Thursday, September 27, 2012

Busy Time of Year and the weather is pushing us along

Fall is certainly upon us.  It's early, like everything this year.  Rehab has been very effected by this from double and triple clutches of birds and strange storms and many, many fires this year.  Utah already has had it's first snow of the year and the winds are giving us grief.  The pics below are of a release of two American Kestrels and two Barn owls.  My grandson Joshua was finally able to release his first 'big' bird.

We have been able to release a few of our patients with a particular focus

on getting out one of our Swainsons' hawks in time for their migration.

  Thankfully, one of my volunteers found a staging area and she was welcomed into the group.  We still have two more Swainsons, but I don't know if/when they will be released.  One has a missing eye, well, there is something there, but he is non-visual and the other came in with a broken right leg.   The pic says RTHA, but he is a Swainsons.   He will get his cast off in about a week or so.  Those two may be wintering over with us.

We are trying to get our Saw-Whet owl in the mood to kill, but for now, she's content with 'Club Debbie' and the in-room-services we provide.

We have a Golden Eagle, Mesa, that is ready to kill-test and hopefully will soon be ready to be released.

We also released a Sharp-Shinned hawk that came in injured and emaciated.  Once the fracture healed, we determined that this bird could fly well enough to be set-free, so we taught her that mice are also a good food source and she learned that well and quickly.  Sharpies generally are bird eaters, so the added food source and ability to kill it will most certainly increase her chances in the wild.  We hope she does well.

We are kill-testing our Short-eared owl as well.  Apparently she is not as thrilled at this prospect as our little Sharpie was.  Oh well, time will tell. 

We took in another Kestrel, this one from Moab, Utah after being struck by a man riding a dirt bike there.  He's doing well and should be released soon.  He came in with a concussion and a slight wing droop in his left wing, although I can't find a fracture anywhere in that wing.  Hoping it may be a tissue injury.

Enjoy the pic's.  Remember everyone that every donation made up until the 1st of  November will be doubled when going to our veterinarian in Utah county, Dr. Jay Ipsen.  Donations during this time will be particularly beneficial since they will be doubled and the bill we still have for the year 2011 is quite large and will be applied to it.  Thank God he's a patient man.  I can't imagine not being able to provide the necessary medical care that Dr. Ipsen provides, such as complex surgeries and x-rays for our patients.  These things take money and while we rehabilitators work for free, taking no money at all, our vets are providing these services and a great deal is donated, but not all so these bills pile up without donations to cover them.  Please go to our PayPal button and help the wildlife if you can.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Very busy for this time of year....................

This post is going to be about our little Night Hawk.  We get several of these little guys in each year, most are hit by vehicles at dusk and night while they are chasing insects that are attracted to the headlights from our cars.  These little predators are amazing creatures.  They nest on the ground, so they have what is referred to as 'cryptic plumage'.  They blend very well.  They hunt in groups of other Night Hawks and bats as they are after the same food source.  If you have ever gone to a business at night that has a large parking lot with those hideously bright lights, no doubt you've seen these guys and their cousins hunting.  You may have thought they were bats, but these are larger than are most common bats and the wings are totally different.  The Night Hawks, members of the Night Jar family which includes Poor Will's and Whippoorwill's, have a white band on each wing that can be seen in flight.  They are very fast and agile, so when they get injured, it's usually not a good outcome as their little bones are too small for most surgical attempts and they would never withstand being anesthetized and would die in the process, so it's rare to have a good outcome with these angels.
We currently have one here in our care, that we are hoping will be released.  I'm including a video during a feeding to show you their amazing mouths.  These little ones hunt by opening their huge mouths and flying through a group of insects and then just swallowing what they caught.  Similar to baline whales and how they hunt.  So a bit of education and a video.  Learn more about Night Jar's and how they live.  You are sure to be surprised!
                                                       Enjoy!  Debbie

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