Wow. We are still plugging along. Most of our patients are either non-releasable and we are working on placement for them, or we are determining if they can/should be released. This time of year is always this way. Enough time has passed that patients that came in earlier in the year with severe problems are finally being evaluated or have been.
Our eagle from the last post, Mesa, was released at Hogans Pass in central Utah. We have released eagles at this area before. It's a beautiful place, with high alpine mountains, over 9,000 feet at the summit and contrasting red-rock deserts. The beauty of Utah. I hope Mesa will thrive there and in the next couple of years, find a mate.
Our one-eyed Swainsons hawk, a first year male, will be going into an education program in New York. The paperwork is in the process, so he will become an educational embassador for his species. We really struggled with this decision as he is an amazing killer of prey, but his inability to land on his perches perfectly, every time, made our decision. This would not be acceptable in the wild and would put him in extreme danger, drawing the attention of other predators.
Our Ferruginous hawk, Layla, is doing very well. I put her into our large flight cage today, mainly to see what she can and can't do. I'm positive she will be non-releasable at this point, but now that she is self feeding, we can work on finding her that perfect place to live out her days.
If she had continued not eating and we had to force her twice daily, that is not an option for an educational bird. They have to be self feeding. It's about quality of life. She has gone from not expected to last the night, to a thriving, fiesty girl. She showed all of us! The mass she had develop as a result of the trauma that brought her in to us is still there, but not growing any longer and is not causing her respiratory distress, as it was starting to. We are so happy for her.
We are releasing Honey, the Great Horned owl, this weekend near Genola, Utah. Remember her? The owl that was caught in a barbed wire fence near the Colorado border and the finder 'cut' her off the fence instead of cutting the fence? She went through several cold-laser therapy treatments here in Price and had only natural honey used on her wound.
She healed very well with absolutely no indication of her prior injury. She's been hanging out, regrowing her feathers in that area and then, exercising her wings in the flight. Today, Connie drove her back to Utah county to my other volunteer Jim, and he will release her in the next few days.
Enjoy the pictures. If anyone knows of someone in a position that can help us with a van, whether it be a donated van or someone that works at a dealership that can possibly get a used van donated, we are desperate. And considering we are picking up most of our patients and they come from extremely rural areas, we need one that won't leave us stranded in the middle of nowhere with a patient in trouble. We can provide a tax number for this donation. Without a good van, we can only rely on DWR (our states wildlife agency) to get our patients to us and believe me, that won't work. Our people are covering huge areas of the state and frequently need me to intervene as they cannot. So you see our dilemma. It's a great cause.