Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Well it's been a long while since my last post.  I had a heart attack back in July and had to have by-pass surgery.  Then, I developed complications from a staph infection and had two more surgeries.  I have not been able to do much of anything, so our operations, from day-to-day were run by Connie, my sub-permittee.  That's a lot of work and I'm so grateful for her help.  I am back home now, but not 100% by any means and probably won't be for some time.  I'll catch up a bit for now.
We still have several animals with us and for this time of year, that is unusual.
Our newest patient is an American Crow.  He was found in Utah County with a terrible injury to the hand portion of his left wing.  It had already been healing for at least 10 days, so it looks like the little guy won't be releasable.  This makes 3 Crows we have now, that are non-releasable.  The other two, I paired up as Corvids don't do well by themselves and those two are now bonded so we are looking for an educational opportunity for them where they can go together.  I don't think they would do well being handled, so they will be 'display' birds.  They enjoy each others company very much.

Our Great Blue Heron also found a good placement with Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City.  He had surgery here due to a grouping of small fractures in the hand of his right wing.  Unfortunately, due to the blood supply being minimized to the rest of the wing after calcification started taking place, he lost that portion of his wing.  We waited for the right opportunity for him and it happened.  This is the Aviaries' only Great Blue Heron.

We had a great deal of Ring Neck doves
 this year.  Fortunately, they have all been released.  Many of these birds come in 'cat caught' and have horrible injuries.  We have had several chicks still in the nest this year so having some older doves helped with the babies and the language they needed to learn.

We've had a lot of Golden eagles as usual and still have 4 in our care now and 1 down at Best Friends in southern Utah, using their 100 foot flight.  Sadly, it was determined, through a lot of watching and time that she cannot go back to the wild.  She had been hit by a car near the Colorado border earlier this year and although she can fly, she just can't fly well enough to be released into the wild and survive.  We are making arrangements for her and hopefully, within the next month, she will be in a facility in Oklahoma with other non-releasable Golden eagles from throughout the country.

This juvenile eagle will be released as soon as we can determine she is ready to go.  She is a West Nile Virus victim.
This juvenile eagle will be ready to go once we get his conditioning complete.  He came in from near Moab shortly after fledging off of his nest.  He was struck by a vehicle on the busy highway but had no broken bones.
I believe 3 of the 4 eagles we are in possession of here at the main facility WILL be releasable.  The one that I believe cannot be released, was hit by a vehicle as well.  This is the most common reason eagles come to us.  They cannot move out of the way quickly as they are large birds.  This makes things hazardous out on fast moving roads for these giants.  So please stop and think when you see one on the side of the road or right on the road and make adjustments for yourself, keeping in mind that they are what they are and cannot move quickly.
A little PoorWhill that came in earlier this year.

Connie has released a lot of birds this summer.  Owls, hawks and many passerines and waterfowl as well.

A Red-Tail hawk that came in earlier this year.  Released by Connie.
A Swainsons hawk that came in after being held by the finder.  This bird had a horrible maggot infestation in her infected wing.  Since she was not able to be released in time for Fall migration, we transferred her to DaLyn Erickson in northern Utah to winter there as she (DaLyn) had other Swainsons she was wintering over.
An adult female Coopers hawk that came in with a severe wing injury.  She will not be able to be released so we are trying to get her placed into a program at Cornell University in New York where she will be allowed to have a mate and make babies.  All offspring will be released back into the wild in that area.
Our cute little Night Hawk nestlings found near the airport here in Price.
On the 1st of December, I will be driving to Logan, Utah to meet a volunteer from Cody, Wyoming and the Buffalo Bill Museum up there.  They have raptors for educational purposes and have one of our past non-releasable Great Horned owls.  They provide education for the general public and schools.  They will be taking possession of an American Kestrel from us that came in with an eye injury that took his sight away.  He can no longer hunt properly so he will also be and educational bird for the group up there.  We are so happy that he will have a wonderful place to live.
Well, so much for now,

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