Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Baby TV

Yesterday I got a call from our city Animal Control Officer, aka dog catcher, Duane Wiener about a turkey vulture down in a yard in town. It was very close to where they roost for the night but not one of the regulars. This is a baby of this year, only about four months old. As you can see from these photos, compared to those of the vultures in a previous post, this youngster has a completely dark head.

By the time I got to the sighting the bird had managed to get to the top of a portable carport then to the roof of a nearby house. After watching him for some time he decided to fly in the direction of the roost tree. He didn't make it all the way but was up in a tree nonetheless. I'm sure he was a bit hungry and wasn't the strongest flyer so hopefully he followed all the older birds in the morning to where they could find something to eat.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

New homes

These two birds are heading for new homes. The raven, CRACKER, leaves this coming Tuesday for the South-western High School Raptor Center in Somerset, KY. This is a program in the school run entirely by the students with teacher supervision. They have received other birds from me in the past including a raven that died of a heart attack last year. Just a few months ago they also received a baby golden eagle, DAVE, aka, SANTEE. CRACKER suffered a broken wing as a very tiny baby in the nest and by the time she "fledged" and was found the damage was non-repairable. After a partial amputation you can see she looks just fine and is very athletic besides having the super intelligence of all corvids.

The golden eagle, BURL, is leaving as soon as the federal permit comes through, hopefully in a week or so. He's going to be living at the Balsam Mountain Trust Nature Center in Sylva, NC. This is a facility that does educational programs with non-releasable birds and animals. BURL is an old bird altho now that he's back in good health he may not be as old as I originally thought. He came in very starved due to being blind in one eye which made catching a meal very iffy.

It's taken so long to get the birds out of IBR and WY because the weather was too hot in the places they are headed. Especially one stop on the flight, Atlanta. Now that their record highs are non-existent the birds will be on their way to their new homes.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I'm not the only one in this house that likes to watch America's Funniest Home Videos. The cat could care less. As you can see, MADDIE was glued to the set during one of their "name that sound" segments. Neither of us got them right even tho it was a repeat show. Oh well. She's also front and center whenever there's an animal video shown.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Just some catch up on things. Last Saturday I received a call from some people who were traveling up this direction from their home in MO. Just this side of Thermop they spotted an injured golden eagle on the road, gathered her up and brought her to me. Unfortunately it was the weekend so she had to wait until Monday for x-rays. In the meantime I sprayed her to get rid of the many large lice she had plus filled her up with good elk meat and mice.

Monday and a trip to the vet ended up sadly. The x-rays showed that the bones in her pelvis were in pieces and altho she had very warm feet she couldn't move either of them or her legs. Apparently there was also nerve damage so she was euthanized. She is the 16th golden eagle of the year so far.

Also, John McGee is working on refurbishing the original mews we built about 20 years ago. By we I mean people who didn't have a clue about "treated" wood so what was on the ground has slowly been rotting. The old is now new with matching metal siding to the mews John built a few months ago. Every time I think I've finished with such work I find something else. The next will be small, just covering the front and one side of another old addition.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Okay, first the spider then these, Halloween must be in the air. These two adult turkey vultures came to visit and landed not far away from my gate. And they let me get quite close to them before taking to the air. They came because there is a meal for them near these fence posts. You'll also notice in the photo where they are perched there is another bird right in between them, a black-billed magpie. He didn't stay long as I don't think he was very welcome. In the flying photo you'll have to look closely in the dark cloud near the bottom to see the second bird.

I rarely see TV's around this area altho I know they nest someplace not too far away. One year there were about a dozen of them holding either a meeting or just gossiping behind my eagle flight barn. Was quite a sight to see.

Thank you

Just a few people to thank for all they do to make this operation run smoothly.

JOANIE and REBECCA for donating food for the birds. I'm sure there are lots of people who don't think about all the various food items needed to keep raptors and songbirds healthy. Because I feed a natural diet it's important to use only the best food for them.

Drs. BLESSING and PEDERSEN for providing excellent medical care for all the various patients I get in that are broken or damaged in some way. They both donate their expertise and skills in repairing the birds.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Eeeeeeeek ! ! !

Today I had a room-mate pointed out to me. Not one I've noticed but after finding this one there were lots more to be seen all around my sunroom both inside and out. It's a cat-faced spider. I rotated this photo 180 degrees, it's actually up in a far corner, not on the ground.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Happy Birthday

Today is my dads birthday, he would have been 98 years old.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Parental discretion advised

Okay, here's the latest photo of BINGO, the adult female I showed in last Saturday's post. She's doing much better now and finally consented to eat a meal. Hence the warning in the title. These birds have to eat what they have to eat and it's not some cereal or the like. They eat furry things and in this case it's the rabbit sitting at her feet. Hopefully this doesn't offend anyone. I am so thrilled that she's eating on her own, makes her recovery that much faster so she can be returned to the place she was found for release. As these birds mate for life, and she is an adult, she probably has one in that area wondering just where she is. After spending a few more days in this 8'x 8' pen she will go into the eagle flight barn for needed exercise.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Today a visitor came to call. Rasputin is a 14 year old male Jack Russell terrier belonging to a friend who is going to the mountain for firewood and a couple days off for the holiday. As her other four dogs may pick on this old fellow if they're all kenneled together, he comes here to stay. As you notice, he dressed up for the visit in his favorite purple scarf.

Walking wounded

Today I got a call from Sam Donahue of the highway patrol about an eagle down near the town of Thermo-polis. Luckily a wonderful man, Pete Galovich, was coming this direction on his way to the Billings airport (he's going on a vacation in Alaska) and offered to bring the bird to Cody. I met him at the G&F office to transfer this adult female to my care.

As she was found alongside Highway 120 I assume she's been hit by a car. She has some bleeding in her mouth and is breathing hard but no bones are broken. She can walk but is very wobbly and weak. Hopefully any internal damage is minimal and the lung damage will be absorbed. The bad news is this is a holiday weekend, my vets office is closed until Tuesday. At this point I don't think anything will help but tincture of time.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Update on BURL

The old golden eagle, BURL, will be heading for Balsam Mountain Trust in Sylva, NC as soon as the weather cools off enough in Atlanta so he can make the flight. By flight I don't mean with his own wings, I mean via Delta/Sky West Airlines. It has to be 85 degrees or less at any of the stops along the way and it's continuing to be in the 90s there. He'll leave Cody, go to SLC, to ATL and then to Ashville, NC.

Because of an eye problem that would make survival in the wild very iffy, I made the decision to place him at that facility as an educational bird. In the meantime BURL is now with my subpermittee, Stacey Huston (see links), working at learning how to sit on a fist. She is a wonderful person at training these birds, has done so for many of the young raptors that come to IBR with no knowledge of how to hunt. Stacey not only shows them how to do that with patience and skill, she makes sure they are ready for a life in the wild so they can survive. The birds she's trained become some of the 20% of all baby raptors that WILL make it through their first year.

The above photo was taken by Stacey (I haven't the foggiest idea how she did that) after only a few days working with this bird. He's not facing the right direction, should have his back to the camera, but he's sitting there calmly on her fist awaiting the next installment of his training. Great job, Stacey.