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.
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