Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Number five.....

Eagles now here at IBR, that is. This ones name is TREY, I know that means three. He's the fourth Bald Eagle to arrive here within the last few weeks but number three still here. One of them, DIRTY HARRY, was released back where he was found. And again, I made the three hour drive to Sheridan to pick TREY up at the game & fish office. I was very lucky in not being slowed down by tourists making the long, steep climb up the mountains and thru the Big Horn National Forest.

I don't know what's going on with the eagles in that area. This is an adult male but he's at least three or more pounds lighter than he should be. He's so weak he didn't hold his wings up to his sides, they just hung down as if he's exhausted. I've given him some fluids and critical care food through a stomach tube and will do that every four hours or so during the night. He's perching better now. I'll also have some tests run to see if we can pinpoint the problem

UPDATE: He's gone. He fought a good fight but he was too far down to bring back. Tests revealed he had a coccidia infection, which is in the intestines. He was so far down in weight and condition that even with medication he lost his battle. TREY is the second adult bald eagle from almost the same area to have this problem. He is a beautiful bird and will be missed in the wild world. At least now he's flying high and free, if only in my mind.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Another gold nugget

That's right I've received another Golden Eagle. This one came from the Sheridan area and thanks to Bob Berry she was flown here so I didn't have to make the total of six hours of driving there and back. His family was coming to Cody and the timing was perfect for the bird to come along.

As you can see in this photo, she's wearing a "sandal" on her right foot. For some reason she cannot open and close it. Remember FRANNIE? She had this in both feet and it ended up to be a very bad case of lead poisoning. A blood sample on this young female, FANCY, is on its way to the state vet lab for similar testing.

In the meantime she's started her chelation therapy and is wearing this footwear to keep her toes in a normal open position. As with FRANNIE, she will graduate to "toe shoes" as soon as possible. In the meantime she's eating all I've given her and seems to be okay in this stressful situation.

UPDATE: The lab results are back and she does NOT have lead poisoning. Thank goodness as she now won't have to endure the six shots a day any longer. Of course now I don't have a reason for her foot clenching but perhaps it's some injury that will work itself out given time and the bracing she's wearing.

Friday, August 23, 2013

I almost forgot......

When I was driving towards Sheridan a week or so ago to return the bald eagle to his territory I came upon an amazing sight! As I just about got to the top of the mountain and was going around a curve I spotted a Mountain Lion crossing the road in front of me. It hesitated for a moment, looked my way and then melted into the brush alongside the road.

That was awesome! I've never seen a lion in the wild so was very excited to be able to spot this beautiful creature. It was the icing on the cake to a day of joyful events.

Awesome visitors

The past couple of weeks has been very interesting here. As I was driving down my road I caught a flash of bright yellow/orange out of the corner of my eye. Luckily the adult male Bullock's Oriole stopped on sagebrush so I could get a good look at him through my binoculars. Brilliant bird. Then a couple days later, as I was pulling up to my front gate, I saw three unusual birds in my trees. Turns out they are female Bullock's. I immediately put out some cut oranges for them in case they came back. They must have, the oranges are gone so I have to put more out.

Then on Tuesday, as I was driving away from my place, a large bird flew off the top of one of my power poles. I thought it was a local redtail but after seeing the wing shape I stopped the truck and got out my binocs again. This time it was an adult Peregrine Falcon, the first one I've seen around here. S/he spent some time sitting on a fence post just watching the world go by.

And then there was the two osprey flying around and landing on power poles as I came back home from the Wednesday CSA. And a very rare sight these days, about two dozen nighthawks soaring all over about a mile from my house. They only eat when they're flying so apparently some sort of bug hatch was taking place.

It's always thrilling to see new species in the area, makes life more interesting.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

More new residents

I got a call from the local animal shelter on Saturday about a hawk someone had brought in. It's only a couple miles from my house so I immediately drove over there and found waiting for me a beautiful immature Swainson's Hawk. He was found in a field at the Sunlight Ranch in Clark either unwilling or unable to fly.

I can't see anything wrong other than he's very thin and hungry. He's been eating all his meals and should be strong enough to go into a flight area by this coming weekend. Then it's a matter of finding out if he is strong enough so he can be released back to the wild.

These birds spend the winters in South America and as this is probably a baby of 2012 he's at least lived longer than 80% of baby birds. Perhaps the return flight just took too much out of him so all he needs is some good groceries and he'll be all set.

The second new arrival is another baby Golden Eagle. I think this is a female and she came from Buffalo. Thanks to USFWS person, Pauline Hope, she was taken care of overnight and driven here this morning. Xrays will confirm my suspicion of a dislocated right elbow. If that is the case, Dr. Blessing will have to make the decision on how to repair the damage. I don't know if she'll fly well enough for release but she will make an awesome educational bird if that's not possible.

UPDATE: Not a dislocated elbow. Xrays show a mid-shaft fracture of her right humerus. Bad news is that the break happened at least a month ago and is now solid and can't be rebroken for repair. All her joints in that wing work just fine but because her wing is now crooked she won't ever fly again. She's very thin so until she's gained the necessary weight she won't be put up for placement. I know she'll be brilliant on a fist as an avian ambassador.

Friday, August 16, 2013


At 10:40 this morning ROXANNE flew off to begin the rest of her life. She came to IBR on December 7th last year after being hit by a car near Meeteetse. Luckily a gentleman came along right after it happened, gathered her up and called me. She had a mid-shaft fracture of her right humerus. The surgery to repair that break was on 12/11 and then the long healing process began.

She spent some time in a smaller mew then on February 19th of this year she went into the large eagle flight barn for needed exercise. It took a while but by May she was flying high enough and strong enough to make it to the tower at one end of the barn. Then in June she made it all the way to the high wall perch!

Today she flew off with strength and determination so I have high hopes she will become a very accomplished bird of prey, find a mate, if she wants one, and raise beautiful babies.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

So thin.....

His name is DOVE because he's dark chocolate. This very awesome male baby Golden Eagle came to me this afternoon thanks to the USFWS driving him all the way to Cody from Lander. He was found in an oil field there barely able to walk. He's only about four months old and should weigh around eight pounds. He weighs just four pounds 14 ounces!

At this point it's an hour by hour struggle to keep him alive. He's had one feeding of fluids and will continue to receive them every four hours. The first one was straight Lactated Ringers, the second one in a few minutes will have 5% dextrose added. Then, if he's still alive I'll add some AD critical care food to the fluids. It's a thick pudding consistency and will be diluted somewhat so it will go through the stomach tube.

Keep your fingers crossed and your good thoughts on this very sick little baby. Thank you.

SAD NOTE: Baby DOVE died last night. His body will be sent to the WY State Vet Lab for an autopsy and testing for WNV.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Jammies R Us

My friend Sara has a Chinese Crested dog who is naked except for head, feet and tail. For whatever reason it's what the breed almost always looks like altho there is a variety with long hair all over. Because he has to stay warm in the cold weather and shaded in the hot sun I've made him some jammies to wear. The top photo is his newest pair, cotton for the summer. The red ones, as well as a couple others, are made of fleece.

The summer pair has a print on them in case he wants to be one with the trees. His others are the red ones when he's feeling like having a fun day, a zebra print for when he's in a wild mood and camo when he's out in the woods.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Small package

His name is TEENY TIM. This beautiful little bird is a Prairie Falcon weighing only nine ounces, much too little for his species, sex and age, about four months old. As you can see he has a bandage on his right wing as it may be broken. He goes in today for xrays. I got him from Diane, in Gillette, as she is now retired but someone forgot to tell a local vet. TIMMY was dropped off at the office but unfortunately no information on him was left there. When Diane got him he was so weak he couldn't stand. She gave him fluids and got up every four hours to give him some boneless/skinless rat pieces along with the fluids.

He is much better after only two full days of good food. He is strong enough to get up onto his perch and is taking the boneless/skinless pieces of quail that I hand him with forceps. This afternoon I may give him the quail carcass to pick on by himself to see if he is strong enough for that.

UPDATE: The xrays showed a fractured radius/ulna in his right wing near the elbow. Because of his weakened state the surgery to repair the breaks will have to wait until at least the beginning of next week. In the meantime he is now ripping and tearing his own food off the bones of quail and small mice.

New roomies

I made an extended journey yesterday to Sheridan to release one bald eagle and hand over one long-eared owl to Diane from Gillette. At the same time she brought me two more eagles, a redtail and a prairie falcon. The two eagles are seen in this photo on the ground as they are here for further exercise after having their broken wings repaired.

The one on the left is MACK (for the name of the truck that hit her), on the right is DITTO, a four year old, as she's apparently just as mean and nasty as a former patient, PRISCILLA. DITTO was not only broken when the vehicle hit her, she also suffered pain when someone came along before the game and fish person arrived and pulled out all her tail feathers. They tried for the wing feathers too but they were very well attached so they were only broken. She now has replaced all the tail feathers, just the primary wing feathers to go.

There will be further photos of ROXANNE, up on the wall perch, as she's going to be released this week. She's not too sure about these strange colored roommates but they all seem to be working it out.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back to mom

On my finger waiting for take-off
I thought he'd take off from a branch so put him on this one and waited....
He decided he needed a higher perspective.
He finally took the plunge and flew to the top of a very large tree after a long and strong flight.

I only had him for a week but McVEY is now back at his nest tree site. His original problem was coming out of his nest cavity a bit early and ending up caught near an air conditioner. Luckily he was seen and brought to my attention. I took him back to below his nest for release but as you can see from the photos, it didn't go as planned.

Friday, August 2, 2013

And another ?????

I don't know what's going on with the bats around here but I just got two more in, both had been caught by cats. The top photo is of what is now called a Canyon Bat, aka. Western Pipistrelle. According to the books they are desert dwellers and aren't found any where near the state of WY. Of course I haven't found any animal who's read the books. He's also the smallest bat found in the US. As you can see, the quarter isn't that much smaller. Unfortunately he was very damaged and had to be euthanized.

The lower photo is one I just got today and is also damaged but may be repairable. I'm not sure the species yet, I've sent photos to my bat mentor at Bat World in TX. I'm awaiting her advice.

Another kestrel baby

This is McVEY, a young kestrel who thought it was time to leave the nest but it wasn't. He was found caught in the tubing outside a large air conditioning unit near a home in Wapiti. We found the nest tree but the cavity was so high up it would take a bucket truck to get him back to it.

There was another baby peeking out the cavity opening but was smart enough to stay put for now. At this point McVEY has a sore leg and isn't strong enough to go back home so he'll stay here for a few days until I feel he's ready to be returned to his parents. He's very teeny but in excellent condition so it shouldn't be long.