Friday, May 25, 2012


Yes, this was taken at 6:30pm today in Cody, WY. That's the 25th of May, 2012 and there's a bit of snow on the ground with an outside temperature of 35. Not the latest snow we've received, that happend on July 4th many years ago. And not the most at this time of the year but I do have a fire in my woodstove to take the chill off the house. The top photo was taken just two hours after the middle one.

And to think, just a week ago it was in the 80s. Ahhhhh, living in the beautiful Cody mountains.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Con te partiro

In Italian that means "Time to say goodbye". They say things come in three and in about that many months I've lost three dear friends. This morning my wonderful old school bird-foster dad Great Horned Owl, SEEDY, was killed. He's been with me for 20 years and altho both he and I have a responsibility in his death, most of the blame goes to me.

This morning I did what I've done dozens of times in 15 years, I put another GHO in the same flight area that SEEDY and SMIDGE live in. The only answer I can come up with is that because of the time of the year, testosterone levels were high. The new owl, JONESY, is a male as is SEEDY. Perhaps this time my old boy decided to let the newcomer know who was boss. Unfortunately the new owl is much younger and stronger and was able to use that to his advantage and overpower the older bird.

I, of course, feel such guilt at this happening and will regret it for a long time. I will also remember all the wonderful programs this amazing owl and I shared over these two decades. The above photo is our last educational program before he and I retired from doing them. He will be sadly missed forever.

Flown away

Today I took BUMP back to where he was originally found after being hit by a car south of Meeteetse. When I opened the crate door he wasted no time in taking off but I held my breath as instead of heading for the large cottonwoods right in front of him he curved around towards the highway. His first landing was on one of the t-posts right alongside the pavement. A magpie came at him so he took off and this time towards open space and sagebrush. He landed in a clearing and by the time I drove away he was still sitting there gazing all around him as if amazed he'd been returned to his territory.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fuzzy baby

I just received the first baby Great Horned Owl of the year and this one is hurting. I don't know if he fell out of the nest tree, I couldn't spot it in the huge evergreen he was hiding beneath. He has a very bad abrasion to the left side of his head and neck but there isn't an open wound. He only weighs 19 ounces and is probably just over two weeks old.

He does, however, know what a mouse is for and scarfed down three of them in quick order once I got him back from the vet and a sort of nest made. He also has a mirror hanging on the door so he can see another of his species. He's old enough to know he's an owl but I don't want to take any chances.

At this point he should make a complete recovery but the tissue around his left ear is also swollen so I don't know just how much damage has been done. When he gets old enough he'll join my foster GHO, SEEDY, in the flight area.

Oh yes, his name is vanGOGH