Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lunch bunch

The eagle nest monitors finally got together in November for our luncheon. It was a jolly group that brought goodies to share and to talk over all the fun times we had while watching the baby eagles in our assigned nests grow into healthy and strong birds ready to fledge and hopefully live long lives. We know that a majority of them may not make it to adulthood but none of us wanted to think that may be ours.

You'll notice that I'm holding a photo in my hand. That's Nicole, my partner, and her son Benjamin, who was with us the whole time but wasn't born until a couple weeks after our two babies left their nest. They now live in Pennsylvania but we keep in contact. Thanks everyone and I hope to see all of you for another round of eagle nest monitoring in the Spring of 2011.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The mean one is gone.

Bald Eagles are born with a bad attitude and it never improves. Today I took one of the meanest birds wearing feathers back to where she was found and released her. SNAKE was hesitant to come out of the transfer crate but when she did she wasted no time heading away from me. Amazingly enough, when I pulled up at the ranch there were two balds sitting in the trees right next to where we were driving. They took off and landed in another tree some distance off.

SNAKE flew off and headed in their direction and even landed in one of the nearby trees. As you can see from the photo, she flew with strength and determination. If you look at the bottom photo you'll see three dark spots among the branches. SNAKE is in the tree on the left, her mate is on the right and the one in the middle appears to be a chick of last year that is for some reason still hanging on in the area. Altho my deafness didn't allow me to hear it, the others there heard all the birds calling back and forth to each other.

Also, the tree that SNAKE is sitting in has a large nest to the right and a bit below her. Apparently she is truly home again.

Note: One of the people at the release took lots of photos and put it on a site. Go to this site and see them, great shots.

Monday, January 10, 2011

What is it?

Today I looked out and sitting in one of my yard trees was this very pretty little bird. I had no idea what it was so called my friend Joyce who suggested a Townsend's Solitaire. Darn if she wasn't right. I've never had one of these in my yard before. Most of the wild residents consists of sparrows and pigeons. Of course because they frequent my water station there are also, on occassion, cooper's hawks and sharp-shinned hawks. They have learned that feeders and waterers mean lots of small birds, their favorite meal.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Another into the wind

Today another rough-legged hawk was sent on his way. COCOA came in on December 17th after running into the side of a truck. He was a bit thin and confused but decided that this was a pretty good B&B. He was put into a smaller flight area and when he proved he could make it to the tall perch he went into the larger hawk flight barn. Today he was taken east of Cody and released in wonderful habitat with the hopes that he will make it back to his summer home in the far North.

Thanks Joyce for again taking the photos of this awesome release.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What ?????

This is SNAKE, an adult bald eagle that came in to IBR this evening thanks to Tom Desomber, the WG&F warden in Tensleep. She was originally seen yesterday by a rancher as he drove down one of his roads. He figured she was just eating on a roadkill so kept on going. This morning she was still there so he called Tom to come get her. She had spent the night on the ground and he had to actually pry her feathers out of the snow, she had been frozen in.

Now comes the diagnosis. No bones are broken but it's possible she's suffering from lead poisoning. Because of their fish diet they can sometimes eat one that has a lead sinker or the like inside it. Lead is an accumulative poison so if she ate a piece years ago it is still in her system and is added to when any new lead is ingested.

To be on the safe side she has been started on medicine to counteract the lead while we wait for the blood test results from our state lab. She's in excellent condition, weighs 11.75 pounds which is a good weight for an adult female bald eagle. Now our fingers are crossed that this treatment was started in time.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My famous friend

This is a photo of my California friend, Jenny Papka, during the recent inauguration of Jerry Brown as the new governor of the state. Jenny is the amazing person on the left side holding her Eagle Owl while talking with Mr. & Mrs. Brown. Check out the links section in the upper right (Native Birds Connections in CA) to see all about the facility she runs near San Francisco.

I met Jenny quite a few years ago when she took a Rough-legged Hawk from me to use in educational programs. Since then she's also received a Ferruginous Hawk, a Red-tailed Hawk and a Cooper's Hawk. She's the epitome of a "hawk whisperer" in that she has taken both the ferrug and the cooper's and has them sitting on her fist during the programs she presents to all ages. Both these species are very hard to handle but Jenny makes it look easy.

The top photo is at the shindig, Jenny with her Snowy Owl. Isn't she just beautiful?