Monday, March 25, 2013
A few mornings ago I noticed some strange tracks near my chicken yard. I had already caught a couple skunks the weeks before but these looked suspiciously like raccoon. I set my large live trap but nothing came to the bait. It had been set for quite a few days when I happened to look at it this morning. Yep, it was not only tripped but as you can see, two varmints were inside.
They must have walked into the trap shoulder to shoulder to capture both at once. I had to get Sara to help me hoist the trap into the back of my truck, they are huge animals. I took them to a very great habitat and released them both. Neither hesitated and made a flying leap out of the back of my truck towards high grass. Not many predators leave my place alive but these two appeared to be a pair so I made an exception because they are far enough away they won't be back. I hope......
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
It was a bad night for this lovely 10-11 month old female Golden Eagle. She was apparently eating on a roadkill and was struck by a passing vehicle on the 18th. She had three strikes against her. First, she was hit at 5:30pm. That person went home and tried for hours to get someone to gather her up. Second, she was two miles inside MT which meant his G&F person couldn't cross the line, he lives in Buffalo. And third, and the worst thing, she was on the Crow Reservation. That meant instead of someone just going and rescuing her immediately, all the agencies had to be politically correct beforehand. That process didn't start until the following morning when Diane started making phone calls after the person who hit the bird remembered she was a retired bird rehabber and called her. She then called me.
It took the combined efforts of the following agencies to make her rescue happen; Joe Gilbert (WGF) in Sheridan, Brad Rogers (USFWS) in Billings, Harold Guse (FWP) in Billings, Shawn Conrad (USFWS) in Billings and Clayvin Herrera (Crow F&G). I drove up to Billings to meet Shawn around 2:30pm and was finally able to bring her to Cody for treatment that afternoon.
LEWEEZE has a broken left leg but she can still use the foot and move the leg up and down so I have very good feelings that this repair will be successful. I'll post further news on her condition and how the surgery turned out.
VERY SAD NOTE: She's gone. I found her about 6:00am this morning having a great deal of difficulty breathing. She died in my arms a few moments later. Her surgery was a success, she was standing and even ate a few rat pieces last night. What killed her was sitting alongside the road for the 17 hours it took to gather her up. Freezing temps after suffering a bad injury is almost impossible to overcome. Now that I have Clayvin's phone number it won't happen again. Fly free beautiful young lady.
FIONN is now living it up in California at Native Bird Connections in Orinda. She flew there last Friday and as you can see in the photo, she's already started her training. She's wearing the equipment that is used when she sits on Jenny's fist for educational programs. She's also munching on her rat. Yuuuuuummmmm!
My lovely FRANNIE is now flying in the eagle barn and doing just great. She's sharing the space with ROXANNE who is recovering from a fractured wing and will be flying as soon as her molted feathers are replaced. Here's FRANNIE just about to land on the top of the tower at one end of the barn.