also be used to clean enclosures or to soak nets, dishes, perches, and other equipment (Johnson-Delaney 1994). Because the solutions are toxic to birds, the equipment should be rinsed throughly after disinfection. Quats are effective against some fungi (including yeast), protozoa, most bacteria, and is recommended for chlamydia. Quats are ineffective against mycobacterium, viruses, and spores (Fraser 1991, Clubb and Flammer 1994). Quats are of limited value in the presence of blood and tissue debris (Fraser 1991). Rubber gloves should be worn because it is an irritant. Chlorhexidine - Nolvasan® (Fort Dodge, Bio Ceutic) is available as a disinfectant solution that is usually mixed at 90 ml/3.8 L. Fraser (1991) stated that it has a potent antimicrobial activity against most grampositive and some gram-negative bacteria, but not against spores. A 0.1% aqueous solution is bactericidal against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomo27

nas aeruginosa in 15 sec. It is somewhat less active against other gram-negative organisms and most viruses. Nosocomial infections by Pseudomonas sp. have occurred from the use of contaminated chlorhexidine solutions in which the bacteria persisted (Fraser 1991). Chlorhexidine is not effective against gram-positive cocci (Ritchie and Harrison 1994). Chlorhexidine is more gentle on tissue than quats and is effective against viruses and candida. However, it is not effective against Chlamydia and many other pathogenic bacteria (Johnson-Delaney 1994). The effectiveness of chlorhexidine is reduced by the presence of organic matter (Fraser 1991, Perry 1994). Chlorhexidine is extremely toxic to aquatic environments. Waste products must be handled carefully. Chlorhexadines can also irritate eyes and mucus membranes (Ritchie and Harrison 1994).

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FACILITY MANAGEMENT Policies concerning cleaning, bookkeeping, training of volunteers or paid employees, and use of the birds should be set and followed. While policies are tedious to set, they can prevent confusion among workers in the long run. An important policy to set at a facility is program fees. Deciding how much to charge for programs can be difficult. All costs must be taken into consideration including food, maintenance, yearly veterinary charges, employee payroll, and travel for programs. Incidental costs such as replacing substrate, cleaning fluid, repairing or replacing gauntlets, jesses, leather conditioner, etc. must also be considered. Facility managers must keep in mind the need for construction of new enclosures, upkeep of old enclosures, and modifications required by changes to state or federal regulations. A portion of the yearly budget should be dedicated for construction and maintenance.

CHAPTER 3: EQUIPMENT Using non-releasable raptors (NRR) in educational programs will require falconry equipment. Jesses, leashes, swivels, bow perches, and other supplies will be needed for using birds in demonstrations. Additional equipment, such as radio-telemetry equipment may also be necessary if freeflights are performed. Purchasing quality materials is of upmost importance. A broken jess or leash can lead to the loss of a raptor that the caretaker has spent many hours training. It may also mean death for a bird that has escaped, but cannot fend for itself. JESSES Jesses are small leather straps placed on the raptor’s leg. They are used for attaching a leash (Chiles and Crawford 1985). Jesses and Aylmeri bracelets are made from high quality leather such as kangaroo hide or cow hide (Heidenreich 1997). Hides of lesser quality leather such as goat or elk can also be used (Glasier 1978). The leather must be pliable and strong. Leather can be tested before buying it by cutting a strip the width of a jess and pulling on each end to see if it will break. If it does not break, cut a small slit in it to see if it will rip easily. Leather has varying degrees of stretch. It will stretch more down the length of the grain than across the grain. Be sure to allow for the stretch when crafting the jess. Equipment needed to craft jesses include a pair of sharp scissors, a small sharp knife, a cutting board, and a leather punch (Glasier 1978, Parry-Jones 1994). If Aylmeri bracelets are used, grommets and a grommet tool will be needed. Never use a hammer and anvil to attach an Aylmeri to a bird’s leg. Two jesses should be used on raptors. As a raptor bates (attempts to fly off the handler’s glove), a large amount of stress is placed on the jess and the bird’s leg. If only one leg is attached to a jess, twice as much force is applied to the raptor’s leg compared to a raptor that has two jesses (Chiles and Crawford 1985) . Jesses also can break. If the bird has two jesses and one breaks, it will not be able to fly away. However, improperly maintained jesses have been known to break at the same time. Jesses should always be placed on the bird with the rough side of the leather away from the bird’s leg. Jess and Aylmeri sizes - The length and width of the jesses will vary for each bird. A hawk’s leg (tarsometatarsus) is longer than a falcon’s. Therefore, a hawk’s jesses should be cut wider than a falcon’s jesses to provide more support (Glasier 1978). Do not cut the jesses longer than necessary. Jesses may become entangled on the furniture in the cage and may injure the bird. Arent and Martell (1996) provided suggested sizes for both Aylmeri bracelets and jesses. For small birds (2000 g) should be 25 cm long and 19 mm wide. The tail-width of the jess should be ~4 mm narrower than the body width (Fig. 3-1). The length of the body will be based upon measurement taken from the leg of the raptor. These are suggested sizes. Individual birds may need jesses tailored to fit more precisely. Aylmeri bracelets for small birds should be from 6 mm - 10 mm with an eyelet 2000 g). A smaller width is used for smaller birds (
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