Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Look twice!

AMELIA looking fierce.

Look very closely on top of the perch at the bottom right and you'll see WILBUR's butt showing. He's seeking protection from his new foster mom.

The foster babies who have been raised so far by SMIDGE now have two more moms. Sitting on the top of the tower is AMELIA with SMIDGE's roomie. The baby is making herself very large to scare me off. WILBUR is much shyer, he's hiding behind another GHO in a higher position.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Natural name

His name is FIDDLER because he was, are you ready for this, found on a roof....... Okay, I get a bit silly in naming my birds but it certainly fits his case. This one year old male bald eagle appears to be an imprint. Which means someone stole/found him as a tiny baby and kept him in captivity so he has no idea he's an eagle, he thinks he's a human. This is not a problem as he will be able to hunt and feed himself with training. The problem is that when breeding season comes around he won't be looking for a beautiful adult female to consort with, he'll be looking for a human. And that's dangerous.

At this point, because I do believe he truly is an imprint, he will be placed in an educational facility. He is a very handsome young male and will be a super addition to any program and facility.

Friday, May 17, 2013


After a long drive from Casper to Gillette then to Tensleep and on to Cody, this beautiful adult female Prairie Falcon is at rest. Well, sort of. Prairies are very high strung and she's no exception. There's nothing broken but she is very thin which is probably the reason she'd been caught by a domestic cat. The damage amounts to nine missing tail feathers, a couple missing primaries and some broken secondary feathers. We'll either imp in the missing ones or let her naturally molt them in. Unfortunately that will take until mid summer so imping may be the way to go so she'll be back in the wild sooner.

She's now eating a quail a day so will put back the needed weight and strength. I have no idea what caused her starvation, xrays show nothing wrong. At this point it's good food and condition training in her future.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Show girl(s)

This picture is of my beautiful leucistic Red-tailed Hawk, FIONN, with her new person, Jenny Papka. They were at a quick draw show near their home in Martinez, CA. This was FIONN's first show and she was so good according to Jenny. She sat on her perch for quite some time being oohd and ahhd over by the participants and general public alike. Thanks Jenny for giving her such a wonderful home. Even tho FIONN can't fly enough for release she is teaching everyone how to cope when things just don't go your way.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Two big miracles

FRANNIE first out of the box, low and fast, wings open, landing gear up and locked....

GRACE not far behind.

FRANNIE heading out very quickly

Today was one of the best in a long time. One year old FRANNIE and two year old AMAZING GRACE were released east of Cody in a most wonderful habitat there is for golden eagles. FRANNIE came in the middle of January suffering from severe lead poisoning, something that is hard to overcome due to the fact that the birds aren't found in time for treatment. One of the signs of lead is the inability for the bird to open its feet. In FRANNIE's case she had been walking around on her knuckles for so long they were really abraded. She went through three sessions of treatment, six shots a day for three days then off three then back on for three. She never gave up and neither did I.


AMAZING GRACE came to me for evaluation from a fellow rehabber. She suffered from a head injury and was unwilling to fly more than a few feet and very low to the ground. Otherwise she appeared just fine. Diane had her for a few months but wanted another opinion on what might help. Surprisingly, when the bird arrived and the crate door opened inside my eagle flight barn, she flew the entire 80' length with no problem. The next day she was on the lower wall perch, higher than I could reach. And the third day she was up on the high wall perch, almost 20' high. I have no idea what inspired her to "just go for it" but she did and these photos show the result.

Thanks Dr. Charles Preston for banding these young birds so if they are ever in trouble they can be identified. Chuck is doing ongoing research of golden eagles in the Big Horn Basin, these two have joined his efforts. The photos were taken by Penny Preston and Bonnie Smith.