First Look: Jo Durt’s Puppy Pile

Queen of The Causeway, Jo Durt, and her mate, Kids On Grass, have successfully hatched four beautiful babies at their tower on Bonnet Island. It’s hard to believe that those two were also once buried in a puppy pile like this, especially Jo Durt, who was hatched in a flowerpot on the balcony of an oceanfront condo! I’m not a gardener, but if I could grow flowers as adorable as these, I certainly would.

Unfortunately, even though these babies look all fresh, fluffy, and white on the outside, they are absolutely riddled with parasitic flies under their wings and necks. The infestation is exceedingly terrible at Bonnet Island this season. More and more is being learned about this falcon plague each year. While these infestations are not generally considered lethal in older falcons, it is becoming clear that young hatchlings like these can be quickly overwhelmed by them and die.

So Kathy, Ben, & I decided to run right back urgently and treat them.

You are lucky the camera died. I set up a cam to film three babies’ treatments using three techniques, showing before and after results. I’m always curious to find new ways to do things quicker and to keep the babies more comfortable, warm, and safe. They are so tiny, fresh, and delicate; the flies and their feces are so stubborn and nasty!

Here is a quick video of the puppy pile in the igloo and the prompt treatment of the first baby before the camera died. You are spared me holding babies up to the camera so you can see how bad the infestations are. But if you are curious about what a mess it is, you can surely see the sizeable black masses of dried blood and feces under the wings and the foul condition of the swabs when it’s done.

These poor little angels! But now they are treated and can move on to discovering their bright future and ultimate destiny: that they are, each one of them, the fastest animals on planet Earth.

Hopefully I wasn’t too late.


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