Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More patients................

Finally a minute to sit down and catch up. We've officially hit 'baby' season. Several orphan nestlings have been brought in during the last few days. Sparrow, finches and starlings, all with big open mouths. My volunteer Diane is sharing the responsibility of baby feeding by taking care of the sparrows. What a huge help that is.
The other new patients I mentioned previously are a new male golden eagle and a ring-neck duck.
The eagle was found by a passerby and he called me. I asked wildlife officer TJ Robertson if he could go look for the bird as it was in San Juan county and that is his territory. After looking for a while, he found the bird, thank goodness. He (the bird) is terribly thin and covered with lice. He's also dehydrated. He has a broken right wing. Both the radius and ulna are broken mid shaft and cannot be repaired as healing has already started to take place. This bird has been down at least 2 weeks. They never cease to amaze me. Hit by something and then left incapacitated, on the road and survives! He is definitely non-releasable. No surgery will be performed. I will get his weight up, get rid of those pesky lice and make sure the wound on his wing heals well and attempt to place him.

The duck came in from an evaporation pond belonging to a company out of Texas looking for natural gas in the area. The pond was contaminated with by-products from the drilling process. There were 19 other duck killed by the contamination, she was the sole survivor. We've been bathing her with the protocol established for waterfowl in this situation. We also have been giving her sub-cutaneous fluids to flush her kidneys. She is eating some foods on her own, but we are tube feeding her at least once a day. Today we moved her outside. Hopefully she will like it better out there, but she had to stay indoors and on heat until she could thermo-regulate on her own. She's doing much better and is feisty, which we like! We call her Bubbles. I'll try posting pictures. As I mentioned previously, there is something odd going on when I try to post pictures, so we'll see how it goes today.

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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