Saturday, August 4, 2012

Eagle release tomorrow

We are going to be releasing a Golden eagle tomorrow in Emery county.  This female came to us from the Monticello area.  That area is a haven for eagles; flat, windy and many prairie dogs.  There are large Cottonwood trees, a favorite of eagles, all around for resting.  This gal was on the ground with a full crop, but she was weak as well.  Her crop wasn't emptying out properly and the food in it was rotting.  This can be life threatening.  During this time it was very hot in the Monticello area and this can cause problems for animals of all kinds. 
For educational purposes, the crop is an area just past the mouth and throat where food can be held until a later time.  Not all birds have crops but eagles do.  When they want to move the food out of their crop and down into their 'stomach', they make a series of movements with their neck, moving the food down and down.  When this is done, they can fill the crop up again if they chose to.  Sometimes, the crop will not empty, thus causing problems.  There a several reasons this may happen.  Dehydration, food that is unusually large in size and stuck in the crop and lead poisoning are just a few reasons this happens.  Our job is to determine, which one or ones may be causing the problem and go from there.  One may see a huge crop on a downed bird and think they are just fine and too heavy to get off of the ground, but assuming that may seal a birds fate.  I have seen many birds with enormous crops that are starving to death.

We hydrated her and emptied out her crop and got things working properly again after a few days.  Since then, she has just been hanging out and we have been observing her, making sure her crop is moving normally. 
We had her banded with a federal USFW band and now she is ready to go.  Since she is younger, I will not be taking her back to the Monticello area, but instead, taking her to the Wedge Overlook in Emery county.  Hopefully she will do well in that area.  There are virtually no areas I know of, to release a bird, where their are no humans close by.  Sad, but that's the reality of things.  I'll attempt to get some photo's tomorrow and post them for everyone. 


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