Sunday, September 26, 2010
One of the golden eagles that had come in from around Moab, Utah earlier this year was finally released. We took her back that way, to the Arches National Park where we had released another eagle several weeks ago. This female actually came from an area called LaSall, but as far as an eagle flies, it was close enough and it gave a lot of people, who would never see something like this, an opportunity to witness and eagle close-up and to see her fly free again.
A gentleman that I met during the other release there, was the one who let this female go.
His name is Bill Sloan and he works for the Parks Department as a biologist, I believe. Very nice and knowledgeable man. Thanks to Nick Eason for some of the pictures and I did manage to take some myself. It was a beautiful day for a release. The eagle flew and flew, just perfect around those beautiful red cliffs that Arches is known worldwide for. The ravens, now known from the previous release, did show up again, but that didn't stop the eagle, she just kept circling and flying.
I got a phone call from one of the Parks people there for the release, and I guess she had hung around longer than we did. She said about an hour later, the female came back, but this time, she had a friend with her, a male, just a year or two older than her! How wonderful.
This is what makes our work worthwhile.
We also took in, from the vet's office, an Eared Grebe. Cute little bird, found in a parking lot of a high school about 75 miles from Price. Some kids were chasing her and kicking her......rotten little brats! A lady saw this and came to her aid.
These types of birds are helpless on land, appearing to have a broken leg, but the truth is, they cannot function on land well at all. They are make soley for water. They move (migrate) at night and at times, will 'land' on pavement, usually after a rain storm when it's wet and lights from above, or even a bright moon, may make the wet ground look like water. They will land and then they are in trouble. Usually, if they have received no injury from hitting the hard ground, which they need to be examined to determine that, they can be put on a large body of water and then, they can take off when they are ready. They need between 100-150 feet to do this, much like an airplane taking off.
We are fortunate to see a few species of Grebe's here in Utah and their courtship dance rivals the Cranes in beauty. They are a very secretive bird, ususally diving when they see or hear people or danger of any kind.
After I picked her up from my vet's office and determined she was not injured, I drove her to a nearby pond and released her. I've included those pictures. During the examination, she did what Grebes do, and darted that long neck at me and bit my nose. I couldn't help but giggle, but it did hurt. This is how they protect themselves, darting with that sharp beak at their attackers face. Here I was examining her with no extra hands to help and trying to control that wiggly body and look through that heavy plumage that seabirds have and ZAP....she got me and I still have the mark to prove it!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
We also released the two cottontails together. They played in the tall grasses where I took them and I left them there, enjoying the smells and sounds of freedom. I love those little mammals!
Leonard, the electrocution owl went back to the vet's office in Salt Lake. This was for a check-up on her eye's as she developed cataracts after being electrocuted. The specialists feel her eyes are improving, which is wonderful of course, so we started her "mouse school" as well.
We currently have 4 Great Horned owls learning to kill. The other two, have already been released. The pictures of that release are at a place called Consumers, here near Price.
Cherokee Sartori is helping with the release. She helps out quite a bit with our fund-raisers and other projects and I really appreciate her help.
She sort of got carried away with the release,
look at her owl.....he's probably thinking " what the heck"?
Ok, that's going to be it for now....I'm almost caught up!
Friday, September 10, 2010
Hole in the Rock, the first year male eagle that came to us from San Juan county did very well and was released. We took him to an area in Carbon county called Winter Quarter's Ridge. My sub-permittee Connie's son, Cody, did the release.
We also released the other juvenile male golden eagle that came in from just out of Moab. He came in with the same presentation. Just a couple of unrelated fledgling eagles that were not doing well.
This time in an animals life is very difficult and many don't make it. We call this 'failure to thrive' and it can happen for many reasons, but mainly the bird is young and hasn't learned what it needs to from it's parents to be successful and thrive. If they are found, like these two were, then we can help.
There are never any guarantees, but we try to give them the extra time they need and more practice finding food and obtaining that successfully. The second release took place at the Wedge in Emery county.
We still have the juvenile female eagle, also ready for release that also came in from San Juan county for the same reasons. We will be taking her back that direction for her release sometime next week.
That's the short update for now...............
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
So the Barn owls were released, all together near Price. I hope they will find plenty of food and make their own territories. There was one female and three males and were not related to each other. We set up a box for them to come and go from until they feel confident enough to strike out on their own. We put them in the box and waiting a few hours until dusk and then removed the temporary 'door'.
Ivie was also transferred to the Zuni's. They drove to Price and picked her up. We miss her already as she was with us for quite some time, hoping for a release, but the calcification on her healed bones made that impossible by affecting the nearby joints.
Our little finch was also released. We have one more in rehab that came from a late nest. He should be ready to go soon as well.
Our two doves and one pigeon orphans were also successfully released. The pigeon took a little more than initially thought as when we released her, she just turned around and walked back toward me. I took her to a volunteers' home and left her there. She comes and goes but likes hanging out with a turkey my volunteer has, so she now has a buddy. Can you picture it!
Well, that's going to be all for now. I'll look for pictures to post with this update......
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