Friday, April 26, 2013

Another save

These series of photos show another baby GHO on the ground. This was a successful replacement into the nest. Thanks to Jeff Myers for spotting this young bird, probably a bit over two weeks old, and calling me immediately. When I arrived I looked around for the nest but couldn't spot it. Then mom flew over to the side of a huge old cottonwood to where the nest was located, where a large branch had fallen off and the resulting cavity was perfect for her family. Jeff is also the photographer of this series.

This is the baby on the ground daring anyone to come near him.

I'm pointing out where the mom is sitting on a nearby branch and warning Matt to duck if she heads our way. The nest cavity is where that short branch is sticking out to the left about halfway up the trunk.

As there wasn't a ladder long enough to reach the nest I called Rocky Mountain Power here in Cody and they dropped everything to come with a bucket truck. Thanks to the excellent driving of Matt Parker, the truck was backed up underneath the nest. Then Matt took me up in the bucket to replace the wayward child. A quick peek showed two other owlets in the nest cavity. Because there are no branches near the nest, these babies will go immediately to the ground when normally they would become "branchers". A close eye will be kept so we can move them to a nearby tree with lots of branches we can reach by ladder. Mom will continue to feed and care for them.

Rocky Mountain Power is the best group of guys on the planet. This isn't the first time they've come to the rescue and are always willing to help. They are also wonderful supporters of IBR by awarding a yearly grant for the care and feeding of the birds.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Baby GHO update

I tried, this afternoon, to return the two baby owls to their parents care in Basin. After driving the almost 60 miles I discovered the original nest tree site. The home place was a dump, there was a dead cow in the pasture and the closest tree that might have worked as a substitute nest tree was way more than I could handle. I probably would have been okay if I was 20 and fit but this was beyond the reach of my extension ladder.

I never saw any Great Horned Owls in the surrounding trees so we all came back home and they're now in a very large basket lined with grasses. I am also wearing a GHO mask whenever they are being fed or handled so they won't become imprinted on my face. I contacted friends at The Owl Foundation in Vineland, ON, Canada for information and they said the babies were about seven and ten days old. There was probably a third egg laid in the middle but didn't hatch.

These babies are super eaters and tomorrow I'll bring in my resident owl to see if she'll take over the feeding/brooding duties. Or at least become a role model so they'll grow up independent and knowing they're owls.

Here's SMIDGE and the babies. I don't know if she'll feed them but her nearby presence will give them some reassurance.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Late babies

These two little darlings came in today after surviving having their nest tree cut down from under them. AMELIA and WILBUR weren't quite ready for flight as they're probably less than two weeks old. Luckily nothing was broken and they arrived in excellent shape thanks to one of the tree workers. I'd received some baby squirrels from them a couple months ago so they knew to call me immediately.

As one of the parents was watching the whole time they were rescued, I have hopes of returning them to their care. The nest is gone but I can wire a basket into a neighboring tree as a surrogate nest. Because they'll be very near where they were hatched, the parents should continue raising them. That's the best place for these wee babies to be, in the care of real parents, not a featherless human.

Friday, April 19, 2013

She finally fell apart

This wonderful mom-to-be finally had her babies today. The top photo was taken around 7 o'clock this morning. She looks like a squashed soccer ball with legs. It takes almost 80 days for gestation in cavys, a long time to be pregnant for a small rodent.

The second photo is about five hours later after a great deal of work on her part. Usually my mommy cavys have 3-5 young, this amazing female had 10! Only eight survived their birth, and two of them are rather small, but as of this evening all are doing just fine. What's even more amazing is that the mom only has two boobies! I guess that's why baby cavys are fully haired, eyes open and eating solid food within hours of their birth. They have to grab some pellets or hay and then stop for a quick drink of milk before the next baby is in line.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Forever home

This is PRISCILLA the day she arrived, November 24, 2011.

Miss PRISS just a couple months ago.

Her usual attitude when I went into her mew.

PRISCILLA flew off yesterday to her new home. I had to drive to Billings to get her to NH in one day but at least this time the flight left at 1:25pm and not 6:00am. I wasn't sure what the roads would be like so left early. Good thing as I ran into icy roads, dry roads, small blizzards, blue sky, sunshine, more small blizzards, etc. Oh yes, and three flaggers at road construction near Belfry.

Miss PRISS is now living at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness, NH. I got a report this morning that she's settling in, eating and probably enjoying the company of another young female bald eagle. Nancy said she'd send photos of her in the new mew as soon as she gets one.

I will miss the feisty, mean young lady. She is very vocal and has such curiosity about what's going on around her. I know everyone there will enjoy her. That is until they have to catch her. Then WATCH OUT!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Eagle stack

Sunday was a wonderful day here at IBR. The bird on the ground at the end of the log is ROXANNE, recovering from a broken wing and now flying about 20+ feet. She'll do much better as her missing wing feathers molt in. And beautiful FRANNIE, who had suffered severe lead poisoning is now flying back and forth in the 80' flight barn. She arrived unable to open her feet, stand or fly and went through intense chelation therapy to arrive at this point. FRANNIE is on the lower wall perch.

The top bird in this photo is AMAZING GRACE. She came in from my friend, rehabber Diane Morse in Gillette, for further rehabilitation. Diane had her in a 114' flight barn but she wouldn't fly more than a few feet and not but a few feet high. As you can see, she's gotten over her height phobia.

All three of these young females are just a year old and at this point I believe all three will be released this spring or summer. Don't you just love it when it works ! ! ! !

Saturday, April 6, 2013


My Temporary Visitors, that is. These four birds arrived here last night for various lengths of time. The top photo, a Short-eared Owl, and the second, a Red-tailed hawk, are going to live in Moorpark, CA on the 13th. The Bald Eagle will be heading for the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum in West Marlboro, VT and the Golden Eagle is here for further rehabilitation.

The Golden Eagle may be releasable but she needs some further flight time. All four birds came from my friend, Diane, in Gillette. She's now retired so has had to stop accepting rehab birds. As these have to be flown to their new homes, it's easier to bring them to Cody than take them to Casper or farther.

On the first full day of being here the Golden Eagle flew the 80' length of the flight barn to the tower on one end. Then back to the highest wall perch, almost 20' above the ground. That is awesome so her prospects of being released are wonderful.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Bald eagle killing okayed by USFWS

Last week I was interviewed by KULR8 TV in Billings concerning the new bill being pushed through the Wyoming legislature to allow the Arapaho tribe on the Wind River reservation to kill two bald eagles. That two minute piece is shown in the video section on this blog. I am in the process of posting the entire 10 minute bit on YouTube. It will also be on this blog as soon as the processing is complete. Or you can check it out here:

Needless to say I am very upset that this is taking place and thank their reporter, Penny Preston, for allowing me to show you all the raw footage. This is totally unacceptable and shouldn't be allowed to continue. Hopefully enough voices will be heard and no more eagle killings will be allowed.