Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pretty lady

She certainly is. MONTY is the immature Sharp-shinned Hawk who came to IBR with a fractured bone in her leftt wing. Only one of the two bones were broken so she didn't require surgical repair, just a support bandage for a few weeks. She is now in the 8x20' flight area for smaller raptors and flying all over the place. This isn't the best photo as I wanted to get her sitting still and in the sun. That required my taking the photo from outside the mew through the jail bars and netting. You can still see how striking she is. Hopefully she'll be releasable around the Christmas holiday, weather permitting.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Turkey Day

To everyone. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days. This is a repeat photo from an earlier post but just couldn't share my wishes without a photo of some turkeys that were spotted alongside the Northfork Highway west of Cody. We saw these on the way back from releasing an owl. Just the other day there were three turkeys walking in the road just outside of town but with a little persuasion they left the dangerous roadway for the safety of the bushes. Naturally I didn't have my camera with me that day.

My turkey is in the oven along with a big apple pie. My mom taught me how to make cinnamon/sugar rollups with the leftover pie dough so those will go in when the pie comes out. My volunteer, Sara and her son Loki are coming for a big feast at noon. They are also bringing goodies so none of us will go hungry today.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving, I hope your day is a happy one with friends and family in abundance at your house.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sharp as a.........

Sharpie! This outstandingly beautiful adult male Sharp-shinned Hawk, named MONROE, came from Riverton. After a 292 mile round trip he arrived here at IBR for some TLC. It's not known just what happened to make his left wing a bit weak but you can see he isn't holding it exactly right. I think it's possible he hit a window while chasing his favorite meal, a small songbird. Xrays didn't show any broken bones but he'll go in on Monday for another exam to see if his coracoid bone may be fractured. That's one which makes it hard for a bird to fly altho it will heal. Just takes time. He'll go back to where he was found in case he has a mate wondering just where he's gone off to.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Happy Birthday!

back: Margaret, Frank, Wally and Mary.
front: Dorothy and Tommy

Today is my mother's birthday. Dorothy Davidson Stanton was born 102 years ago, the second youngest of six children. The Stanton family grew up on a very large farm where they raised Shorthorn cattle, Berkshire hogs, Shropshire sheep and horses. I never knew the original farm, that was sold before I was born, but had a wonderful childhood playing at their second home on a smaller farm a couple miles farther down the road.

My mom died in Februry 2003 at the age of 91. I still miss her terribly, especially our regular Sunday evening chats. She lived for 52 years in the house I grew up in on a quiet street in Downers Grove, IL. Love you mother, Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Rodent poison ban plea

I received this email from a friend in IL but the words could fit anywhere. Please, read them carefully.

"I died today. I was found by a kind, sweet woman who does wildlife rescue. I was so sick, I could barely open my eyes. She took me inside, cradling me in her warm arms, and made me warm and comfortable. I opened my eyes and looked at her and thanked her for making my last few minutes as comfortable as possible. But I was too sick to keep fighting anymore. I had eaten a mouse that was poisoned, and it made me very sick. I closed my yellow eyes for the last time and went somewhere else. Please, all I ask is never use poison to kill the mice. poison kills owls, like me. All I wanted was a mouse for dinner. I died today . . ."

Please SHARE this for poison awareness. Stop the use of poison for rats or mice. Please. Save a precious life today; it only takes one share to spread the word.

Never before...

Something happened yesterday that is new to IBR bird releases. My volunteer, Sara, and I took one of the GHOs I'd received from the retired rehabber in Gillette out the Northfork Hiway for release at an excellent habitat. I opened the crate door, the bird dashed off as you can see from the above photo. He didn't fly far and landed on the ground up the gravel road. Just to make sure all was okay we walked his direction so he took off again.

Here's where the strange part came in. He again landed up the road but this time it was in a tangle of small branches. It puzzled me so I decided to gather him up and did so after crawling under bushes to get to him.

He is now back here but in the large hawk flight barn. When I opened his crate he immediately took off and flew, with great strength and direction, to the highest wall perch. There was no hesitation or weakness, just a strong flight. At this point he'll be in there until I feel he's ready for another try at freedom.

UPDATE: Success the second time around. Sara and I drove north of Cody about 20 miles and re-released this owl. He took off and kept going and going. I have no idea why the first release didn't work but this time it went as it should have. The only difference is that it was ravens following him and not magpies. He easily got away from them so has now begun the rest of his life as a wild bird.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Nothing but sky

I got in this amazing Red-tailed Hawk just a week ago after probably being hit by a car. Luckily he suffered no damage other than his spirit. He quickly recovered and after being in the hawk flight barn he proved he was ready for release. I added 186+ miles to my truck because this is an adult and therefore had to go back to where he was found in case he has a mate. That was just south of Laurel, MT.

I found what I think is the exact spot where he was hit. The people on that ranch were thrilled to get him back as they say redtails have nested in the large cottonwoods on their lane for years. His first stop after leaving the crate was in one of those trees. Then he took off so I could get this photo, I never saw him land.


I know, it's an odd photo to make out. The only thing in focus is her tail, wings were flapping so fast they're just a blur. This is the only release photo I got of ELVIRA right after I opened the crate door. Weighing in at just over four pounds, this is the heaviest GHO I've ever had. She got into a territorial fight with a visiting owl and came out with a wound on her left wing. It healed without any problems so when she was ready for release I returned her to the Two Dot ranch about 25 miles north of Cody.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

First roughie

Yes, Rough-legged Hawks have arrived from above the Arctic Circle. To them this is the south of Florida, they spend winters in the US to escape the bad weather so far north. Unfortunately for this amazingly beautiful adult it means the end of the road. He appears to have either had his right leg caught in a trap or perhaps in a fence. He got free but the bone in his lower leg had been exposed which caused his foot to die. There is nothing that can be done to save him, and this is Saturday, so on Monday he will be euthanized. In the meantime I've fed him some cut up mice so he at least won't spend his last moments hungry.