Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What's up with this weather??????

For those reading this blog and living in Utah, you KNOW what I mean.  60 degrees in mid-February?  This is crazy.  Most of our mountains are bare and the ones that do have any snow, are far lacking of the usual amount they would have this time of year.  This isn't going to be good for anyone come summer.  Humans and wildlife will ALL be effected.  Of course, my focus,  is the wildlife.  As most of our territory we cover is considered desert, the wildlife will all be in jeopardy.  We live in a beautiful state, but the desert inhabitants have hard lives.

We have a lot of patients still with us.  The majority are here, 'waiting' for something.  They may be non-releasable and we are waiting for the federal approval to move them to their new homes or they may be recovering from surgery and are waiting to have the second surgery to remove devices from orthopedic surgeries.  They may be getting stronger, ready for release or healing from other issues.

 We have done several releases, including a little Coopers hawk just a few day's ago. We now have 2 more volunteers.  Don Allred and Shelby Worthen, both living in the area, are now volunteering for us a few days a week.  Don is very good with the wildlife.   Shelby is new and learning quickly.  She is a student at Utah State University, here in Price.  We are grateful for their help and interest in our work.  I think both will work out well.  This type of work takes a great commitment, not something you can help with every now and then.

 This is a female Red-Tail hawk in our care.  She came to us from Herriman, Utah with broken bones in her right wing.  She also had an infection in her left foot, which has been difficult to heal, for several reasons.  We just recently put her on a different anti-biotic and that last dose will end tonight.  Hopefully we can get ahead of this situation.
 One of our Ravens, is still healing from being caught in an explosion in Carbon County.  This explosion killed his mate and started a fire at a refinery facility, where he was caught behind a tall chain-link fence.  It took several days before we were notified and able to find the facility.  These facilities are often located in remote, out-of-the-way places and therefore, difficult to find.  We were contacted by a  company person, initially to inform us that wildlife had been injured, but  couldn't tell us how to find the facility, so we were very frustrated, knowing there was wildlife in need of our help and we could do nothing about it.  After 2 days, we were able to speak to someone at the facility itself and he met us on a familiar road and we followed him to the area.  This poor bird was severely burned, his feathers are damaged and skin is missing around his legs.  His beak was also melted and has been peeling away as are his talons.  This is going to be a LONG rehab.  The terror he witnessed and seeing his mate killed have taken a heavy toll on this guy.  We will keep you updated.
This is one of two Merlin's, members of the Falcon family of raptors, that came to us from different areas of the state within 1 day of each other.  This girl has injuries consistent with gunshot and suffered broken bones in one wing as a result.  She had surgery and the bones healed as well as could be expected, considering how small these birds are and how much energy they have.  We kept her confined for 8 weeks, waiting for good fusion.  She is now in a larger enclosure, exercising.  I hope she will fly well so that she can be released.  Our other Merlin was already released.  These birds are in Utah only during winter months.  They breed and raise their young clear up in the Arctic tundra, therefore, we need to get her on her way, if releasable, by next month.  We are watching her closely!

We just released a couple more Golden eagles.  Here is banding day for one of them.  This guy had come to us from the San Rafael desert area.  He had been struck by a vehicle and was very dehydrated.  There were no broken bones so this bird needed to recover from being struck and dehydration.  Once this was completed, time for his release, which the following picture shows.  We asked the 'finder' to do the honors of releasing him.  A great day!

 Another Golden eagle release took place in San Juan county by Mike Camp.  I didn't get any good shot's of the release.  This is Mike after the toss.  Both of these Golden's in these releases were adults, so it was important to put them back in the areas they came from as they most certainly had mates waiting for them.

This is one of our Golden eagles, getting his feet bathed.  This bird was non-releasable and permanent placement was found for him in Indiana as an educational bird along with a non-releasable Peregrine Falcon, also brought to us for care.  This bird had been hit by a vehicle, most likely a semi-truck as their are many in that area.  The call was to pick up a dead bird and upon arrival, Connie also believed this bird was dead, until she went to pick him up.  What an amazing creature.  Our goal, was to return him back to the wild, but his injuries were just to severe, making this not possible.  We felt, with his demeanor, he would do well in an educational facility, so that's when we went to work, looking for the proper place for him to live out his life.  We thank the Indiana Raptor Center for their willingness to provide him with that home, along with our Peregrine.

This photo is at the Salt Lake International Airport, the day of transfer.  A sad AND a happy day for us.

 There is a lot more, but I'll post more later.  Thanks for following our blog and our work.  Please share with your friends and family to help educate them about wildlife rehabilitation and the work going on around them in all 50 states and around the world.
Get your bird feeders cleaned.....if you take them down for the winter, you will need to put them up soon.  I never take our down, we feed year round!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A great release in Grand County

Another double Golden eagle release, this time at the Castle Valley overlook.  We were honored to have Utah Highway Patrol trooper Brandon Custer do one of the releases.  Brandon assisted another Golden eagle last year in the Grand County area along with Trooper Brian Evans.  They made sure an injured eagle was not going to be injured again while awaiting for assistance from one of our volunteers in the area.  We gave Trooper Evans a chance to release that Golden earlier this year so it was time to give a huge Thank you to Trooper Custer and let him release a Golden eagle as well.  We also were honored to have David Erley, the mayor of Castle Valley, Utah, release the second Golden eagle.  Mayor Erley is a friend and advocate of our organization.  We appreciate all his efforts on our behalf.  He recently added a second night of the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Moab as a fundraiser for our organization.  This is HUGE needless to say and will hopefully bring much more needed attention to the work of wildlife rehabilitators everywhere.  Enjoy the pic's!  The last one is the area beneath the cliff they were released on, their new home. You can see many more pic's from those that attended the release on our Facebook page at Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation.  We are located in Price, Utah.

Feathered brothers and sisters, you came to us broken and as you bled…….we saw you desperate, dehydrated, desiccated, diseased, distressed, emaciated, famished, frayed, frightened, helpless, hungry, ragged, ravenous, shaken, shocked, shot, sickly, stressed, stunned, tattered, thirsty, traumatized, torn, weary and wounded. Defiantly, you stood us off with your last breath as we tried to tend to you. We saw you come in as cute, naked, fuzzy, cuddly youth, as mischievous, defiant adolescents, as fierce, regal rulers of the sky and as cunning, maimed elders whose time on earth was almost done. You endeared yourselves to us, bit us, charmed us, footed us, delighted us, hissed at us, talked to us, mantled at us, and graced us with your presence.

Some of you mended and were able to go on your way, never looking back. Some of you were injured in ways that prevented you from going, so you stayed with us to teach us…….And we came to love you. Others were too far gone, and you went home - where you fly free from pain with the Great One. All of you have touched us, and we are changed because of you.

used with permission by Arlene Powers