Thursday, July 15, 2010

I don't know where to start.............

Boy, it's really been busy. I have a lot of wonderful photo's I'd love to share so I'll try to get them all in on this posting.

We have a lot of new patients and have done some releases as well.

Horizon finally got her eye surgery. Many thanks to Dr Jay Ipsen of Payson Family Pet Hospital in Payson, Utah and Dr Nicole MacLaren of the Eye Care for Animals in Salt Lake City, Utah for all they have done for Horizon. Dr MacLaren even drove down from Salt Lake to Payson, which is about 65 miles, one way, to perform the surgery while Dr Ipsen oversaw the anesthesia during the operation.

Horizon is still on pain medication and will be for another day or so. We have had to start force feeding her as she would not eat anything presented to her. Her weight was such that a couple of days without food wasn't an issue, but today, we started forcing deer meat down her. I'm sure she is in some pain and that probably has a lot to do with her lack of desire to eat since there hasn't been a problem with that prior to now. Her appetite should return gradually over the next few days. She still has PLENTY of fight in her!

I'll re post a picture of her eye, after the swelling of the impact went away to remind everyone what we were dealing with; the 'death' of the eye. Then I'll post a photo from yesterday to show the changes in her appearance. Once she heals from all of this, we can start to kill test her to see if she will be releasable. The loss of one eye in an eagle does not necessarily mean they cannot go back to the wild, we just have to be sure she is still capable of killing successfully.

Our little Screech owls have all been released. The photo's of them in this posting are from the beginning of their stay with us, up until their banding and release.
Tony Wright with the Division of Wildlife Resources (our states' wildlife department) gave me the name of a lady with access to some privately owned lands and with her help, we released them in a WONDERFUL area where there is VERY LITTLE human access. We allowed her (Vicky) and another co-worker (Amanda) to release 2 of them and have included those pictures. We hope they have long and wonderful lives and make many Screech owl babies!
See the smiles on their faces; I love seeing that. It reminds me of how special and lucky we are to do what we do. Their faces say it all!

took in 2 new Barn owls from DaLyn in Ogden, Utah. So we now have 4 of her Barn owl babies. We have been kill testing them off and on. These two new owls are both males. I hope to release them in my area if I can find an appropriate place with appropriate habitat.

We have 5 Great Horned owls total now and they are eating me out of house and home! They will be the next ones kill tested, but in sub-groups as some are separated in age by as much as a couple of weeks and that really makes a difference. None of them are related just as none of the Barn owls are either.

We also got in a new Great Horned owl from Emery county. She is a young owl, this years for sure. She was electrocuted and has trauma from that. Her skin around her left ear is melted and her ear is deformed as well. There is a lot of bruising and feather loss in that area as well. She has some brain injury from the electrocution but only time will tell if it's permanent or not. She is very 'rigid' when we handle her and she doesn't move around a lot. She also has cataracts in both eyes, confirmed by Dr MacLaren.
I took this owl up to Payson the day of Horizon's surgery so that Dr MacLaren could look at her eyes as we were seeing some problems with both eyes and needed to find out what damage was done to them. Now cataracts can progress slowly or rapidly. What hers will do, well, we just don't know. I'm going to have her checked again in a few weeks to see what, if anything, has changed.
She does not eat on her own, I'm sure due to the brain trauma, so Connie and I have to force feed her 2-3 times per day.

We also have her on pain medication and are giving her sub-cutaneous fluids at least once a day. The belief is that electrocution depletes a great deal of fluids in it's victims.

We are down to 2 remaining Robins. One is a juvenile and the other an adult that a cat ripped the tail out of. They are hanging out together outside. The other Robins were all released in small groups. Watch out night crawlers!

We have taken in 2 Kestrel nestlings found in Utah county on the road. Kestrels are falcons and are common in Utah. They are often seen perched on power lines along the road. They love grasshoppers and mice, so they are also a benefit to farmers in rural areas. They are the smallest falcons in North America. These two are both nest mates and males.
One is a lot stronger than the other.
The younger of the two is having some difficulties, but we are MAKING him eat and giving him fluids as well. It's good they have each other right now.
The oldest of the two is doing very well and eating everything we give him.

We also released our female Mallard that came to us after being hit near the golf course here in Price. All of her babies were killed and she was unable to move. I can't imagine seeing your babies killed right before your eyes and you can't move to get out of the way yourself or to help them.
She had a slight concussion so we kept her on pain medication and then moved her out to a lake nearby to hang out while regrowing a couple of important feathers. There are plenty places for her to hide, if need be and her stress level will be MUCH lower out where she belongs. I hope she finds her another sweetie and has more babies soon.

All Magpie's are also released. Yeah! The last group went to the cemetery in Helper where it's quiet and few people. I hope they all do well and have lives full of wonder and mischief!

We are also feeding 2 nestling Ring-neck dove babies or as Connie calls them, Bobble-heads. Cute as can be and very time consuming. They eat many times throughout the day and need their bed cleaned at least 3 times a day as well; poop and eat!

We also took in a nestling Red Tail hawk from the San Juan county area. This bird was found alone, no other siblings or parents. Weird! DaLyn also got a nestling RTHA in just after our little male came to us, so instead of them being by themselves (not good), I took her little female in and now the two are hanging out together. They are just adorable together.
The day they met each other, the female leaned forward and started talking to him in this cute, quiet little chatter sound. At first her ignored her, but he's come around and now they are sitting side-by-side most of the time. She wasn't self feeding but ours was, so he has been teaching her what to do. Red-Tail hawks are common in Utah and don't get their traditional 'red-tails' until their 2-3 year. By year three, the tail is red, but this is only in the most common mutations (or phases as they are called).
Red-Tail hawks spend a great deal of their time perched on poles, watching for pray and then launching an attack. Their call is so desirable, that most programs showing hawks and or eagles, use the Red-Tail call for ANY raptor call in the show. Drives me NUTS!

Diane is back in town after going back to school in Phoenix. She won't be here for long, but she has taken on all of the starling babies we started getting again. Round two for the parents!
What a trooper Diane is! Or she's crazy, we just don't know which!

Two new eagle babies are also with us.

One from just out of Moab. No broken anything, just failing to thrive. He was very weak, thin and dehydrated, but with a lot of supportive care, is doing very well now.He's now in the flight with the three girls. DaLyn's eagle that we now have, is 'mothering' him and he is letting her.

The other baby should have still been in the nest. He came from just out of Moab at a tourist area called Hole in the Rock. Wildlife Resources told me there is an active nest in the cliffs around that area. He probably was exercising his wings and caught a gust of wind and out he went. They are also quite clumsy at his particular age, so that may also have something to do with his being out of the nest prematurely. At this age they don't so much fall out of the nest, but more so, glide or flutter.

His wings are fully feathered, although some were still in shafts at the time, but there was enough there that he didn't hurt himself on the way down. He was very weak and thin, but very lucky it wasn't any worse than that. He is now feisty and well enough that today, we moved him out in the flight as well.

It has been very hot here, so I'm glad my yard has several large shade trees as the wildlife definitely benefits from them on these hot days, as do we!

Well, I think that's actually it!
Thanks to everyone that follows this blog. Please pass it around to everyone you think would enjoy it as well. People need to understand just who cares for these creatures when things happen in the wild since most people don't know and just assume it's their states wildlife department, and it's not, NOT in any state.


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