Sunday, December 28, 2008
I think this year's snow is going to beat last years. My husband has had to shovel pathways to the outside enclosures and make sure the doors are not blocked as well. I'm sure our turkey vulture is thinking "I'd rather be in Mexico" which is where he should normally be this time of year. Poor Walter!
Well, the eagle I spoke about last post that died (we named him Aries), did die from multiple problems, including lead toxicity. The test results came in last Friday. This poor bird suffered greatly. Hind site tells me euthanasia would have prevented prolonged suffering, but we always hope we can overcome some of these situations.
The newest eagle, who's name is now Shu which is the Egyptian name for the god of the air, is
struggling to stay alive. It's been 1 step forward and 2 steps back. He's still getting medications for pain and infection. The apparatus in his wing where the break was is sobering. At this point it's sort of a" Frankenbird" look. I've included some photo's of Shu and I will have photo's on the next post of the surgery. Keep him in your prayers as he needs all the help he can get! This guy is a 1-2 year old bald eagle, here on vacation from way up north, he is not a resident. Debbie
Monday, December 22, 2008
Now an update,
Glory, the adult female golden eagle, had her repeat blood work and things are much better. We have been giving her fluids every evening. We did this orally with a feeding tube. I have included a picture of us doing this one evening. She is non-releasable, and will be going to the Zuni tribe in Zuni, New Mexico. I believe she will be the 5th or 6th eagle they have of mine. They have a huge facility, one of only 2 in the U.S. for non-releasable eagles. Their permits are for education and they gather the feathers for their ceremonies.
Merle, the male adult golden eagle is ready to be released. We are just waiting for a day where the weather is good for release.
We released Vidor, our female Great Horned owl. My volunteer in Moab conditioned her for flight and we let her go Friday, December the 19th about 25 miles from here near East Carbon. An angry raven appeared just after Vidor landed in a tree. Poor Vidor was harassed by the raven for quite some time but it was a successful release!
Butters, our male Great Horned owl, is now in Moab. He is getting conditioned for his release. Normally, I would do this in my flight, but it is currently holding the 2 golden eagles, so Dave has been good to do this for me. Butters will be there for a few weeks.
We also have a new red-tail hawk in our care. He came in with a broken right leg, however, the leg had already healed, not perfectly aligned, but good enough. This meant that he had not been able to hunt for a while, so was very thin and dehydrated. He's coming along well and gaining weight finally. Today, we put him outside for a while, getting him used to the outside temperatures again. I brought him in tonight and we will adhere to this routine for a few days and then he'll be outside all the time, working on his strength to fly. His name is Lefty and there are a couple of pictures included with this post. He is a second year red-tail.
Walter, the turkey vulture is still looking for a home. I was hoping to have him somewhere before the end of the year, but it appears that will not be the case.
He's a cutie!
We did get in another young golden eagle, from near Blanding, Utah. This bird died and at this point, it appears to be lead poisoning. This poor eagle suffered greatly, but it's over now. I'll find out more tomorrow at my vet's office when I go to pick up our newest patient, a young bald eagle.
He is a sub-adult bald eagle. This means he is around 2 years old. Unfortunately, he will not be released. He came from the Green River area of Utah. He was shot twice, once in his right wing and the other in the abdomen. He has already had surgery and will be a patient for quite some time. Yes people, idiots still do exist and still shoot at eagles. Raptors are an unfortunate target for the smallest of minds amongst us of which there are plenty of in our area.
I'll keep everyone posted on his recovery. There is an open felony case for this bird, so hopefully, someday, this idiot is found and prosecuted.
Merry Christmas everyone......
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Since then, we now know what's going on with Glory. First of all, her feet are as bad as they look. The left one is the worst and you can visually see that. The problem stems from an injury about 1 month old. There are a lot of bone spurs as a result of that injury and healing around it. The foot cannot be "fixed" so we need to get the sores healed on her feet and that's the best we can do for them.
He blood work showed other problems including liver and kidney problems and infection. We don't know if the infection is related to the foot or something separate, but she has been on antibiotics since we took possession of her and she will remain on them for possibly 2 more weeks. We're also giving her a lot of fluids orally every evening through a stainless steal tube called a gavage needle. Hopefully this will help her kidneys work better.
I've actually seen a lot of patients with no obvious problems, just in"terrible shape", have these same problems when we get their blood work back.
We will take her back to the vets in a couple of weeks and have the tests repeated, just to see if she is improving. Hopefully she will improve and her behavior should be a good indicator of that before we take her back for that appointment.
Merle got his "bling" a few days ago (his federal leg band) and is now ready. I need to present live food to him and have him successfully kill that before his release, but he is much stronger and feeling much better. Oddly enough, his blood work that was taken right after he came into rehab looked very similar to Glorys' results, so there is hope!
Monday, November 24, 2008
We have a few new patients with us. We also had an immature Coopers hawk come in, unfortunately he died after a great deal of effort in trying to save his life. He was so thin and weak and our efforts in tubing him still couldn't turn him around. The first year of life is always the most difficult for all of wildlife. They are not experienced like their parents in obtaining their food and often this results in death. Finding food and killing it, (if you're a predator) burns a lot of calories and that in turn means a big demand for food.
We also now have a little Western Screech owl. He came in with head trauma that has resulted in detached retinas so he cannot be released. He is partially sited so I made the decision to place him into an education program at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City. I hope he'll do well there.
Goshen, the Barn owl was transfered and those pictures are here in this post. Carmen Smith, from Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah is the one holding him and placing him in the carrier while I took the photo's.
Our trip to the vet specialist for Merle, the golden eagle, went well. The clouding on his lenses are not cataracts, but a normal process to do aging. We are going to test his killing ability (sight wise) and if that goes well, then he will be released.
He has been hanging out with our newest golden eagle. She came from San Juan county. Her name is Glory. She has a foot condition known as pododematitis. The left foot is particularly bad. She saw a vet in Salt Lake for the foot and we're doing everything she suggested. This condition takes a long time to resolve. Tomorrow, she will go to my regular vet in Payson and get her foot x-rayed and possibly some blood work will be done. She also had a heavy case of lice, typical for being down on the ground for some time. We have been treating her for that as well. Today is her last dose of medication for that. I feel there is more to her problems than just her feet, although they are bad enough.
I had a hunter come by a few weeks ago with a great deal of elk meat. This sure has been helpful with 2 eagles to feed.
Everyone else is doing well.
Thanks for checking in. Please leave your comments as this let's me know people are still interested in our work.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
We held our Fall yard sale this past weekend. We also included artwork donated by some well-known folks and some of my photo's. We made enough to cover the last order of mice, but I'm going to have another yard sale this Saturday only to hopefully make enough to cover an order of quail for the larger raptors. I have to place these orders every few weeks or so and I do get some meat donated by the local hunters, such as deer and elk, but this doesn't work well for all of the patients and the ones we do feed this meat to, occasionally need food with bones and fur or feathers to ingest for a proper diet. This is just one of our many expenses.
I've also had to travel to Salt Lake for some meetings with our wildlife agency for the state. That was very time consuming besides being expensive, but very necessary. Things are changing here in the state of Utah as far as wildlife rehabilitation and some of us are trying to ensure that those changes don't effect the wildlife in a negative capacity.
I have a group of Girl Scouts that come down to Price usually twice a year to volunteer to help with any projects that I need help with. They are wonderful. It's sad, however, that I don't receive this sort of help locally. These people travel about 100 miles each way to help, so this weekend they are going to help with the yard sale.
Last night I got a call around 9:30 pm from my local wildlife people telling me there was an injured hawk in Green River, Utah (120 miles round-trip) and they didn't have any one that could go and get it, so I called Connie (my right arm, and sometimes my left as well) and we both headed out. We brought back a juvenile female red-tail hawk. She had been down for several days and was thin, due to her inability to hunt as her right wing had a compound fracture in the humerus (the bone in your arm between your shoulder and elbow). It was infected and exposed. These type of injuries are very common unfortunately. This one was close to the elbow joint, meaning repair with good healing, that did not "freeze up" that joint, was not possible. She would not be releasable, so we made the painful decision to euthanize her. This is the worst part of what I do. The decision is NEVER easy, but it has to be made occasionally. My job, as a rehabilitator, is to put these creatures back into the wild where they belong. This is not always possible, so decisions have to be made as to how to handle each particular situation based on many factors. This bird was in excruciating pain................and now she no longer suffers.
We did release our red-tail hawk that has been with us for only a few weeks. We never named her, but she was an adult that was found on the side of a dirt road. The people were able to catch her (never a good sign) and called the wildlife department. She had no injuries, so we were not sure why she was down, most likely illness. She did have a large external parasite load which could be a clue to illness and the parasites took over since they are opportunistic in nature. We force fed her for a few days, giving her added nutrients with that food and then just gave her supportive care once she started eating on her own. We also treated her for the parasites. She made tremendous progress very quickly and ended up in our flight area exercising prior to release. Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That's what it is all about and it's these times that make the difficult ones (like the last story) a little bit less heartbreaking (I said a LITTLE bit less).
Our little barn owl (Goshen) was transferred to the Willow Park Zoo last week with the help of DaLyn Erickson. She runs the rehabilitation program for the Ogden Nature Center. She was at one of the meetings in Salt Lake I attended, so I arranged it with her to get him to Willow Park Zoo which is up her end of the state. Rod, the wildlife rehabilitation director for Willow Park called to express how pleased he was with Goshen, so I hope Goshen will have a good life there in Logan, Utah.
Our eagle with all the medical problems will be seeing an eye specialist for his cataracts on the 30th of this month. We'll need to drive him into Salt Lake for this of course. He's getting stronger all the time, so I hope we can do something for his vision.
Well, time for sleep until tomorrow.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I guess I'd better catch everyone up to date.
The golden release was wonderful. Some photo's were taken, so when I get them, I'll include them on this blog. I hope he'll have a wonderful life and make many beautiful babies in his lifetime.
Our newest owl, which we have named Butters has now seen the vet. Just as it appeared on the initial evaluation, there are no broken bones and the x-ray showed no dislocations in the wing!
So we kept him on pain meds and antibiotics, which ended tonight. He is eating well and is aggressive. We will start working with the wing and it's movements in the next few days.
There are a few feathers missing from the injury, so it may be a few weeks or months until those grow back into place, I just hope they grow in correctly since there was and is tissue damage in that critical area. Only time will tell.
We had the barn owl re-evaluated last week as well. We will not be removing that portion of his wing. Some healthy tissue in growing around the dead bone but this doesn't change that fact that he is still non-releasable. We will be transferring him (Goshen) to his new home this coming Monday, the 13th. We hope he is comfortable with his new life.
We also had the new eagle examined again. The blood work was repeated and looks MUCH better. The bird is also getting heavier, which is good. He is still a bit wobbly and I hope this too shall end. He (Merle) has a great deal of fight which gives us hope.
We're still waiting to find a home for our non-releasable Turkey vulture Walter.
Vidor, the other Great-Horned owl is now out in our flight exercising his wings. He is well-fleshed and aggressive. His wound on his wing, (similar to Butters' injury) will take some time to completely heal. The term we use for this type of injury and it's healing is 'granulation'.
We recently took in a thin but other wise uninjured male Cooper's hawk. These birds are often seen in and around peoples yards, especially those with bird feeders. They hunt the small birds that feed at them.
We were not able to hold our yard sale due to heavy rains in our area. We are going to try to have it in a week when it appears to be more favorable weather wise.
Thanks for checking in and thank-you to those that have recently sent in donations. They are very appreciated and as you have just read, very much needed. These vet bills and trips back and forth quickly add up as does the medications we need and food THEY need.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Well, let's see where to start today.
Tomorrow we are releasing a golden eagle in Sevier county. He came in this spring and is finally ready to go.
Our newest Great-Horned owl is doing well. His wing is really torn up from a barbed-wire fence.
I will get x-rays on him in the next week or so to rule out any other problems that may have occurred while hanging on the fence trying to get free, such as a dislocated shoulder.
Our newest Golden eagle is still about the same. Today he is taking meat and quail on his own, so today is good. He is still very wobbly. I wondering if the mass I spoke about in the last post could be in his brain, thus causing the neuro symptoms.
This weekend we are holding a Rummage sale combined with an Art sale. We have two of these a year to raise funds, so hopefully it's a success. It will be here in Price both Saturday and Sunday.
The picture to the immediate right is of a injured yellow-billed cuckoo. They are on the Sensitive Species list here in Utah. We released this little guy in Emery county.
This has been a busy year for us here in Price. The majority of our patients come in due to 'hit by car'. This catagory includes, truck and semi's. Illness is probably our number two reason wildlife is brought to us. Well, thanks for following this blog and that's it for today.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
He's in pretty bad shape. We are going to repeat his blood work in about a week and if things haven't changed, then the vet believes we should start looking for a mass. Cancer may be this birds problem, however, he also has cataracts. As I mentioned, he's in bad shape.
He is eating on his own, for the most part. Occasionally I need to step in and force feed him.
Usually by this much time into their recovery I have a good feel for the final outcome, this one I do not and that is very unsettling. I just hope that we are not prolonging the inevitable, something rehabilitators have to consider everyday.
We also got in a new patient today. A male Great-Horned owl. He was found entangled in a barbed-wire fence. His right wing is pretty torn up. I believe there is no damage to vital tissues (it's all vital, but you know what I mean) such as ligaments or tendons. There are no broken bones either.
We are going to be having the last of our fundraiser yard sales this weekend. We have been having two a year. They are a lot of work, but they are usually pretty successful. We will also be selling some artwork that has been donated to us for the purpose of raising funds.
Well, that's a short update, but all time allows for......
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Well the last few days have been busy. I've been all over the state dealing with wildlife 'problems'. It sure would be nice if the state would kick in a gas card!
We have an eagle that is getting close to the release date. He came in after falling from his nest, probably exercising his wings and got a little too much lift.
His entire tail was broken off in the worst possible place. This potentially could take up to one
year to overcome, but things were on his side and his tail started coming in within a few weeks.
We're also working with a non-releasable barn-owl. He will be transfered to the Willow Park Zoo in Logan, Utah when he has recovered more. His picture is on today's blog with one of my volunteers, Don Byrge.
There are even more patients we are helping every day, feeding, cleaning their living area's, medicating and much more. There is so much involved in wildlife rehabilitation. As an example, laundry. People don't think about it, but doing what we do requires cleaning and that means laundry, several loads a week and sometimes per day. Cleaning transport kennels is also an ongoing job. We go through a great deal of cleaning supplies in rehab. Maybe a company should use us in a commercial!
Normally this time of year, things are starting to slow down a bit, but it appears this year may be different. Not sure why. For those reading this, think of us during the holidays when donating to "those in need", don't forget about those among us that would die without our intervention. Their aren't thousands of organizations out there dealing or helping with this. There are a few larger centers that have full-time staff that fund raise for them, but the majority of the work is done by groups like ours, who don't have those luxuries. We have to wear many hats and be the rehabber, fund raiser, cleaners, drivers to and from vets and other trips, animal catchers and so on. Every patient that comes to us, financially "costs" something, whether it be gasoline to pick them up or much, much more. More often, it's the latter.
Enjoy today's photo's and please, pass this blog's site around so we can increase readers.
And remember, every little bit helps them, not us, WE WORK FOR FREE!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The great-horned owl was taken into our vet's office today.
Not too many people realize that all vet's are not the same. It really shouldn't be that hard to figure out. Not all human doc's are the same either. Some are specialize and then, even in those specialties, some are better than others. Our vet is in Utah county and is specialized in birds. Now, only recently have some vet colleges started offering wildlife medicine, another specialty. These specialties require more time in school and most vet's are anxious to get out of school as soon as possible, so only a small percentage specialize.
The vet performed an x-ray of the owl and hopefully after his rehabilitation, which will be awhile due to the severities of his injury and complications set-in from that injury, he may be releaseable. After all, that is the goal for all of our patients as a wildlife rehabilitator.
By this time of year, we are usually slowing down, but fall migration sometimes has a "spurt" of problems for migrating birds. All 3 of our newest patients don't fall into this group. They just happen to be in trouble this time of year.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
This is a blog site about the trials and tribulations of wildlife rehabilitation. I operate a wildlife rehabilitation facility in Price, Utah. You ask, "what is wildlife rehabilitation?"
Most people think that when wildlife is found injured, ill or orphaned that their state or possibly federal wildlife agencies intervene. This is NOT correct. I'll be speaking from Utah's state policies, but in networking with other rehabilitators throughout the country, this is the case in all other state's as well. All wildlife rehabilitators are unpaid by the state or feds. These agencies may pick-up the animal in need and transport it to the wildlife rehabilitator, but that is where it all ends on their end of things.
When we have a patient come in, we first evaluate that patient. After this, the treatment can begin. This varies greatly as they can be ill and we have to determine what illness they have, or injured. Sometimes both are involved.
Orphaned animals may also be ill or have injuries.
We have to have a small 'emergency room' available at all times, 24/7.
The healing of these patients sometimes requires surgery. For that a veterinarian is used that is listed on our license. These are very expensive, involving at least 1 type of medication or more in the rehabilitation after the surgery. Time varies with each patient as to how long each is in rehabilitation. It can be a matter of a few days, versus a year or more.
They have daily needs that we meet, including the cleaning of their living areas, follow-up trips to the veterinarians and so on.
While all of this is happening on a daily basis, we get calls daily to intervene with other wildlife problems. It's a never ending need. We have volunteers that help us that are trained for certain tasks. Unfortunately there are never enough of them and the ones we have usually are overworked.
No one is paid! These are not pets, they are wildlife and there is no "owner" to re-coop the money from that we spend on them. All monies needed for each patient comes from donations from the public or businesses. Unfortunately there is never enough money either. We frequently have to take money from our own families expenses and pay for the needs of the animals and worry about our personal bills later. This juggling act is performed by all wildlife rehabilitators.
Once our patients are ready to go back to the wild, then we decide on an appropriate location to do this and then release them. It's a wonderful experience and tearful at the same time.
I'm going to post some of our photo's of some of our experiences. I hope you enjoy them and wish to find out more about what we do. The state of Utah has 11 rehabilitators and of those, only 9 of us are permitted to work with eagles. My group is one of those 9. I cover the entire state if need be, but generally take calls from the southeastern part of Utah. There are several jurisdictions in this area and my
group takes all of those calls.
Our gas costs are terrible.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Donate any amount you like - we can use even the smallest amounts!
Please use the above button for sponsorships!
Want to sponsor an animal? We are always in need of sponsors for our patients. Periodically, we will focus on one particular patient. At this time, we are doing just that. Our focus currently is on Kachina, a first year Red-Tail hawk that will be with us for some time while we continue her rehabilitation and look for permanent placement for her in an appropriate, loving educational situation. Your sponsorship will insure she, like all of our patients, will get the best care possible.
For your $50.00 sponsorship, you will get a sponsor's certificate along with her photo (8x10) and her story. What a wonderful gift for yourself or someone you know that also loves wildlife and wishes the continued success of our efforts.
Or you can buy a Photoprint of your favorite Animal:
Just $ 50, +S/H, Utah residents add 4.75% Sales tax.
We can't afford to do this and then, a volunteer vanishes!
All facilities require long term commitments, so please, take this seriously because we truly value and need all of our volunteers when WE need them, not when it's convenient.
If you live out of the Utah area, contact your local wildlife rehabilitator and ask them what THEY need.
There can be items purchased if you want to help but don't have any time to actually donate.
Services such as computer work, office type work (making copies, etc.) or fundraising are all very important in addition to the actual handling of animals and cleaning and repairing of their environments. Some tasks are needed more often then others as well.
Most facilities won't allow younger people to work around or handle the animals. There are too many possible problems that could happen. Check with the facility regarding these limitations.
Our facility is always looking for help. My main volunteer, Connie, is far too overworked. We do get scout groups that come in from Salt Lake occasionally and some groups will have fundraisers for us, which helps out tremendously.
Businesses can also help out by offering their services. This helps out and what money is available can stay dedicated to the animals immediate needs, instead of going for related expenses. There is always a way to help out.
Thanks for your interest and remember, the need is ONGOING.
If you wish to contact me, Debbie Pappas, the director and permit holder for Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation, you may email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need to find a rehabilitator in your area, contact your local wildlife agency. In Utah, that is DWR (Division of Wildlife Resources). These are government agencies and they all have websites with the names of licensed wildlife rehabilitators.
Do not try to take care of wild animals yourself. You are doing them a terrible diservice as rehabilitation involves many different areas, not just feeding. Good intentions can kill.
Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation is located in the eastern part of Utah. We are a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to the care of sick, orphaned and injured wildlife. We cover a large area of the state, mostly rural, out-of-the-way areas.
We serve many types of patients, including waterfowl, small mammals, songbirds and raptors. We see many types of injuries, mostly vehicle impacts. Human activity accounts for most of our patients injuries. We also see illegal activity such as gunshot victims and poisonings. Yes people, there are still idiots amongst us!
In most wildlife rehabilitation settings, very little traveling is done on the part of the facility. This is not how it is for us, however. More than 60% of the calls that come into us for help, are responded to by us. Sometimes we are given little more than a highway and mile marker number that is "close". Hours are spent in these situations. Volunteers in the elements, in the middle of no where, looking for an injured animal can be very exhausting and dangerous. We also travel for vet care for our patients. The trip to our vet is approximately 75 miles one-way.
All of our work and costs are donated as wildlife rehabilitation is an unpaid profession. We don't work for the state wildlife agency or US Fish and Wildlife but we must be licensed by these agencies. Both agencies, local and federal are not trained and funded to provide these services, so when there are wildlife problems, whether it be from injury, illness or orphans, these agencies that do respond to a call, take these creatures to one of us, wildlife rehabilitators.
Why do we do it? It's simple. We're the only ones out there for the wildlife and there are fewer and fewer of us daily as our expenses and time are great. This profession also takes a heavy toll on our personal lives (what personal life?). We receive calls any hour of the day or night, holidays, it doesn't matter as wildlife emergencies are not 9 to 5. What is the most important, is getting them the help they need as soon as possible.
If you support our work in saving wild creatures and returning them to their natural lives, then I encourage you to donate.
All proceeds go 100% to the care of these creatures, whatever that may include.
Our expenses are great. We hope we never have to choose whether a surgery is performed or not based on lack of funds.
We offer sponsorships and adoptions of the patients in our care, with the opportunity to name someone and receive personal updates about their care. A generous donation will include a framed photo of your 'adoptee'.
Remember, centuries from now it will not matter about the house we lived in or how much money we made in a lifetime....but the world may be better because we helped some of God's little animals on this earth during our time here.
Our mailing address is Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation, 725 North Carbonville Road, Price, Utah 84501
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