Ok, so I'm a first time squeeb-mama and recognize I'm going to be super emotional, bordering on irrational, about release tomorrow. However, I think I have a couple legitimate concerns and I could really use some feedback. It's the 11th hour here, but I'm still hoping some of you will be awake and brimming with advice
I posted before about the hawks in my neighborhood after I lost an escapee to one and many of you gave me some great ideas on deterring them from my yard. I haven't seen one swoop down since I implemented the shiny, spinny, reflective ornaments. I also put up two sun sails over the "swoop danger zone" which are double duty deck shades
I built a bridge and attached it between the top of the RC and the tree where it goes up near the extra nest box (they've had it in the RC till now.)
I've got a serious hawk phobia going on and it's made me proscrastinate. I've done what I could to create a safer release environment, but I'm SO SO SO anxious.
Here's the rub:
Last week, I ALMOST managed their release. One wasn't interested in leaving. The second came out and went back in. The third took off on the adventure of her life.....alone...and three hours later at sunset I was rescuing her after she'd been tree'd by my neighbors dog.
Shouldn't they stick together in the beginning for safety??? How do I make that happen?
Thank goodness the dog didn't get ahold of her.
But she is my fearless one and FROZE.
My boy, Grayson, is significantly more timid and freezes up over much less. I really don't think he's savvy enough to avoid predation! With these two hawks here....I'm just SICK with worry. If any of them were to choose to remain a pet, it would be him.
If he did, so be it. I accepted that potential when I accepted them to rehab. But when he's released, how would I know? If he's not wild-savvy enough, he might end up taken by one of the hawks or a dog, etc. And, I can't release the others and hold him back longer.
I'm excited for them to be wild and free, but I'm terrified and my heart hurts over the very real "what if" dangers.
Suggestions appreciated. Or even encouragement I'm doing this release the best way.
On a lighter note, I'm including some photos of the whimsical release prep I've done.