Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A great release in Grand County

Another double Golden eagle release, this time at the Castle Valley overlook.  We were honored to have Utah Highway Patrol trooper Brandon Custer do one of the releases.  Brandon assisted another Golden eagle last year in the Grand County area along with Trooper Brian Evans.  They made sure an injured eagle was not going to be injured again while awaiting for assistance from one of our volunteers in the area.  We gave Trooper Evans a chance to release that Golden earlier this year so it was time to give a huge Thank you to Trooper Custer and let him release a Golden eagle as well.  We also were honored to have David Erley, the mayor of Castle Valley, Utah, release the second Golden eagle.  Mayor Erley is a friend and advocate of our organization.  We appreciate all his efforts on our behalf.  He recently added a second night of the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Moab as a fundraiser for our organization.  This is HUGE needless to say and will hopefully bring much more needed attention to the work of wildlife rehabilitators everywhere.  Enjoy the pic's!  The last one is the area beneath the cliff they were released on, their new home. You can see many more pic's from those that attended the release on our Facebook page at Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation.  We are located in Price, Utah.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Ready for a grand release!

Hey folks,
We will be releasing two Golden eagles from our rehabilitation program, this coming Sunday, November 9th, in Grand County, Utah.  These two birds came in, having just recently fledged from their nests.  They are not related.  Both came from different areas, near Moab, Utah.  Both are females and were suffering from failure to thrive issues. Both have recovered and are very aggressive and ready to be released.  The photo's were taken while we were banding them.  All raptors in our program are banded prior to release.  We are taking them back to their general area this Sunday.  If you go to our Facebook page, you will find a map and directions to the release.  All are invited to attend.  The toss should take place at 1PM.  If you're late, they will be in the air...................

Thursday, September 25, 2014

No sign of slowing down and we are bursting at the seams.......................

Now in possession of 9 Golden eagles with various issues along with 2 American Crows, 3 Ravens, 1 Coopers hawk, 3 Swainson's hawks, 1 Peregrine falcon, 1 Red-Tail hawk and 1 Sandhill Crane.  Now that is just as of today.  Tomorrow, who knows?!

Of these patients, several cannot be released back into the wild due to their injuries.  All of these patients require supportive care everyday and some, those with more serious issues, more medical care on top of everything.  We are working on a transfer of one of our non-releasable Golden eagles to a facility in North Carolina where he (our eagle) will be living with a female eagle in a static display situation, meaning there will be little handling of these birds.  They will not be used for educational programs on the fist.  I feel this will be the best situation for this particular bird.  As the rehabilitator, we are responsible for what is best for our patients and that varies, of course, from animal to animal.  We will also be placing another one of our Goldens with a facility in Indiana, along with our non-releasable Peregrine falcon.
We have recently released 2 Coopers hawks and a Red-Tail hawk, a Long-Eared owl, an American Kestrel and a Cottontail rabbit.  All of these releases were successful and went off without any problems.
The days are becoming cooler, as are the nights and Fall migration is on.  Hummingbirds have already moved on and the raptors are already in process of migration as well.  I've seen a few Turkey Vultures still in the area, but that should change any day.  Soon, the Merlins and Rough-Legged hawks will be arriving in Utah.  So much change going on and life goes on, sometimes needing our help along the way.  Enjoy the photo's.

Connie holding Sandhill Crane on intake exam

Adult Raven electrocuted and burned in Carbon County, Utah

Adult female Coopers hawk that will not be able to survive in the wild.  Looking for placement in an educational program for this girl.

Connie holding one of our newest Golden eagles from the Mounds area of Carbon County, Utah

Male Kestrel on banding day just before release.
Long-Eared owl on release day.

First year female Red-Tail hawk from San Juan County, Utah.  Gunshot victim.

Adult female Swainsons, hawk from Salt Lake County.  Gunshot victim.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Time to take a stand if wildlife/raptors/bats matter to you

Please take the time to read the U.S. Fish and Wildlife proposal allowing more killing of Eagles in the United States to accomodate wind farms and their companies. Those of us involved in wildlife rehabilitation know that this has been going on for many years, the ugly little secret the wind industry doesn't want you to know about. There are other alternatives, but as always, cost outweighs the death of many many birds and bats every year. This is NOT a CLEAN industry as many have convinced their selves of. This petition can also be signed, adding your name to the Audubon's position on this matter. Lives are at stake.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

No sign of slowing down and Fall migration will be starting shortly.

So the craziness continues.
We have taken in many more birds and been able to do a few releases.  We look the releases as that is the 'pay off' for our work.   We want successful patients BACK where they belong after taking care of their injuries and illnesses and preparing them for their lives in the wild.  In order to do this successfully, we have to know WHAT it is that animal does in the wild, what it's niche is.  Then we have to be sure they can carry out this life, as intended.  There is a great deal to wildlife rehabilitation.  Many fields of expertise are required to do this correctly.  I love being a part of this profession.  It's a life long learning situation, as it should be.
We are currently caring for six Golden Eagles. We have two that we know can never be returned to the wild, due to their injuries.   We will hopefully be able to place these two individuals, with one of the Native Eagle Aviaries in the country, permitted to take non-releasable eagles.  Our newest Golden will be having surgery this Thursday for a fractured humerus in his right wing.
 He is a new fledgling Golden Eagle and should do well in surgery.  Obviously, we hope he heals well and can eventually go back into the wild.

We have also taken in two gunshot victims.  One, a Swainson's hawk from Salt Lake County and the other, a Red-Tail Hawk from San Juan County.  Both have been turned over to our state's wildlife officials in order for cases to be opened up and investigated.  The Red-Tail hawk is in poor condition as the initial gunshot happened between 10-14 days ago.  The bird has been unable to hunt and therefore is very thin and dehydrated.  The wound is also infected.  My job with him, at this point, is to get him stronger and take care of that infection and manage his pain.

We are getting ready to release a Ferruginous hawk that came to us from Monticello, Utah with 'failure to thrive' issues.
 Since coming to us, this bird has recovered nicely and has kill tested successfully.  He is very aggressive, which we love!  We had him banded yesterday with his federal band so tomorrow will be the day we take him back to that area of Utah to be released.
He was initially found sitting in a canoe on a womans property.  There was a little bit of water that had collected there in the canoe and I'm sure he was there to drink it.  He was very thin, dehydrated and weak.

Our Barn owl is about ready to be released as well.  She has already been banded.  We intend to let her go near here at an area known as Desert Lake.  It's a great area for an owl and she should do well.  She also kill tested successfully.

We admitted a Long-Eared owl recently.  This little guy came to us from the town of Ferron, Utah.  He has head trauma, but we can find nothing else.
 We are giving him anti-inflammatories to help with the pressure in his brain.  He is sure feisty for a head injury guy, but that's good with us!  Hopefully, his stay with us won't be a long one, depending on that head injury and any long term effects.

We also took in another Swainson's Hawk, this one from Summit County that appears to have been electrocuted.  There is some trauma to one of the feet/toes that we need to be concerned about, but x-rays showed no broken bones.
 We have him on antibiotics and pain medication.  These hawks will collectively be migrating down to Argentina soon, as they winter there and then return in Spring.
 Hopefully, we can get him back into good condition before they start migrating through Utah.  If not, he will have to 'winter over' with us until Spring.

Also, we released our little cat caught Robin yesterday.  This bird was mangled.  I haven't seen many in the shape he was in, survive.  He did very well and with new feather growth, happily took off.  I'm glad the people brought him to us immediately, instead of minimizing the problem so that we could start antibiotics immediately.  This was crucial to saving his life.

We have many more patients, but no more time for blogging.  Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

And the craziness continues...........................................

It's been awhile since our last post.  So much has happened in that time, so I'll just go over some highlights.  Many more patients have needed our services and we have released many others when ready.  This year is the year of the Coopers Hawk and of course, the Golden Eagle.  The Golden's just keep coming and coming, mostly hit-by-vehicles.  This is always concerning, but the State has recently acknowledged a decline in the Golden population and it's of enough concern that they are monitoring nestlings in many nests by putting telemetry back packs on them while still in the nest.
They are doing this with the help of Hawk Watch International.  There may be others involved, but I only  know of HWI.  I'm sure there are several factors involved, not just one.  This isn't a result of the cyclical aspects of their prey either.  Something else is going on.  We will just keep doing our part with helping those that need rehabilitation in some way.

Our fundraiser went really well.  I have such wonderful support from that area and Yrma, Dave and Sara really worked their butts off gathering support, donations and working on the event itself.  We had many local artists support our work.  I personally appreciate everyones work and support.

These are Say's Phoebe's.  They came in after they were orphaned.  Their mother had built her nest in a camp trailer.  When the owners left to go camping, they heard these little guys chirping for their mother.  Long gone, they needed to come into rehab.  They have grown like feathery weeds, which we love of course.  They need to learn to eat on their own and then, they can be released back where they belong.
We recently released two little Cedar Waxwings, brought to us after being found on the ground, hopping down a sidewalk.  These two little ones had fledged a little too early and were clearly not ready to leave the nest so we helped them along with a proper diet and when they learned what they should be eating and ate on their own, they were released near Price.  We hope they are successful and live to produce many babies to add to their population.
Sadly, these releases don't get as much attention as a Golden eagle release or something larger, but they are just as important to us and take a great deal of time and expertise to do this correctly.  These little lives matter!

This little guy is a Western Bluebird.  He came in as a 'mystery' bird.  Very small and no feathers at that point.  He was found in a nest cavity with his siblings down near the Four-Corners region of Utah.  He was the only one found alive as the tree had fallen and the nestlings were all killed except for this little guy.  We knew he was probably an insect eater as most cavity nester's are, so once we could identify him, we knew we were correct and his nutritional needs had been met.  He will soon be released.  The finders had named him Milton, so Milton it is!

We have had several Golden Eagles come in.  Most recently, two fledglings from near Moab.  Both had recently come off the nest and were already in trouble.  Parent birds were not seen in either case.  The two are not related and came from different nests.  Both are females and were starving and dehydrated.  One has burns to the pads of her feet from being on the hot pavement of highway 191.  Both were also covered in lice as happens frequently in these situations.  Lice are opportunistic, so when something is down and not doing well, they take advantage of the situation.  Both are going to make it I believe and in time, will be released.  They have a lot of weight they need to gain and many things to learn in order to be successful in the wild, before they leave us.  This will take a few months.  We have to teach them what they would be learning from their parents at this point in their young lives.

We recently released another Golden Eagle from near the Four-Corners area.  She had been hit by a vehicle and was transported to us by DWR.  We met them in Green River, Utah and amazingly, this bird had no fractures, just a slight concussion.  We gave her some time and made sure she had no long term effects of the concussion and released her at the top of Indian Canyon in June.  Todd had the honors that day.  As always, all of our raptors are banded with federal USFW bands before being released back into the wild.  This gal also had been banded the day of her release as well.

We hope she is successful in her life.  She is a two year old bird, so clearly knows how to hunt and kill so we did not need to go through that step with her.

Thanks for checking in.  I'll try to update again here soon, but we are right in the middle of busy season for all wildlife rehabilitators everywhere.  Remember, please support your local wildlife rehabilitator.  A call to your local State wildlife office will tell you who that is.  We are professionals that spend our lives caring for our native wildlife.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Busy, busy, busy with no end in sight.

Well, we are getting ready for our big annual fundraiser in Moab, Utah.  Yes, that MOAB!  Saturday, June 7th we will have a two part event; a morning event and an evening event.  We have a Facebook page dedicated to the event.  Please check it out at

We have 8 Golden Eagles in our care.  The most recent came in yesterday from near Scofield, Utah.  He will be going to our vets office tomorrow for x-rays, but at this point, I don't believe he will ever fly again.

We also have a Barn Owl in our care that came in from Utah County.  A recent fledgling, found at the base of a large business, covered in mirrors.
She just needs some time and we will also kill test her to make sure she can hunt successfully.  

Our non-releasable Red-Tail hawk, Summit, will be going to Natures Educators in Aurora, Colorado, once all the paperwork is complete.  We are so happy for him as he will be a wonderful ambassador for his species.
We are feeding many babies, as usual for this time of year.

 Cottontails and squirrels.  We just released our last Starling nestling today as he was ready to go.
We recently released one of our Red-Tail hawks.  This bird was released just outside of Helper, Utah near a place called Emma Park.  We hope she does well in that area, which is perfect terrain for a Red-Tail.

Time to go and feed again,
Thanks for checking in,

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Working to save birds in Utah and around the country. Please join us.

Second Chance Wildlife, along with other organizations and individuals is mounting an effort against the proposed 'Crow Hunt' in Utah. This is a new proposal and is being rushed through the 'system'. We only have a few weeks left for comment. You can also go to and comment on the Division of Wildlife Resources page to help this effort. This effort cannot be justified by any documentation, studies or facts. Other states that do allow this horrible violence against one of natures most intelligent creatures have yet to show they have accomplished their goals, whatever they may be. There is no consistent rationale for this proposed hunt as Crows are not consumed by people, such as ducks would be. It would simply be killing for the sake of killing and these native birds belong to everyone, not just a few that want to do them harm. The populations in Utah are very diverse and Crows are not numerous in many areas. The worst part of this whole ugly situation, is that most individuals cannot tell the difference between a Crow and a Raven, which will cause mass casualties for Ravens as well. I see this first hand, even with wildlife personnel. Second Chance Wildlife opposes this new 'hunt' and will continue the fight for all wild birds in and around Utah. Please take the time to comment at the DWR page I have listed above. Thank you.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

In full swing and only going to get busier!

More to update on.  We are fast approaching our annual fundraiser in Moab, Utah.  This event will be held June 7th and is a two part event, both occurring that day.  For more information about this event, we have created a Facebook page dedicated to this event. Please check it out and learn about our silent auction to be held that evening.

We just released a Red-Tail hawk that was transferred to us from another rehab facility in need of our help.  She was a juvenile hawk and is now free.  She learned to kill and was good at doing so, being very aggressive, like most female Red-Tail hawks.

Todd Andrews releasing the female Red-Tail hawk

We hope she will be successful and in the future, raise many Red-Tail babies with a good mate.

Our electrocuted Raven is doing better.  It's been a bumpy recovery for him.  He still has a long way to go, but I think we are over the 'hump' and he continues to heal and thrive.

We released all of our Cottontail babies.  We had a cat-caught victim and three others that had their nest disturbed by 'gardening' and one sibling was killed and the mother fled for her life.  They all did well and were recently released near Price in an area where there is not a lot of human activity or traffic.

At our facility, we rehab many species.  Every animal that Utah will allow to be rehabilitated, we work with.  Many people are surprised to learn that besides the raptors they know we care for, we also believe that all animals are important and deserve our time and expertise.  There is NO difference for us between these Cottontails, the Hummingbirds, the Eagles and so on.  They are ALL important.

We also recently released a Northern Flicker, a member of the woodpecker family.  This little angel was found in the middle of a busy road.  The finder stopped and picked her up and called me right away.  She had a concussion and balance issues due to that.  Once her issues resolved with anti-inflammatories and time, we released her near where she was found.

If you happen to notice the bird to the left, that little Eurasian Collard dove showed up to say "hi" after the Flicker landed.

This is our newest patient, an orphaned (not sure why) Canada goose gosling.  Found in Moab, Utah by some hikers.  They did the correct thing and took possession and called for help.  This little angel will be joining other orphan Goslings in a few days.  They should never be raised alone, if at all possible.  It's good when rehabilitators network and know who has what and when.  It's a vital part to good rehabilitation.

Thank you for checking in and please check out the 'Flock Together" page.  Donations to our organization can be made at the top of this page by the secure Pay Pal button.  Donations allow us to continue the work we do, caring for these angels that need our help.  All rehabilitation in the United States is done this way as local state wildlife agencies or federal wildlife agencies do not employ rehabilitators nor do they financially support our work.  Sad.....but true!


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Oh, the cuteness...........................

Well, we are very busy now.  We have already had 'orphans' brought in, mammals and 1 bird.  With every wind storm I get very nervous.  So much little ones have to deal with in the early lives.  We hope that when they are found, the finders do the correct thing and find a wildlife rehabilitator to care for them.  It's very important that this is done by someone licensed and permitted to care for the species in question.  Not all rehabilitators are the same and are permitted for various things.  Lives are at stake.  So much knowledge about proper diets and socialization with conspecifics is needed.  It is an insult to our profession when the average person 'decides' they can do what we do, successfully.
Moving on, we are full right now.  Having six Golden Eagles with different situations.  
Three are determined non-releasable and are awaiting the transfer to their forever homes in Oklahoma.  They will be going to a facility run by the Comanche Nation and be paired with another Golden Eagle.  If it's a good pairing, they will raise babies and those babies will be released into the wild.  What a wonderful program.  We have Eagles with two other Native aviaries in the U.S., another one in Oklahoma and one in New Mexico.  Thankfully, three more Native aviaries will be opening in the next year or so.  Two in Arizona and another in Montana.  These are great resources for wildlife rehabilitators and the Eagles we care for that cannot go back into the wild.
We are also caring for other Goldens, one that may or may not be releasable.  That bird is being flight tested to determine this.  We have a West Nile Golden that we are hoping, with time, will be returned to the wild.
 West Nile is a big problem here for our Eagles and other birds.  It effects different animals differently, some more severely with little chance for recovery.  It effects mammals and birds, a little differently, some problems being identical however.  Golden Eagles seem able to recover from it better than some species, at least that is the experience we have had.  Don't get me wrong, it's still a nasty illness, but we have had great success.
We are searching for a suitable facility for two non-releasable Crows.  We have, what we believe to be a male and female and I paired them up since Crows (Corvids) do better in groups.   They are such social creatures. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Corvids.  They are so fun and challenging to work with.

We also have a Long-eared owl that came in with a fracture in his left wing that didn't require surgery.  We are hoping he can be released in time.  Cute little guy.
Always looks like he is surprised to see you.  We are also caring for a Raven that was electrocuted.  He came in recently and is still a handful.  His injuries have made him non-releasable.  He had been on the ground for at least 6 days as he is very thin and had been spotted by someone who called us about him.
Sadly, she was not able to catch him and it took 6 days for him to be found and by that time, he was very thin.  We are giving him subcutaneous fluids and force feeding him right now.  He is also on antibiotics for the contact injuries to both wings from the source of electricity that injured him.

We recently released a Great Horned owl that had come in with a fracture in his left wing.  He came from the Hanksville area of Utah.  Once the injury had healed, we flight tested him and eventually, was released near here in Price.

He was a young bird, so it was not necessary to return him to Hanksville.  We are very happy that he is now free and living like he should.

Well, that is just some of our patients right now.
Thanks for following this site,   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