Monday, August 29, 2011
Try to keep up...............
So much has been going on so I'll try to catch up on some of the key stories.
They won't necessarily be in chronological order, but oh well.
We still are receiving young nestlings of many kinds. Western Tanagers, English Sparrows, House finches and so on. I've included a picture of a young Western Kingbird that we raised and released. What a little cutie.
We also got in a nestling Red-Tail hawk that was blown out of his nest just a few weeks prior to when he should have flown away. There were some terrible storms in the area he came from and this is when he was found on the ground. It worked out well since we had just taken two young Red-Tail hawks for Best Friends Animal Society. They needed to learn how to kill and so did our little Red-Tail. He was just a little younger than the other two, which were siblings, but they learned together. The two sibling Red-Tail hawks were released together near Price. We had two locals, Dave and Shauna O'Brien release them.
While all of this was going on, the Ferruginous hawks were growing fast and they needed to learn to kill at the same time the Red-Tails were learning, so they all went into the large flight together. The Red-Tails were the quickest to learn and then the Ferruginous. Once the Red-Tails were all released, including our little one found after the storm, then the Ferruginous were the only ones in the flight, so we gave them a couple of weeks longer to master that skill and then they too were released, almost at the same spot where the two Red-Tails had been released. We asked Jim and Kathy Fowers to do the honors. Jim has been instrumental in a number of cases, having picked them up in areas we are very far from. He has also dropped off many patients to me, meeting me in the canyon that runs between Utah county and Carbon county. He too is very committed to getting these creatures what they need at any time, day or night. A true kindred soul. I'll post those release pictures later.
Sadly, there have been some deaths, as it is with this kind of work. I got a call one night that an owl had been hit by the local college. I drove up there and the lady that saw him in the road was still there, making sure he got the help he needed. It was a Great Horned owl with substantial trauma. The next day we took him to our vets and had x-rays, which showed injuries that could not be repaired. So sad as this was just a fledgling owl and had to be euthanized. A sad, sad day.
Teasdale, our Great Horned owl that came in from central Utah on New Years day, was finally placed in an educational facility in Cody, Wyoming. He was non-releasable due to trauma in one of his wings, which made perfect flight impossible. We determined he was a good candidate for education so once a place was found and approved, the transfer was made. I'm glad this opportunity opened up for him and now, he can settle into his new life. I hope he will be happy during his new life as that is our only priority, the animal.
Finally, we got in a new Golden Eagle. This one was hatched this year in Seviere county and was found in a coal mine in the area. They notified the wildlife department and they, in turn, caught her and we picked her up. With no injuries, she was in horrible condition. Very dehydrated and thin, causing her weakness which allowed her to be picked up without a fight. Not good.
Sufco Mine out of Salina, Utah stepped up to the plate immediately and asked if they could help with the cost of her care. Wow, that never happens! She needed several weeks of slowly hydrating and feeding various foods, starting out with simple formulas and then working her way to and eagles normal food. She is now getting stronger and learning to get up onto high perches and flying. Her next step is learning to kill. She is housed with Fury, our other Golden Eagle. I think this is good for the both of them. Fury is still unable to get up onto high perches, suggesting there is a balance issue still going on, probably the result of the lead poisoning.
Well, that's good for now. Remember to click on the pictures to see them at their best.
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