Sunday, February 10, 2013

What's up with this weather?

One minute it's snowing like a blizzard, then things are frozen and we're trying to chisel into the enclosures, then things are thawing out and everything is muddy........enough already.

The little Screech owl in our last post was determined to be non-releasable due to her eye injuries.  Poor little angel.    We named her Avon.  She will become an ambassador bird for a group in Texas.  We are working on her paperwork now.

The other little Screech we had, Mojo, was released here in our area.  I hope she does well.  We put her where the other Screech came from, so maybe Mojo will find Avon's mate and make many Screech babies.

We took in a male Great Blue Heron from the Moab, Utah area.  He had trauma to his right wing and needed complex orthopedic surgery.  This has happened and now, he is healing in a large enclosure where he can move around and perch if he wants. 


These are such magnificent creatures, being one of my favorites.  The device to repair his wing is called a fixator.  This is the picture you see with pins going through his wing.  He will need this in place for about 10 weeks.  At that time, we will do more x-rays and surgery again to remove the device.  Then, his physical therapy will begin.

Our Barn owl from last year that was caught in fishing line and was hanging upside down in a tree, 30 feet off of the ground, is about ready to be released.  I'm waiting to get her banded and then we will put her back near her area she came from.  It's been a long rehab with a lot of tissue damage, but she has now healed well and all but 1 feather have all grown back, so she is ready to go.  We weren't sure this would ever happen, but we are so glad it has.

We took in another Ferruginous hawk, this one a male from near the Four-Corners area of Utah, after he struck a car.  It was a pretty short rehab.  He had soft tissue damage to his right wing and a concussion.  He healed well and let us know he did not care for our hospitality and wanted to leave.  We arranged a ride for him back down to that area with a wildlife biologist from that area and he was released successfully. 

Our other Ferruginous hawk, Layla, that also came from that area of Utah but that is non-releasable, will be going to South Dakota for education.  She will be leaving us the 18th of this month for the Black Hills Raptor Center.  They are a wonderful group of well educated and caring individuals.  We couldn't be happier.....well, yes we could; if she had been releasable we would be happier, but since she is not, she will have a wonderful life with them.

Our non-releasable Swainson's hawk that came in last year after being found shortly after leaving the nest with only one functioning eye, will be headed to New York in two days to be an educational bird as well.  We had hoped, even with the one eye, he could be released, but that just wasn't meant to be as he cannot hit his perches perfectly every time.  This would be a huge problem in the wild.  He will be going to Wild Wings Inc.  The transfer paperwork and approval has taken several months.  It's been frustrating but at least we are to the point where he will be heading to his forever home.  He is an amazing bird and we hope he will thrive in his new environment.

Our gunshot eagle, Clark, is doing very well.  His wound is healing and getting smaller.  He is getting very strong and wants to be free, but his broken bones still have not healed so he has several more weeks with us.  It's heartbreaking to know that he is fighting, at times, to be free, but he may feel 'well', but he is not 100%.  Hopefully, we can get him out into our large flight here in a couple of weeks.

Thanks for taking interest in our work.  We couldn't do it without those that support our work.


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