Thursday, October 31, 2013


My volunteer, Sara, has some snakes and today I got to meet a couple of them. They are both short-tailed pythons. The top photo is of JUPITER, a Borneo short-tailed snake. The bottom photo is ISON, a Red Blood Malasian.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Jammies R Us, part two

Okay, this is a first for me. Some of my 87 hens have been picked on for a long time and altho it wouldn't bother them in the summer, this cold weather (it's 30 today) will probably hurt them. This one in the bottom photo is completely naked on her back, neck and elbows.

So what to do.....the answer, make some chicken jammies. I used leftover fleece material from the ones I made for my friends dog. No pattern, just a cut and pin as you go. The bottom is the original design, she had to have an extra covering over her elbows as they were also very naked. The blue material is the second design. Worked out but the funny thing is that all the other hens in the flocks are now outside the house, those with clothes are inside, they're scared of the unusual clothes. Take that you meanies.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Another first

This beautiful but defensive bird is an adult Red-tailed Hawk but in a color phase I've not had here before. This is a Harlan's. They have the dark streaking on their breasts, don't have a red tail but for a bit on the ends, and are overall darker but with a lighter tail. Confusing, I know.
This is a male and in excellent conditon weighing a bit over two pounds. He was found sitting on the center line of the highway just south of Laurel, MT. After watching many vehicles, including one huge semi, drive past him, Samantha, Jarred, Johnathan & Joshua Burlenson and her mom, Roxy, stopped, gathered him up and called the nature center in Red Lodge. The nature center called me with their number so I called them. They were supposed to spend the day at Zoo Montana but decided to put the bird first and drive him back to Cody.

His name is HARLAN and he'll go into the vets on Monday for xrays. I would assume, as he was in the road, he was probably hit by a car. Hopefully if there are injuries they are minor and he'll be back in the air soon.

UPDATE: Xrays show nothing broken so perhaps it is only bruising. He's eating his rats and will go out into a flight area as soon as this weather is nicer, it's only 30 today.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Carmen Miranda eat your heart out

Here's another photo of FERAL FAWCETT. She was hiding underneath her very colorful blanket and peeked her head out so Sara could get this shot. She's leaving for her forever home on Thursday.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Another non-raptor

She showed up a couple days ago but only left foot prints in the snow. Then this afternoon I got a look at her. After setting a live trap I was unable to catch her. Luckily she ducked under some metal sheets on the ground and I was able to catch her in a net. Amazingly she wasn't too upset so I put her in a large cage where she could relax. I headed to town to get some kitten food and then left her alone to eat. She's very thin but seems otherwise to be okay.

Her name is FERAL FAWCETT and she appears to be about six weeks old. I assume she'd been dumped off on the highway not far behind my place. My volunteer, Sara, will be taking her as she already has a home, they will be on a plane heading for the Denver area this weekend. If she'd been a male his name would have been WILL FERAL. Paul has a great sense of humor and will give this beautiful young kitten a good home.

Not all raptors....

photo by finder, Sara Prescott

Another first for birds coming to IBR. This is an American Bittern. It was found on Friday in Powell alongside an alley hiding in some weeds. As it was still there today the owner of the property called the local cops and they called me.

If attitude has anything to do with this bird it will make a complete recovery and dare anyone to dispute that statement. He's very quick with his beak in trying to stab everything so his name is KNIEVEL because he's so evil. The problem is a broken leg so he goes in tomorrow for xrays to see if it's repairable. Luckily they eat just about anything so buying frozen shell-on shrimp will work as will mice. Now all I have to do is get it to eat those things and not me.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Thank you so much....

Every year it seems to get harder to find grant money to support any animal care facility. IBR is no exception but thank goodness one of our most supportive groups are the people of Rocky Mountain Power Foundation and PacifiCorp. I just received their grant for this year and it will be put to good use. They have been donating to the care and feeding of my birds for a couple decades. They also donated not only the power poles used in the construction of both the hawk and eagle flight barns, they also have been instrumental in helping put the netting on the roofs of those buildings when it was needed.

As shown in previous posts, the guys here in Cody are more than willing to bring one of their bucket trucks to the nest site of baby owls so they can be put back where they belong after falling to the ground. I am grateful to everyone in these wonderful organizations for continuing to give generously of their time, money and materials so Ironside Bird Rescue is able to help as many birds as we do.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Yesterday I got in a baby Red-tailed Hawk who had been found alongside a road near Powell. He was very starved and suffering from a broken wing. The fracture is probably what caused the starvation because he was unable to hunt for food.

These photos are of the pellet, about the size of your thumb, he threw up during the night. Raptors do that to rid themselves of the stuff they can't digest, hair, feathers, bones, etc. You'll note that there is not one of those things in this one, it appears to be just grains, grass and perhaps the black things are bugs. Anything he thought was edible. The little bit of red on the one end is from the baby mice I fed him last night before he cast this pellet.

WILL went in to have his broken wing surgically repaired this morning but unfortunately the damage was too old and too extensive so he was euthanized. At least now he's not suffering and I'd like to think he's full of good food and soaring in the sky somewhere.

At Last !

After living at IBR since February, COPPERFIELD is finally able to fly free. Because of two broken fingers this beautiful immature male Rough-legged Hawk wasn't ready for their migration to above the Arctic Circle in northern Canada. Therefore he had to be summered over in the hawk barn. And I had to wait until roughies had been spotted in this area before I could release him. Just this past week a few have been seen making this long overdue release possible.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

New residents

Her/his name is ZENITH because after all this is a TV. Turkey Vulture that is. Friday morning I received five more residents at IBR from Diane Morse in Gillette. She ran NEW Raptor Center for over 20 years and just recently retired. She still has permits to take in birds until the end of the year so agreed to accept any from her side of the mountain while I was on vacation.

It wasn't but an hour into my flight from Cody that she got a call about a Great Horned Owl that had been burned, possibly from a flare in one of the oil/gas fields. Then not much later she took in a baby Red-tailed Hawk, HIGGINS, who was starving. He also suffered from a broken fibia in his left leg so now has an external fixation device on the leg to hold the bone ends in the right position for healing. A great deal to overcome at such a young age (six months).

She also received another GHO with a wing problem who had been held illegally by some people. Altho they had been feeding the bird the right diet, mice, it was still against the law for them to have the owl.
And, of course, I also took in the two birds she'd had from her rehab work but were not quite ready for release. The vulture is flying but not quite strong enough. And the same for the kestrel. Both will be here until they can make it. I may send the TV to another rehabber in the south so s/he won't have to spend the winter in the cold. S/he is bald, after all.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Back to routine

Yes, I'm back to doing the routine things here at IBR. That included making a 165 mile round trip last night to Worland to pick up this handsome immature male Cooper's Hawk. ANDY was found behind one of the schools in town and was rescued from some young boys torturing him with a stick. Luckily the cops were called and they gathered him up. Hopefully after explaining to the boys that what they did was a federal offense.

When I got to the police department I found they had done a wonderful job in taking care of him. The bad news is that he appeared to be totally blind. You'll notice his blank stare. I think he hit one of the windows in the school and has suffered a concussion. Today I took him in to Dr. Blessing for an eye exam but had noticed earlier this morning he appeared to have regained some sight, more so in his left eye than right. Now there is hope for his recovery but only time will tell if he has enough sight in both eyes for release.

Monday, October 7, 2013

California dreaming.....

Wow! OMG! Awesome! Brilliant! Amazing! These are some of the words to describe the 10 day vacation I just returned from. I went to visit my friend, Jenny Papka, at the Native Bird Connections in Orinda. She has received five birds from me in the past seven years so I was able to see them too.
This is FIONN, a leucistic Red-tailed Hawk I received with a broken wing. She's now one of Jenny's most distinctive school birds.

We did a lot of driving, sat for awhile in traffic which is normal for that area (near San Francisco) but not for me. We visited the Oakland Zoo thanks to a friend of Jenny's. Kristin works at the zoo and got permission for us to go in the back and make a dream of mine come true. I got to meet an elephant. His name is OSH, he's a 14 year old African bull elephant and looking very large to me. John and Jessica, elephant handlers assured me he would grow another two feet.
(above) me touching OSH's foot. (below) feeding him banana pieces, he was very gentle.
OSH standing behind John, myself and Kristin. Note his size....

We also visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the California Academy of Science and had a lot of fun on an amazing zip line. I've included just a few of the photos from those trips and may post more in the future. Don't want to bore you with "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" photos.

l-r: Jenny, Matt, Susan and Sue. Sue Honeywell and her son Matt were just two of the group doing the zip line. Everyone was a lot of fun to be with. The other photos show how long one of the lines was and one of two suspension bridges we also had to walk across.

Standing in the Pacific Ocean, in Yosemite (before we were told to leave) with El Capitan and Half Dome behind us and in front of one of the Giant Sequoias. Talk about tall.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Not a toy....

No, this isn't a stuffed toy, it's a baby Spectacled Owl just getting his grown up feathers. He lives at the Toucan Ranch in Costa Rica in the care of Leslie. She started out rescuing toucans and an occasional sloth but has recently been getting in quite a few raptors. This baby is the latest. Isn't he just the cutest thing?