fawn call

This starts with my ornithology teaching assistant in college, at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

I LOVE ornithology. A generalist class: bird wings, ecology, biology, zoology, physics of flight and they SING! Also we walk around in the woods with the teaching assistants trying to see and hear birds. We memorize their songs and markings.

We go out at night. Our teaching assistant hears a barn owl. He replies. He is an expert at that call. The barn owl answers. After a few back and forths, the barn owl swoops over us, coming to check out the caller! The barn owl is unnerving and gorgeous, passing just over our heads.

We all talk to the birds. We make pshhh, pshhh, pshhh noises and lbbs (little brown birds) will sometimes hop out on a branch, curious about us. Hooray! It’s a warbler!

We practice our bird songs.

Fast forward to the present. I walk with my friend and he is messing with his enormous zoom lens. We see crows harrying something in the top of a tree. A hawk, who calls. I start answering. The hawk is young and calling its parents. It’s the time when the parents say, you have to go hunt. My friend gets an amazing picture of the hawk looking right at us, mouth open, crying. I dig around on my cell phone, and think it’s a Swainson’s hawk. I play the Swainson’s song and then the young hawk REALLY cries: I feel terrible, as if I have teased the young one. Yes, it’s a Swainson.

We run in to two young bucks. I sing to deer. The deer are always alert and ready to run when I appear, but when I sing they just stand and look at me. My friend takes a photograph of the buck, just watching and listening to me.

My friend finds a fawn in his yard. The mother leaves the fawn for 8-24 hours. My friend has a low fence around most but not all of the yard.

The doe returns for the fawn one day. My friend is outside. The mother hops the fence. The fawn tries to, but it can’t hop high enough. It hits the fence and cries. It tries over and over. My friend goes up slowly and opens the gate. The fawn goes out the gate after he backs off. Both fawn and doe look at my friend.

I stop by his house to pick up a package for him. I park and hop out of my car. A fawn behind the fence startles and goes around the side of the house! It’s late afternoon and two fawns and a doe were lying in the shade in the front yard. The second fawn gets up and mom stands. I hold still and sing to them a little. Then I go in through the gate, get the package and slowly get back in my car.

Word gets around. The other day my friend has six fawns in his yard. He’s charmed and a bit shocked. He is outside. A doe comes and calls her fawn. It’s a bit of a meh or ma sound. My friend tries to make the same sound. Three of the fawns eating grass stop. They turn their ears towards him, alert. One fawn walks up to him….

….so now he’s a fawn caller.

 

For the Daily Prompt: gate.

Pair

Hiking last Saturday, we both heard and alerted to a bird call. Here: song.

However, there were two, and not an alarm call.

We spotted both and then on the hike back, here they are, perched in the snag. A pair of adult bald eagles. I think it was flirting calls that we heard, or a pair talking about this year’s nest.

I am so glad that bald eagles are back in numbers…. and that we are protecting them.

stomach flu

On call for my patients, I get a call about flu.

The spouse sounds worried. I speak to the sick person.

“Do you have a fever?”

“Yes, 100.6. I am throwing up and I don’t want to eat.”

“Do you have muscle aches?”

“Not really. I know I need to drink water.”

“Are you coughing?”

“Not really. Not much.”

“Not very congested. Do you have diarrhea?”

“Yes, lots. And my stomach hurts when I eat.”

People often say “flu” meaning “stomach flu” which is not influenza. “Stomach flu” is gastroenteritis, another set of viruses entirely. It could be a bacterial food poisoning, but in 17 years in my rural town, I have seen a total of two food poisoning bacterial infections. Most here are viral.

“Is there blood in the diarrhea?”

“No.”

Viral, then. Blood in the stool is more likely to be bacterial.

The important thing is to stay hydrated. If the person gets too dehydrated, they tend to just keep throwing up and may need iv fluids. To keep them out of the emergency room, I give the following recipe:

One quart of water
one teaspoon sugar
A pinch of salt
(with or without a pinch of baking soda)

If the person is quite nauseated, try drinking just a tablespoon every 15 minutes, with a timer. The electrolytes and sugar help the fluids absorb. Small amounts are easier to absorb and less likely to come up. If they keep throwing that up, go to the emergency room.

“I’m not eating.”

That’s ok. A day without eating won’t hurt you unless you are starting very underweight. Get the fluids in first and then you can go on to chicken soup and try some crackers.

Gatorade or flat ginger ale or pedialyte contain electrolytes too, but the home recipe is fine. And for small children, regular or pedialyte popsicles, because they can’t really drink them quickly.

Most people will recover on their own, especially if they stay hydrated. We don’t tend to try to stop the diarrhea, it’s better just to hydrate people to keep up. If someone is immunosupressed, on chemotherapy or with HIV or after a transplant, they may need hospitalization.

Does the picture look upside down? A bit nauseating or disorienting? I took it in Portland, and yes, it’s upside down.