Friday, August 6, 2010

Moving right along.................

Still busy and full with critters ready to test the waters. Just about all of our current patients are babies so they are pretty much all at the same stage in their development, which if you're a raptor, means learning to kill what you eat. Not a pleasant part of our work, but a necessary part.

Ivie, a Golden eagle we have had now for a year and a half, through several surgeries is going to be transferred to the Zuni nation down in New Mexico. She cannot go back to the wild since the repair to her "hand" portion of her wing did not heal as we had hoped. We obtained a health certificate this week, necessary to cross state lines with her, so now it's just a scheduling thing with Nelson Luna with the Zuni tribe. This is Sue and Connie at Dr Thayn's office here in Price where we took Ivie for her health certificate. Hopefully within the next week or two we can transfer Ivie. Nelson runs the program there in Zuni, New Mexico for these eagles that cannot go back into the wild. It's a wonderful option and we have offered them several of our eagles in the past. I hope Ivie does well there but we will surely miss her.

Well, all of the Robins have been released as well as the Starlings. We are currently feeding baby sparrows, yes, another group of babies! If weather and food allow, parents will produce multiple nests (clutches) per year. These latest little ones were disturbed at our local hospital when their maintenance department was doing something to a vent. Mom flew away and there the nest was. I think they will only need a couple of weeks before they are on their own.

The Kestrels from Salt Lake, have also been released. Boy, I was really concerned for the youngest of the two as he wasn't doing well at all, but after a few days of special care and diet, he snapped out of it and thrived as well as his brother. They both learned quickly what their foods looked like and killed successfully. I released them together here in Price.

The little dove babies are not eating on their own. I've sent them to a friend who lives with doves, to learn how to eat on their own. Birds learn from watching one another, so this stage can be difficult and time consuming. Now they are practicing their flying skills and then release is shortly coming! These species of doves fall under no protection, unfortunately, but this was how I was able to send them to another person, otherwise, they could have only gone to another licensed rehabilitator like myself.

We also have a baby pigeon we are taking care of. Some idiots dropped her off at our local landfill. She's a sweetie and is finally eating really well on her own, but of course, still wants Mom to feed her, so I do.

On the last post, I mentioned a new eagle that wasn't quite ready to come off the nest, but had for some reason. Well, that little guy is now in the flight and has become extremely aggressive, which of course, we want! When we feed in the mornings, he watches everything (I think he can count as well) and he claims his food first. I'm very happy with the turn around. We still don't have any idea as to why he was on the ground, but that's how it goes sometimes.
We refer to him as Hole in the Rock since that is the area from which he came.
Then, we got in a young female Golden eagle, not far from where Hole in the Rock came from. She was found on the ground near a small watering pond for cattle, in a very remote area in San Juan county. No broken bones or other trauma was found. It was during a very hot spell at that area gets even hotter because of it's topography. She may have had heat exhaustion and went down. She too is in the flight now. She needed rehydration and a little time to relax and will soon be learning to kill.

We also got in an adult male Golden eagle from the Moab area that had been hit by a car. The car didn't even hit his brakes or slow down. The vehicle behind the car stopped and picked the bird up, and brought the bird to Arches National Park which was nearby. He has some internal bleeding and minor trauma, considering he had just been hit, but no broken bones! We gave him some time and supportive care and he was quickly released. We took him back to the Arches area and released him. These creatures never cease to amaze me. Less than two weeks after being hit by a car, he's back in the air. Now, they all don't go that easy, but still, enough of them do that it is just amazing.

We have two orphan Desert cottontails we are caring for. They too, came in from the Moab area. A dog had ripped into their nest and killed their siblings and mom was nowhere to be found. She may have been killed as well, we just don't know. These little ones are doing very well and soon will go out on their own. They will need another week or two to continue to put on weight before that can happen. They are still getting one feeding a day from us of formula as you can see by the picture.

The Barn owls are ready for release. We have a potential spot for that, but the specifics still need to be worked out. Hopefully in the next few days they will be out there, doing what Barn owls do!

The electrocution owl is doing wonderful. She is now in the mew with the other Great Horned owls. We still need to have Dr MacLaren check her eyes out one more time before a release is considered. She now has cataracts as a result of the electrocution and these, most likely will progress as they do in humans. The first owl pic of this group is her, the others are some of her room mate, the other babies.

We also got in a Big Brown bat with terrible injuries from a cat attack. Poor thing had her wing ripped from her body in a critical area. We started antibiotics and then I contact a lady in Texas who is an expert in bat rehabilitation. I sent her some photo's of the injuries and she believes they can be repaired. I contacted Carman at Best Friends in Kanab, Utah to take this patient. She has more rehab time with bats than I do, so her best chances will be there. I hope they are able to repair her wing well enough for flight.

The two Red-Tail hawks are both doing very well. It's difficult to tell them apart right now. They are waiting to get the space the Barn owls are currently in, to start their killing process. Once that has happened, then they will get time in the flight, working on their flight muscles before release.

We also got in a Cedar Waxwing nestling. A cat had brought this little guy home and then the next day, went and got another and killed it before he brought it home. Naughty kitty!
This little one caught on quickly and then was released. We did give him antibiotics because of the kitty, but that was all he needed from us, other than supportive care and being taught his food sources. Connie released him near Price.

Last, Horizon is doing very well since her surgery to remove her left eye. She is doing things she hasn't done before, like hanging out with the other eagles, getting up on the high perches and you can clearly see, she is enjoying herself. That eye must has been causing her a great deal of pain. She will have the opportunity to kill test with the other eagles. Missing an eye is not necessarily a reason for an eagle to not be released back into the wild but she does have to prove her ability to kill and survive once again.

Well, I believe that is everyone, for now. Please support our work if you can. It takes a great deal of time and money to do what we do for our patients and since I haven't found that elusive money tree, I rely on people that care for wildlife and what we do, to help us in our efforts.


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