Bye Bye Bob

I guess it felt like the first day of school. You take your kid there and just wish for the best. Bob had come to us from the Alaska Sealife Center back in July as a real young guy. He had been attacked by something, patched back together by ASLC and sent to Bird TLC.

Bob grew and grew and was sent out to the flight center on August 14 to get ready for his life after TLC. Our biggest concern about Bob was all he really knew was people. The hardest thing for the volunteers at the flight center to do was not be friendly to Bob. We weren't mean or anything like that, just not friendly. Bob likes super worms and mice. When a volunteer would go to the flight center to feed, Bob would greet them at the door.

The weather has been great, but fall is fast on its way. The leaves are changing, it's cooler at night and birds are starting to head south. It was now or never for Bob. To ship him outside would cost a small fortune, he wouldn't make an easy education bird to deal with and he deserves another chance at life in the wild where he belongs.

For the last couple of days, Britt and I have been working a project put at the flight center. Bob got some extra servings for dinner to help him prepare for his journey. Today we finished the project and it was time for Bob to leave.

With suggestions of where to go from friends of Bob, we headed to Wasilla where UAF has some experimental farms where sand hill cranes are known to visit. Sure enough there were plenty there. With a lot of coaxing, Bob took to flight. He flew better than we had expected and probably surprised himself as well.

We did have to recover him a couple times to get him headed in the right direction. The last we saw of him he was in a field with about 20 other sand hill cranes. He hadn't mingled in with them yet. SHC's were coming and going while we were there, so we figured he will figure things out before long.

Bob, we wish you the best. You have to get your own super worms and mice now.

Photo Credit: Britt Coon / Bird TLC