Monday, December 20, 2010

A wonderful release and some sadness.......

It's cold, wet and gray here today....yuck! I think I'd like to migrate south.

Our three Great Horned owls, Willow, Boo Boo and Aretha are all doing well. I've included photo updates on Willow, who will need her eye removed and Boo Boo who is also blind in one eye, but that eye can stay in place since it is not deteriorating at this time. As soon as he kills successfully, he can go, but it's just to wet to attempt that right now. Hopefully very soon, however.

Boo Boo is the one with the cloudy looking eye. Aretha just needs time maneuvering in the flight.

We recently got in another Great Horned owl, this one from Lake Powell down in southern Utah. He had been electrocuted and was found floating in the lake. How he survived the initial electrocution is just amazing. Unfortunately, what an electrocution does to ones insides is usually fatal and he died two days later. I hope we provided him with some peace and comfort for his final hours.

A few weeks ago we picked up a Western Grebe. Amazing creatures, those Grebes. This little guy, like most of my Grebe cases, went down while migrating.
They migrate at night and cannot stand and walk on land, they need water, so if they see a wet road or parking lot at night, with the moons light or street lights, this can appear to be a body of water and they come down and BANG...hard pavement. Then they are stuck. Sometimes they can become injured hitting the ground, but usually they need and exam and a day or two just to monitor their behavior and then put back onto a large body of water.
They need around a hundred feet of water to take off, running along until take off. It's wonderful to watch. We released this little guy out on Utah Lake, just in the nick of time. The lake was freezing over quickly. I took him there because others of his kind had been spotted the day before by a local birder, so that was the best choice for him. Here Connie is putting him in the water at a boat ramp.

When I get calls for these types of birds, the finders always say the bird has a broken leg (since they can't move on the ground). They are built to dive and float for the most part!

The last post I had mentioned a new Red-Tail hawk coming in. She had a compound fracture in her left wing that was two weeks old, yes, two weeks....idiot people. When she finally arrived, I made plans right away for surgery. Just as I knew would be, the bones had already started to fuse together. My vet was able to re-break them and spread them back into their correct position, in spite of all the calcification already building up around the broken areas. This took more time than a normal surgery of this type that didn't have all of the "healing" already taking place. This was just too much for the bird and she died after the surgery. She never came out of her anesthesia. The people who found her didn't do right by her. They fed her, but this could have been prevented. This is why there are laws prohibiting what they did. She needed to get medical help immediately, not two weeks later!

I need to take a moment to yell...............idiots!

Last, but not least,
Keep your bird feeders full and remember, during the cold months, water is just as important as the rest of the year, so provide a clean, shallow source of water for your backyard birds. They'll appreciate it!


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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