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.