Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Just another manic Monday (except it's Tuesday)

Yes, we've been a bit busy. Could be worse, but between the cold weather and just when it warms up enough to start melting things a bit, then it freezes hard again! We can't wash anything and the big flight has an ice rink in the center. Everyone in the state is going through the same problems, even my friend Carmen with Best Friends in Kanab. Southern Utah for God's sake has had more snow and freezing temperatures that central Utah for two years in a row. Weird!!!

OK, now for the patients with us.

The one robin is just about ready for release. We never had a definitive answer for what his problem was. We treated him with antibiotics, assuming he may be ill since we could find no injuries to explain why he was down. He's doing fine now, so in a few days, he'll be back to his stomping grounds and hopefully finding his sweetie.

Ari, the male Prairie falcon was released today in Utah county. Connie and I drove up there and met up with the people that had initially found him, and released him. He flew perfect and flew far away until we lost sight of him. Of course, I forgot my camera, so hopefully, the people will share their photo's with us and I will share them with you if they do! He was also banded a few days ago.

Aquila, the eagle mention as a new patient in the last blog update is doing very well. We've moved her out to the large flight cage and she is moving around nicely. Besides her foot injury, she also had some trauma to her left wing. We were quite worried as the skin went black. This could mean the tissue was dying, but it has resolved itself and has pinked up nicely and we just need to make sure there are no long term effects of the trauma in that area that may hinder her flight. She should be able to be released here in the next couple of weeks if all is good!

Ivy, the other female golden eagle, is hanging out in Kanab for a few weeks. We were conditioning her for release when we noticed the wing where she had the six surgeries was looking a little bit odd. The "hand" portion of the wing is beginning to turn out, which is not good. I asked Carmen to take her and put her in their very large and tall flight cage to see if she could get up to higher perches than mine. So far, she isn't, but we are still hopeful.
Say a prayer for Ivy. She's been through a great deal and deserves to be free again. (They all do)!

No, that's not Carmen with Connie, that is Erin, another WildFriends employee from Kanab. She was kind enough to meet us in Richfield, Utah to drive Ivy half the distance, back to Kanab. Yeah Erin!

We've had two more golden eagles come in lately. A sub-adult male that we named Zen.

He was hit by a car and sustained trauma to the left portion of his body, mainly the foot and eye area.

He resolved that quickly and has already been released! Yeah Zen!!! He went home with his new "bling" on his ankle.
Tony Wright with DWR banded him for us prior to release.

The other golden is a female that we've named Horizon as she came from an area near a coal mine called the Horizon mine. Her injuries are very traumatic. Her left eye sustained horrible injuries as did her right wing. The ulna in the right wing was completely compounded. The capture that took place was incredible. A friend of mine happened to be in town visiting with me and Connie that day and being a professional wildlife photographer, had all of her equipment with her. When the call came in, I told her "Well, you said you wanted to see us go on a call, well here we go." When we got to the site, we waited for Connie who was shortly behind us. God, the snow was deep and had that hard crust on top. The bird had already went down a steep hill and was caught up in a tree. Connie and Laurie (the photographer) jumped down there, camera and all and the pursuit was on.

We have wonderful photo's, but they will be included in the next blog. They clearly show a day in the life of a wildlife rehabilitator. The semi truck driver that hit her stopped and spoke with us and explained how he hit her. He was very concerned as was the company he drove for. One of their representatives was there the whole time we were. Another truck driver was good enough to stop and tie bandanna's to the delineater post where she was at. That was a HUGE help!

I've included some pictures of her at the vet's office the day before her surgery and some others I have taken. Her swelling in the left eye is almost completely gone now, however, there is still trauma there. The eyeball itself has blood in it. In a few weeks, I will be taking her into Salt Lake to see the vet there who is an eye specialist so we can find out what the prognosis is for her vision.
She will also need another surgery here in six weeks or so, to remove all of the hardware now a part of her wing. She is very strong and has a great deal of fight. She is finished with all of her antibiotics, but is still on some pain medication. We are currently acclimating her back to the outside temperatures. Hopefully she will be outside full time here soon. We are and will be holding her in smaller enclosures while she has all of the devices in her wing as to not damage that area. Once the pins and stabilizing device are gone, then she can move around more, but not until then.

Well, now to start adding the photo's.

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