Sunday, December 26, 2010

Neither rain or snow, sleet or least mail people get a day off

So the phone rings on Christmas Eve and it's DWR with an injured eagle way down in San Juan county, so Connie and I head out to Green River to meet officer Jay Shirley. Poor bird was hit by a car, coming off a dead deer in the road. The whole windshield was shattered and the only reason the bird didn't end up in the vehicle with the people was because of the tempering of the glass. So many of these things happen on a holiday or weekend when my vet isn't in the's very frustrating. I asked the officer if he had taken any pictures of the car, but he did not. I always hear about the horrible damage and they wonder how the bird survived, but I never see the aftermath, other than the bird and they don't always survive.

He has damage to his left leg and some road rash. Hopefully we can get into our vets office tomorrow, Monday. He'll need an x-ray at the very least and I suspect surgery. I have him on very strong pain medication right now.
This eagle is a three year old Bald eagle and I suspect a visitor to our state. Utah has several permanent Bald eagles, but most Balds that are here in the Winter are visiting from somewhere further North. They will return to their other home around April sometime while our resident Balds stay here. I'll let you know how tomorrows appointment turns out.
Today I started him on subcutaneous fluids as he appears dehydrated as well.

We also have a first year Merlin in our care, also a Winter visitor. This is only the second Merlin we have ever had come in to our facility. Merlin's are small falcons, similar to Kestrels, but their behavior, in my opinion, is much more like the true hawks of the Accipiter family. This little guy won't be going back into the wild however. His injuries determined that. I already have several places very interested in him, so since he is young, I believe he will adapt and do well in captivity. He is just beginning to eat by himself which makes everyone happy! When we get him out of the kennel he needs to be in right now, it's like "Everybody was kung-fu fighting!" He's rolling and twisting trying to 'get us'. All the while yelling the little falcon call, pretty impressive for a little guy!
He is on medications twice daily, requiring us to capture and hold him. I'll be glad when that's over, as I'm sure he will be as well.

Well, that's it for now. Enjoy the pictures.

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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