Sunday, July 17, 2011

A day in the life of wildlife rehabilitation..............

Yesterday was another crazy day. I planned on going into Utah county with my husband. I had some transfers that needed to be done, so I thought I may be able to slip everything into the day. The night before, a DWR biologist down in the four-corners area of Utah called me about an injured owl he had. So I went to bed and spent most of the night trying to figure out how I was going to get this owl from him tomorrow, while I was going to be in another part of the state. Connie had just got back from that area, sort of, (it's a pretty big area, Grand and San Juan counties) to pick up a Raven, so I wasn't about to ask her to do that again, plus, I needed her here to feed the numerous babies we frustrating.

In the morning, yesterday, the DWR biologist called me to tell me the owl died during the night. That obviously changed things back to the original plan, sadly enough.

So, after taking care of the house and the wildlife in the morning, I loaded up the hummingbird baby in our care and her food. I also loaded the Pigeon that one of my volunteers brought me from Salt Lake that she found need her work and it wouldn't fly. Now, it flies well and although when it first came in, was horribly thin, now it's weight is good so back to Salt Lake she goes. We also loaded up our Magpie and Robin to transfer to DaLyn in Ogden. The Magpie is an orphan and although he's grown and doing well, he needs to go hang out with other Magpies to help him learn what he needs to learn. I only had him, but DaLyn has several in his situation, so that was perfect. The Robin, turned out to be non-releasable due to a shoulder injury, so she too went to DaLyn to become a foster parent for next years orphans.
We load up the van and head to Provo to meet one of my volunteers. We wait and wait at the coffee shop we agreed to meet. No volunteer, so we went and had lunch. She calls me just as we're finishing up, saying she was parked outside. We sat and visited for a bit and then headed out for the transfer.
I turned over the pigeon and she was going to release it the next day (today). I fed our little hummingbird while out there. I also handed over the Magpie and the robin and off she went, headed to Northern Utah.
Now, in turn, I took 3 Kestrel chicks so ours would have some to hang out with. This is so important as those idiots that fed her bread and milk, also socialized her to them. She needed to be with other Kestrels and that was the plan, so now, we needed to wait for the volunteer to get to Ogden and also pick up those Kestrels before heading back to Price. I also got a call from some people in Utah county that had another Kestrel they said was a baby and couldn't fly. So while waiting, I called them and they brought me the bird. Wasn't a baby at all, but an adult male and very thin. Finally, I get a call from the volunteer and 3 hours later, she just got to Ogden. I can't believe it. I can't wait around for another 3 hours!
I called another volunteer in Utah county and he agreed to meet her, the first volunteer in Utah county after she had the Kestrels and meet me in Spanish Fork canyon, the canyon that separates Utah county and Carbon county, where Price is. The canyon alone is about 60 miles.

So we head home, with the one Kestrel and hummer. I get back, start taking care of the night time wildlife responsibilities with Connie and then get the call that my volunteer Jim, now has the Kestrels, so I finish up and put everyone to bed and then got a friend to drive with me into the canyon to meet Jim. I have night blindness, so any night wildlife business has to have a second person involved. We got home about midnight. Then we had to start separating the new birds as the two little female Kestrels were trying to kill the little male. Not really uncommon but I didn't suspect that so quickly.

So now, we have 4 more new Kestrels and Connie got in another Robin while I was gone.
We sure put on the miles doing what we do with just 2-3 people helping with driving once in a while. I remember the good ol' days when I only worked 8 hours a day. What a woos.......

This is a bit different type of posting I normally do, but I just want to remind people of the hard work we do helping wildlife, unpaid, all volunteer and we respond 24/7, no days off, something a lot of people take for granted.


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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