Sunday, December 23, 2012

Super release day

I set a record today with releases. An earlier post showed KIRBY leaving. Then around noon today a friend, Sara, and I took two GHOs and one Saw-whet Owl to Green Creek west of Cody for release. SW went a few miles up the road to Jim and Madonna Zumbo's place, an ideal habitat for these tiny owls. This photo shows s/he sitting in a tree scoping out the terrain.

This photo is of the two GHOs, PUDDLE and GOOSE just before they made a leap of faith to head back to the wild. PUDDLE suffered from a badly broken wing but thanks to the expertise of Dr. Erin Pedersen he flew with strength and never looked back. GOOSE came in because for some reason he just wouldn't fly when the game warden approached him. He also left the crate, albeit, after thinking a bit longer but never stopped at the close trees, he headed out for parts unknown.

Beautiful lady

A most awesomely beautiful adult Northern Harrier, BECKY was found alongside a road, the victim of a losing battle with a vehicle. She has a broken right wing but again, only the ulna is fractured, the radius is okay. Amazingly it's the smaller of the two bones between her wrist and elbow. As the bones are in wonderful alignment she will not have to undergo surgery but will have to wear this bandage for a few weeks until the bones knit.

I've had female harriers make outstanding recoveries from the damage inflicted upon them and I hope this pretty bird follows the trend.

Moments away from release

KIRBY is sitting on the highest perch in his mew just before I gathered him up for release. Of course he didn't head the direction I thought he would when I tossed him in the air. And of course I didn't have my camera with me as most birds go too fast for me to catch a photo.

This time he not only flew right above me but circled many times as if to get his bearings, or say goodbye but I don't think that was it. He flapped and soared around and finally headed west over the hills behind my house. Now all he has to do is wait until March when Rough-legged Hawks make the return migration to their breeding grounds above the Arctic Circle in northern Canada.

Almost ready

This is INGALL, an immature female Prairie Falcon I received in Auigust with two broken wings. Amazingly they were broken in exactly the same place on her radius but both ulna were okay so they acted as splints.

For the past two months she's been with master falconer, Chris Pfister, my subpermittee, getting in condition for possible release. With his experience in working with falcons, he will know when she's ready and if she's strong enough to make it on her own. At this point all systems are go!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Another wee patient

This tiny owl, as a lot of you know, is a Saw-whet Owl, the second smallest found in this area, weighing only a couple ounces. S/he was found in a large garage between Cody & Powell. S/he probably went in there after a mouse and decided to stay. As all the three large doors were open I don't know why it remained, maybe looking for more meals.

As you can see, s/he loves mice and was chowing down as I took the photo. I'll take this mighty little hunter out to a habitat where there are no people or garages and release her/him.

Monday, December 17, 2012

More about FIONN

FIONN is now in a much larger pen and she seems a lot happier. We still haven't removed the pin as xrays taken last Thursday show no improvement, perhaps even backsliding a bit. As you can see in this photo, she's full of herself and it daring me to come close. Unfortunately she can't open the other wing so it loses something in the translation.

I am still in awe of her beauty every time I see her. She's an amazing bird and I continue to have hopes she'll fly again one day.

Another young redtail

This is BUNNY, an immature female Red-tailed Hawk. She was found alongside a road near Powell, probably hit by a vehicle. As you can barely see, her right eye is very swollen and her wing is drooping. I can't find anything wrong with the wing but she goes in today to have both injuries examined by Dr. Blessing.

She got her name because while she was walking alongside a county road she happened upon a rabbit carcass and decided that even with her damage it was too good a meal to pass up. Luckily the young man who called me agreed to stand by so she wouldn't disappear by the time I got there. Now it's a question of the extent of the damage and if shes blind in that eye.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Another sad ending

Today I made yet another long drive, this time to Shoshoni, to meet Meghann Karsch of the WGF. She had called earlier this morning about an injured Great Grey Owl. They are very rarely seen as they spend most of their time back in the deep woods. This beautiful adult female had been hit by a vehicle and suffered a broken right wing.

It appeared to be a very horrible wound but because this is only the third GGO I've received in 25 years I wanted to see if we could help her. Unfortunately xrays showed that her humerus was broken in three pieces with the blood supply so compromised she would have had to have her wing amputated at her shoulder. The USFWS, in their infinite ignorance of what we do, has decided that no bird can be kept if the wing requires full amputation. So instead of this amazing, rarely seen, awesome bird being used as an educational ambassador to tens of thousands of people, we were required to euthanize her.

I am so sad when this happens, this has been a bad week for saving our precious raptors.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cruelty by hunter

This morning I went to Lovell to try and find an injured bird. I got a call last night from Mike Johnson telling me about a hawk he'd seen when pheasant hunting near the Big Horn Canyon Wildlife Habitat. His dogs pointed the bird but as he thought it was just on the ground eating he called them off, came back to Cody and called me after thinking it over. I then called the Lovell game warden, James Hobbs, but unfortunately he was also here in Cody for a regional meeting and couldn't get back home until late. Oddly, the bird was located just about a quarter mile from his house. He did look last night for some time but as it was very dark he couldn't find the bird.

Thanks to a willing Mike Johnson and his amazing German Wirehaired Pointer, KAISER, we returned there today and found the beautiful adult female Northern Harrier within about 10 minutes of arriving on site. The horrible news, hence the title, is that she had been shot and suffered a broken left leg and right wing. Neither was repairable so she was euthanized.

That particular area is the perfect habitat for harriers, we saw two or three flying around as we were driving into the field. Unfortunately some hunters either don't take the time to identify their target or just shoot at any flying bird the size and color of a pheasant. So sad for this amazing bird.

PUDDLE is flying high again!

After two surgeries on his broken wing, PUDDLE is now in the owl flight area and after only one day is sitting on the highest perch. Thanks to Dr. Erin Pedersen for doing such an amazing job on this young owl. He will spend some time in this area to gain needed strength in his flight muscles so he'll be ready for release after the first of the year.

Monday, December 10, 2012

New kid on the block

Here's the newest boar in the cavy herd. His name is TWISTER as even his whiskers are kinky along with his hair. His grandfather is a Teddy variety of cavy and is also roan. He is much too young to be used for breeding but I'm sure his genes will bring a wonderful array of babies into the world.

Before & after

I have no idea what makes them do it but these photos show FABIO before he was put in with some sows and after he'd been in there for a week. For some reason the ladies don't like his long hair and barber it off. It will grow back when he's put back in his own room but for now he looks rather moth eaten albeit still a very handsome young boar.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Golden beauty

Her name is ROXANNE and she's about eight months old. She also had a run-in with a vehicle but unfortunately she came out a bit short. The driver never stopped. Luckily for this beautiful female a good samaritan did and gathered her up. He's brought birds to me before so he called right away. Another 32 mile drive to Meeteetse to pick her up and right to the vet for an xray.

Her right humerus (elbow to shoulder) is fractured mid-shaft so should be repairable with her being able to fly free in a few months. She's in excellent condition, weighs in at 10.5 pounds. She had been on a deer roadkill when the vehicle approached. They just can't get that very large body going fast enough and high enough to clear something traveling at 65mph.

Rough on the Roughie

The bird shown here is an immature male Rough-legged Hawk found after possibly being hit by a car. He had a bit of an eye problem and some swelling on the right side of his head but he's all better now. He's one of the lucky roughies as they usually don't win the battle with a large vehicle. He'll go into the flight barn this weekend and be released when ready. His name is KIRBY and he's puffed up to make himself look bigger and more threatening.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Another first

I don't have any photos because it was too quick. Yesterday I got a call from a friend who found a very small bird in the doorway of our urgent care center. She gathered it up and brought it to me. When she got here I realized it was a species that, altho common here, I've never seen. It's a brown creeper and weighs just about one quarter of an ounce. Nothing was wrong, probably was blown into the window during our horrible windy day. I kept it overnight and then this morning on my way to deliver eggs I released it in a very superior habitat right here in town. It immediately flitted over to a tree and disappeared from sight. Awesome!

Friday, November 30, 2012

The birds new truck!

I am so excieted, here's the new bird truck. I've had three places looking for a newer Ford Ranger and Brett Whitlock, here in Cody, found thie gorgeous 2009 down in Colorado. It has everything the old truck has and is even in my favorite color.

Unfortunately the birds didn't have enough in their account to fully pay for it. I've not had truck payments for decades and the price of even used vehicles is so high it takes a lot of grant money to pay for one. The old truck lasted for many, many years and I expect the same performance from this beauty. I'll get the vinyl words put on it next week so everyone will know when "The Bird Lady" is nearby.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Well, maybe not but his name is LORD BYRON and he thinks he's hot stuff. This seven month old GHO was luckily spotted sitting in a field. The driver, Anny Burkhold, thought that was not normal so called me. At first glance it didn't appear to be anything other than a starving baby but today, at the Lifetime Small Animal Hospital here in Cody, the reason for his not flying away was very evident.

He has a very bad wound on the inside of his left hock (think ankle) which has caused some tissue swelling and a large scab to form. He couldn't open his foot at all last night but this morning, after Dr. Pedersen removed the scab and manipulated the joint, he can now work the toes. He's wearing a bandage to help the silver dollar sized injury to heal and today had his first laser therapy treatment to help in overall healing of the joint and leg. He'll get one every 2-3 days to see if that will bring him back to normal. Thank you Stephanie Rodriguez for taking the photo of him getting his treatment. Note the fashionable goggles I'm wearing.

Friday, November 16, 2012

They're here again.

Every year about this time, Rough-legged Hawks arrive in Wyoming and surrounding states. They breed and live half their lives above the Arctic Circle in Northern Canada. They show up in this area about mid October and stay until mid March.

Unfortunately this handsome little fellow, AUSTIN, encountered something he never saw in his young life, a bullet. Most of the roughies I get in have been hit by a car or truck as they eat on roadkill or are just flying across the highway. In AUSTIN's case it was someone who decided to shoot him.

He has a hole in his chest with the pellet still there and also another one in his right leg. He probably broke his left wing in the fall. He's in pretty good shape and will undergo surgery on Monday to repair the fracture.

Thanks to the caring homeowners he was brought here right after being found. Now I have my fingers crossed that he'll be ready for release before time to head North.

He's a PIP!

And as of this morning he's back in the wild. PIP came here many months ago as a brancher who made the mistake of not seeing the barbwire fence in his area. Luckily he was rescued by the homeowners who called me to come get him.

He had no broken bones but extremely severe bruising on his entire left wing. So much that I wasn't sure he could be saved. He proved me wrong and was flying much to my delight. He's been in my 32' x 48' hawk flight barn for a few weeks and today I decided he was ready to be free.

His first flight was a long one into the middle of a hay field, not to the trees I was hoping he'd head for. Immediately a rough-legged hawk stopped nearby to see what he was doing. Then PIP flew towards the trees but immediately some magpies came by to see what he was doing. There were even a couple chickadee's in the tree squeeking at him too.

He's back where he belongs and I hope will live a long an successful life.

Monday, November 5, 2012

More FIONN photos

Okay, not the ones you've been hoping for. This shows the break FIONN suffered after being hit by a vehicle. The second is with the pin in place four weeks later. She goes in for a further xray in a week or so to see how it's healing. She's getting a bit antsy in her cage so I rebandaged her wing to keep it from twisting and causing damage.

Pat & Chris, email me at so I can respond to your comments. Thanks.

Friday, November 2, 2012

BOO ! ! ! !

This is GOBLIN, my newest patient. An adult female Merlin, she was found under a large window at the rec center while chasing a meal, a sparrow. Unfortunately neither bird saw the glass and crashed into it. Luckily for this tiny falcon there are no broken bones but she is a bit stunned. She's now able to stand up so will stay here for a few days to make sure she's back to normal.

NOTE: This beautiful bird died on 11/6.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

There she goes!

This photo says it all. JEMMIMA is headed back where she belongs with strength and determination. I successfully caught her without being punctured and was thrilled to see her fly away towards the mountains. The area where she was released is a super habitat for eagles so she should do well. As she arrived in extrodinarily good condition she obviously has learned her hunting lessons. Good luck young lady.

Monday, October 29, 2012


I have a friend, Jenny Papka, in California who does programs with non-releasable raptors. Her facility is called Native Bird Connections (see links top right) and she does programs all over the state. Naturally this is a big time of the year for her owls, they've been very busy the past couple weeks.

Here is a photo of her Eurasian Eagle Owl, the one I call The DIVA. She's an awesome bird, think Great Horned Owl on steroids. EEOs are much larger and their eyes are very dark red/orange as opposed to the bright yellow of GHOs. Thanks Jenny for sharing her photo with the world.

FIONN update

Beautiful FIONN is going in tomorrow morning to have her injured wing re-xrayed to see how the healing is coming along. She's really getting antsy in her cage but she'll be in it for another three weeks, at least. Pat and Chris, I'll try to get a photo of her to add to this post so you can see her again.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

This is getting old......

It seems that most of the birds I've been getting are coming from way south. That meant when I got a call late yestereday afternoon from the WG&F in Lander about yet another downed bird I knew it also meant another long drive to Thermopolis.

This time it is a six month old female Golden Eagle. JEMMIMA was found in the middle of a highway apparently the victim of a collision. She was very calm and let the gentleman who found her gather her up and make a run to the G&F office. They kept her overnight and this morning I made that drive, again...

By the time she had spent the night in a crate she was back to being a large wild bird and not happy with being held captive. I got her here, weighed her (10 1/2 pounds) and washed her tail and wing tips. She is now in my new mews so I can make sure nothing is wrong.

There doesn't appear to be anything broken but shortly after being put in the mew she vomited something. I have no idea what it is but it looks like clay, the kind a potter would use (hence the name, a Beatrix Potter character). It is a complete mystery as to what it is and why she would have ingested it. She is in excellent shape and proved, in a very painful way, just how alert she is. When I went in to pick up the "stuff" she was about four feet away. As I bent over she jumped at me and grabbed my right hand with her left foot. Luckily for me she immediately let go but the wound is in the middle of my hand and quite frankly, hurts like #%@*&#.

She'll go into the eagle flight barn as soon as I think she's ready for that. Then it's a matter of releasing her back to the wild as she obviously knows all about hunting.


This is SUPERMAN, a beautiful hybrid falcon belonging to some friends. Unfortunately he had a bad session with "sour crop" and had to be anesthitized to have the obstruction removed. Apparently one large piece of his quail got caught in his crop and blocked all other food from passing through. Because of the high temperature of a bird, that meat started to become rotten.

It is now cleaned out, including a dash of watered down Pepto Bismal to sweeten his crop. He's all better but is now being fed small pieces of his favorite food. Because my friends were going to be gone for a couple weeks and were concerned about leaving him to their pet caretaker, they asked if he could stay here.

Note the pink on the side of his head, remnants of his PB drink. Just proves he's "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" during this breast cancer awareness month.

Friday, October 19, 2012

All better

Today I made yet another road trip to Thermop to meet Meghann from the Lander G&F office. She's been super about meeting me half way so I could get the Saw-whet Owl, DUFFY, a week ago and again today to return him to where he came from. His eye problem corrected itself and he was ready for release. Hopefully he'll stay away from the inside of a garage from now on.

NOTE: Meghann called to let me know that DUFFY flew off to a tree with lots of branches he could hide behind, settled in, looked around and promptly closed his eyes for a much needed nap. They are nocturnal, after all.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bandage is off

I wanted to get a photo of FIONN sitting on her perch with both wings folded but the minute I opened the door she stuck them out. As you can see, her right wing is a bit lower but the healing is coming along nicely. I'm sure it will feel much better not having it stuck to her side.

It's 13 days post surgery and she's doing so great. She eats a whole rat a day but doesn't seem to want to bathe. As most redtails turn their backs to the door about half the time to poop, I put paper on the floor below them. That's also the reason for the paper behind her as they love to aim for the corners which are the hardest to clean.

Every time I see her I am in awe of her beauty and the way she carries herself. I'm sure in a former life she was a member of a royal family, she's that regal and controlled.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Unusual rock dove

When I first saw this bird in my yard I thought it must be an escaped domestic dove as it was totally black but the back was light grey. It couldn't fly very well but was able to elude me by dashing under bushes. I hoped the dogs wouldn't find it before I did.

Two days later I again spotted it in my yard and this time had a long handled net available so was able to catch it. I was very surprised to find out the black color came from a coating of soot all over the bird except for its back. I knew it didn't come from my stove so apparently one of my neighbors found it in their wood stove, caught it and turned it loose.

A good scrubbing with Dawn dish soap and spending the night in my warm rodent house did wonders so this morning I took it out and released it again. I know I didn't get it all off but this bird was never the same color as the pigeons you see in the wild. The main color appears to be a dark black/brown with some grey mixed in. At any rate, the bird took off and was last seen heading for the horizon.

Friday, October 12, 2012

DUFFY the small

Another road trip today but thankfully Megan, from the WY Game & Fish department down in Lander, agreed to meet me half way. Still a long drive to Thermop for such a tiny patient. This is DUFFY, 2.46 ounces of tough little Saw-whet Owl. He was found inside a garage and appeared stunned.

As you can see, his right eye is dialated much more than the left which usually means a concussion. The exam showed possible damage to the retina of the right eye but we'll give it time to settle down before making a final diagnosis.

In the meantime he'll just stay in his cage and eat whatever he wants in the way of a tasty mouse. I say he but I don't know if this is a male or female. Whichever, this bird has learned how to hunt as he's quite chubby.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Girls and piggies

I couldn't pass up this photo from my friend, Tiffany. It's of her daughters Libby and Lacie and the three cavys they got from me in the past few months. Their names are ROSIE, BLUE and SHELLY. These small animals ended up in the best home possible, their humans love them dearly and even give them "piggy back rides" around the living room floor.

More FIONN photos

Here are a couple more photos of my most amazing redtail, FIONN. She has settled in much better, is eating a whole rat a day and is able to stand up on a very low perch in her cage. I'll introduce a higher one in a couple days as I want to get the tip of her tail off the floor. As you can see, she only has a few colored feathers on her whole body. And isn't that head shot something else!

I'm very pleased with her progress in the few days she's been here. I had to tube her with fluids yesterday morning and feed her mouse parts but she apparently decided that was enough of that, I'll eat my meals on my own, thank you very much

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Extraordinary bird!

This unusually colored raptor is FIONN, a leucistic adult female Red-tailed Hawk. The only color on her is contained in about four partially red tail feathers, one dark wing feather and a few single feathers on her head and chest. In the 25 years I've been rehabbing birds this is only the second white redtail I've seen and the first to come to IBR.

She had been hit by a car near Pavillion, WY and was lucky enough to be spotted within minutes of the trauma so was gathered up and the next morning taken to Drs. Gunda and Glen Gamble in Riverton. They immediately called me so I could start the almost three hour drive down to pick her up.

She has had surgery to repair her broken right humerus and the post surgical xrays look great. Now it will take time to see if she'll be able to fly well enough for release after the pin is removed in about six weeks.

This amazing bird appears to be very old, possibly into her mid teens. She is also a very chubby bird weighing in at 42 ounces. Obviously she's very good at hunting. FIONN had been seen in the area where she was hit since Christmas, 2011, and is a favorite of all the people on that road. They are all anxious about how she's doing so will follow her progress with great interest.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Great releases

I don't have any photos but I've released four birds in the last little while. Two Cooper's Hawks right here at IBR as they are immatures so have no home territory. I also have lots of small birds and mice for them to snack on when hungry.

I got a call from a local church about a bird that they found on their lawn unable to fly. It turned out to be just what I thought, a grebe. This young eared grebe couldn't fly because they have to be in water to do so. I just took it to Beck Lake and released him in the water.

The fourth was a very tiny immature male Wilson's Warbler found after hitting a store window on the strip. I drove that fellow to the best yard any bird could find and released it there. All in all a great couple of weeks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Walking wounded

This is PUDDLE, a young GHO who was found after being hit by a vehicle. His left humerus is broken but surgery has been done and the fracture is pinned. He's being a wonderful patient during his confinement so hopefully he'll be able to fly again and be released back to the wild

Thursday, September 6, 2012

And another

This time it's an immature female Swainson's Hawk. STONY was found by a gentleman out rock hunting near Riverton. He thinks she may have been hit by a car but there is no damage to her that I can see. She's in superb condition, fat and sassy, so apparently she's learned her hunting lessons.

The problem is that very soon all Swainson's Hawks will be staging to start their long migration to South America for the winter. Because of the distance, they start gathering in September and head off in small to large groups for their final destination. If STONY isn't ready for this long trip she will be wintered over here and wait until they return to the area in the Spring.

Another baby falcon

Only this one is quite a bit older than little COTTON. This is an immature female Prairie Falcon found near Powell unable to fly. Xrays show that altho she appears to be in perfect shape, she has two broken wings. I have no idea how she did it but both radius bones are fractured near her elbow. They are the smallest of the two bones in that part of her wing so the ulna will act as a splint until they are totally healed enough for flight.

Most Prairie Falcons are very high strung and not easy to handle but so far this young lady is being very good. She is eating her mice and quail so the future looks very bright for her. Oh yes, her name is INGALL. Remember decades ago the program with the Ingall family in Little House on the Prairie.....get it?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Another puff

Okay, this is about as cute as it gets in the rabbit world. This tiny lop doe came to me from a breeder because she's not quite good enough for the show ring. She'll now spend her life as a mom and if she doesn't want to do that she'll live here gratis.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New mews

The new addition to my cage room is coming along nicely. John has put the sheetrock on the doors and walls, the vinyl coated wire dividers are up and the storage room is now full. These mews are for large birds that need to be inside for treatment. In the past they've had to live in dog cages meant for smaller animals. That made it hard to treat them, mostly for me as I had to do it on my hands and knees. Some final trim work and paint and this will be a very welcome area for the birds.

Hungry yearling

This is REX, a one year old Peregrine Falcon found in a very starved condition near Worland. He's been around long enough to know how to hunt so the reason for his being unable to fly very far is hard to figure out. Right now he weighs less than 14 ounces and should be much more than that.

I've given him fluids and will introduce small amounts of his usual diet, quail, perhaps tomorrow if he's still alive. Sometimes a bird will get so thin that they can't be brought back. Hopefully in this instance he will respond and recover completely.

When he's ready he'll go to my subpermittee and master falconer, Chris, for conditioning. He'll need to be very strong in order to catch his meals. Because he is only one year old he won't have a mate so will be released in the best possible habitat for survival.

NOTE: This wonderful young bird died today (Friday), his body will go to the state lab to see just what caused his death. Possibly WNV.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tough beginning

This exquisite baby Red-tailed Hawk, JIMBO, has had a hard time in the short 4-5 months he's been on this earth. Luckily found by the hands on the McFadden Ranch outside of Greybull, he is suffering from severe starvation. Probably due to the injury to his left eye. As you can see he has his lower eyelid closed over it. Right now he only weighs about a pound and should be twice that.

He'll have to gain needed weight and strength in order to survive the surgery to repair his eye wound but so far he's doing well. I have to skin and cut up his mouse meals and hand feed him but they've stayed down him and so far so good.

The prognosis on his eye is guarded, time will tell me if he'll be able to see well enough for release. After some hunting training of course.

Soaring with eagles

Okay, not really but this beautiful young hen on the left is being protected by one eagle feather. The saying, "pecking order" is true, especially among older and younger chickens. They have to be close to the same size to be introduced to each other. In this case I put eight young Araucana hens in with my old ladies. For two days all was okay but then it was apparent the younger birds were being picked on.

Whenever a chicken sees the color red she picks at it. Once one drop of blood is exposed it's fair game and can be quickly fatal. It was for one of the young birds so when it started happening to another I decided to intervene without having to separate them.

I gather up molted raptor feathers to either send to the federal feather depository near Denver or for imping purposes. This particular feather was damaged and not good for either purpose so I did some trimming and then taped it to the young hens back to cover where she'd been injured. As long as they can't see the wound it's able to heal and replace the missing feathers. You can see the narrow strip of tape and the rather dark feather just above the base of this babies tail.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Another flown away

Another of my young birds was released today, MINNNIE, the Northern Harrier. She came in so weak she could barely stand. As there are harriers floating over the hay fields near my house I decided to release her here. That way if she's a bit hungry she can come back for a snack.

As I figured she'd been too quick for me to take a shot outside, this one is in the hawk flight barn as she was zooming around.

One baby is gone

Today I took TIMBER out and released her back to the wild. She made a dash to the closest tree, then to a large rock outcropping and then back to the top of the tree. As you can see, she's glaring at me daring me to try and catch her. As quite a few Long-eared Owls have been sighted in this area it will be an ideal place for her to start the rest of her life.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A great loss to IBR

The bird world lost a super friend on July 30th when Ursula Kepler died. I met her in the late 1980s when she was running the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. All participitants met at her house after the count to do a tally and have some wonderful food. She even joined me on my four mile walking Cottonwood Creek route one year when she was in her 70s.

It seems nothing dampened her spirit or zest for life and she was a joy to talk to as you never knew what she would say. IBR became a 501C3 non-profit back in 1990 with Ursula a founding board member. She's continued in that role since then. She and Kep have also donated to the birds every year and her yard has been the release site for a few songbirds.

I was at their 50th wedding anniversary but missed the 60th. Kep was a very nice gentleman and always said hello and asked about how things were going with the birds. I will miss both of them.