Friday, July 20, 2012

What are they?

Yesterday I got a call from the rodeo grounds about some baby birds that had been found. Amazingly enough they came from a horse trailer that had just arrived from Montana. When the people were cleaning out the manure the babies fell out.

I have no idea what species these are but as you can see in the photo, all four are barely as big as a chicken egg. I think they're about three or four days old and require feeding every hour. Their beak shape tells me that they're bug eaters so I'm giving them a variety of protein rich food and hope they make it. I have no idea how long they went without food but so far so good.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thin isn't in for this bird

It was a lucky day today for MINNIE, this stunning immature female Northern Harrier. She would have starved to death in the next couple of days had she not been found by a caring person. As a female she should weigh 14-21 ounces, she came in at 8 ounces.

She would have been one of the 80% of baby birds not surviving their first year but now she has a fighting chance. She immediately started eating the mouse I gave her and by the time I got back with my camera she was ready for a second one.

Her wings are droopy due to weak muscles as her xrays show no breaks at all. At this point all MINNIE needs is lots of good quaility groceries and the chance to build up her flight muscles.

Monday, July 16, 2012

From on high

I never thought PIP would fly again after being caught in a barbwire fence and suffering severe bruising and cuts to his left wing, Imagine my surprise two days ago when I found him glaring at me from a tall wall perch in his mew. The only way he could get there is by flying.

I now have high hopes that this baby GHO will be releasable, possibly in the next month or so.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A real bird is emerging

She's now 18 days old and COTTON is beginning to get in enough hard feathers to make her identification complete. She's also left her "nest box", a small cardboard box she's been in since I received her as a day old baby.

I'm now giving her whole, opened, mice to experiment on self feeding. She doesn't have the hang of it yet but she's working on it. After hearing some strange noises coming from her cage I had to peek and see what was going on. She was standing in a corner "footing" some of the letters on the newspaper under her feet. That means she was trying to grab them.

She'll be ready for a small flight area pretty soon so I have one already set up in my cage room. It's only 50" wide but that will give her a chance to spread her wings and fly.....

Monday, July 9, 2012

She approves

I went out to check on TIMBER this evening and found her missing from the high perch. Looking in all the tree branches proved she wasn't on them. I left the mew and got a flashlight to see if she was perhaps on the ground. Unbeknownst to me, I walked right by her. She was sitting in the tree within a couple feet of my passing. Apparently she approves of this new forest she's living in. Now if she'll just go back up to the perch and eat her mouse......

Can you see me now?

Baby Long-eared Owl, TIMBER, moved into new quarters today. I spent a few hours up on the mountain cutting down an evergreen tree (with permission from the BLM) and some branches to make her new 12'x 16' mew look more like the habitat she normally lives in. Look closely and you can see her up on top of her perch hiding behind one of the branches. The bottom shot shows the view of her perch from the doorway with the tree in the center of the space.

She is now almost six weeks old and needs to be flexing her flying muscles in preparation for release to the wild. It is a very hot day here and luckily some guys came to deliver wallboard so helped me get the heavy, awkward tree in place. It's sort of like that Christmas tree you cut down thinking "it'll fit in the room" and it ends up too tall. It worked and all that pine smell is wonderful.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July babies

Today I received eight very tiny pheasant chicks. They appear to have been hatched yesterday and were found coming out of a recentlty swathed hay field with no parent seen. These little babies will be capable of flight in just a short time but because they have to be brooded at night, they will stay here for a few weeks until old enough and feathered enough for release back where they were found. It's apparently a very good habitat for raising pheasants.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

And growing......

An updated photo of COTTON at five days old. She has been identified as a female American Kestrel and is now a week old. She's gone from 21 grams (.74oz) to 72.7 grams (2.56oz.). She's able to sort of sit up, altho not for long, and look around. Her appetite is excellent, loves ground up quail. I'll also introduce her to some mouse pieces as that is a staple in the diet of these smallest of falcons.

Another baby owl

This cutie is TIMBER, a four week old Long-eared Owl found on the ground after a logger cut down her nest tree. The sad news is that there were three smaller babies that had apparently died some time before this one was rescued. A lot of people mistake these for baby GHOs but they are less than half the size and altho they also have "ears" they are closer together and shorter.

This young bird will be put into one of mews after I add a lot of natural branches and hopefully a whole tree to reproduce the forest habitat they live in. Then all she has to do is prove she can make live kills and she'll be released.