Sunday, April 24, 2011

Number Three

On Friday I got a call from Tim Fagan, one of our WGF wardens about an eagle that was found near Cody unwilling to fly. I met him in town to transfer the bird to my care but couldn't find anything wrong with this adult male golden eagle. He was in fairly good weight, 7#2oz, but seemed weak and unable to stand for very long.

His name is TREY, the third golden I've received this year. At this time last year I'd had about 12 of them. Naturally I got this male on a holiday weekend but there didn't seem to be any noticable damage so it was not critical he be seen by Dr. Blessing or Dr. Pedersen. I gave him an opened rabbit and altho he grabbed it right away he didn't seem interested in eating. He was also sitting back on his hocks instead of standing on his feet.

That was Friday evening, today is a different story. It took him all of Saturday to finish his first meal but today, when I tossed him another rabbit, it never hit the perch. He grabbed it out of the air and has so far eaten more than half of it.

The good thing is that this bird was found quickly, the bad thing is that it is an adult and goldens are now sitting on eggs. If he does have a mate, and it is likely he does, we will have lost this clutch as the female shares brooding with her mate. Because he isn't there to relieve her she will eventually get off the nest to find food which will leave the eggs to the elements. In this weather they will chill down quickly so the growing of the embryos will stop. As eagles do not double clutch we will have to wait until next year for this pair to produce young.

This is a wait and see problem so I will make the decision after having him x-rayed to see if there is damage that isn't readily discernable. I don't have to worry about his catching food, he obviously knows how to do that. As they mate for life his lady will be there waiting for his return.

Getting bigger

The baby chickens are growing quickly. They are about 20 days old now and getting cuter by the day. I've moved them into a dirt floor pen where they can practice their scratching and learn to dust bathe. I don't expect any eggs from these tiny ladies for a few months so now it's just a matter of them growing bigger and better.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Awesome visitor

Today I had a visitor come to IBR. His name is Shigeru Yabu (Shig) who, when he was nine years old in 1942, was forced, along with his parents, from their home in CA to the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Cody until WWII was over. During their internment the children didn't worry about the future but lived day to day. One day that included a bunch of boys trying to knock a nest out of a tall tree but when it fell they found a baby bird in it. A baby Black-billed Magpie without any feathers. Shig took it back to his barrack where his mother didn't want it around but was convinced to let the baby stay.

In 2007 Shig wrote a childrens book about that very baby bird. "Hello Maggie!" is an amazing story about how this tiny bird brought some joy to an otherwise very difficult time for these Americans of Japanese descent. MAGGIE learned to talk, even some Japanese words, and became a treasured member of his family as well as a friend to all who came by to say hello. I urge all to read this marvelous book, especially to your children.

Shig is now on the Board of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation and was here for one of their meetings. It was an honor to meet such a nice man and I look forward to their big get together this coming August. The one photo shows Shig visiting a magpie staying here until she can be sent to NC for use in educational programs.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My volunteer job

As many of you know, I do a lot of volunteering at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody. I started back in 1983 as a helper in receptions and the Christmas program. Then when I retired from my "real job" I began putting in much more time doing various projects. One of the neatest was doing a complete inventory of the Buffalo Bill Museum vault. Some of thoses artifacts were extrordinary and it was such a priviledge to see and sometimes handle them. Wearing white cotton gloves of course.

Then a few years ago I started working for the Graphics Dept. under the tuteledge of Kimber Swenson. I found my niche in picking and applying vinyl. On boards, on walls, on anything that it would stick to. And I do a lot of cutting and mounting panels and labels onto various foamcore, boards, etc. This past couple weeks I've been working on a most wonderous project, DRESSED JUST RIGHT. I've included photos of some of the sections of the exhibit which covers all things western and cowboy.

The first photo is of the very talented designer who is now in charge after Kimber retired. Tiffany Olson is an amazing young lady who never ceases to amaze me with her ideas for the perfect design. All the words on this wall are made of vinyl and placed in exact locations by me according to directions from Tiffany. You can see the size of the work.

The other photos show various segments highlighted; rodeo attire, working ranch hands wear, womens and mens "unmentionables", dude ranch clothes, etc. They are all carefully put together and the small signs in front describing all of the articles are something else I helped mount. The hat section shows various Stetson hats so people at the exhibit can try them on to see just what they'd look like wearing the hat that Bat Masterson, Tom Mix, the Boss of the Plains and others wore. There are also other interactive elements for visitors to touch and saddles to sit on for their portraits to be taken by friends and family. Wearing their Stetson hats, naturally.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Yes, Spring is here

I think the first sign of Spring is either seeing or hearing those birds the epitomize that season. I've had a male robin singing his heart out every morning and all through the day for a few weeks now. But today was my first Western Meadowlark sighting and hearing that most wonderful song. It happened just after we'd released HERO and was driving back towards Cody. I finally got a shot of him for my blog. Isn't he beautiful?

HERO is at large

Now weighing nine pounds, HERO took flight this morning. What more appropriate spot than off a rise at Eagle Pass just east of Cody. He had his backside to the door opening so it took a couple minutes for him to get situated but the minute he turned around he was off like a shot. Thanks to Dr. Kevin O'Neall and Janet Britt for bringing this wonderful bird to me for care. And again to Joyce Cicco for running the camera so the event could be recorded. Good luck to this young bird.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Snow is what I woke up to today. My poor bushes are trying to bud out and the iris are peeking up from their winter sleep. And today I'm heading for Powell to pick up a lot of baby chicks. That is if they make it in from their hatchery. I certainly hope so as they were hatched on Wednesday and they can live three days on their yolk sac. I'll add a photo of them when I get one.

It was a treat to walk into a room and listen to 600 baby chicks peeping. I chose my 25 Araucana's and 10 assorted other heavy brown egg breeds and came home a happy camper. As you can see in the photo, they instantly became busy finding food and water. They are all very healthy looking so should produce some great eggs to sell in the Fall. I already have lots of hens producing lots of eggs so if anyone wants to buy some let me know.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

They're baaaaaaaaack !

I didn't think these little guys would be out of their hibernation yet but they are. I tried a few days ago to get a photo but the camera battery was dead. Finally everything co-operated and I got the shot. Unfortunately it's through a window but this little chipmunk is sitting on the side of my log house watching the world go by and trying to decide if he wants to climb down and get a drink in the water pan.

My dogs go absoulutely nuts when they see one of these tiny rodents and have, a time or two, actually caught one. At one time I tried to remove them from around the house but the score was chipmunk 123+-, Susan 1 so I gave up and we all just live in harmony. I even have a short sided water pan out near my mews so they don't have to go so far for a drink.

Friday, April 1, 2011

New arrival

Today I drove south to Riverton to pick up a year old male golden eagle I've named HERO. Altho he was found on a roadkill near the small town of Superior, he was taken to Dr. Kevin O'Neall in Green River about a week ago when he didn't fly away as a vehicle drove by him. Thank goodness for Janet Britt, a fellow rehabber who lives in Riverton and has willingly driven the three or four hours to Green River to pick up birds and bring them to her facility. Then I only have the three hour drive to her house.

This young bird is in good weight but his feather condition, as you can see, is horrible. I have no idea why he wouldn't fly so he'll stay here until I'm sure there's nothing wrong with him. Shortly after I put him in his mew I gave him a small rabbit. In an hour it was all gone but some scraps. I guess appetite isn't one of his problems. I'll keep you updated on his progress.