Saturday, December 28, 2013

SPENCER update

A desperate emergency happened with SPENCER today just before noon. I was checking on the birds and went into his mew to see if he'd eaten yesterdays rat. He was up on his low tower and when I looked, it was covered with blood.

He came here on December 5th with a very small wound on the inside of his right wing near his wrist. I suspected electrocution and that was confirmed a week ago when I treated the wound and it was larger. It was dry and scabbed over so I moved him into an outside mew. Today that wound was 2-3 inches across and wouldn't stop bleeding. I quickly gathered him up and rushed him to Dr. Blessing who put about a half dozen sutures in the wound to stop the bleeding. The tendons are now exposed and skin missing. I hate electrocutions as they kill from within. I hope this won't go any farther and cause even more tissue damage. He's back inside under a heat lamp and will be treated with meds every day.

As you can see in the above photos, there is extensive damage to his wing tissue. The sutures are in the center of the open spot, the yellow is medicine as well as the moist area. He is an amazingly tolerant bird to put up with my holding his wing out while spraying the liquid antibiotic on the wound. And he's been eating his meals so he apparently has decided to make the best of a bad situation.

At this point I don't know if we can save the majority of his wing. The damage will continue until it runs its course, I don't know the final outcome. He is an adult so if he has a mate the pair will be broken up. Hopefully she will agree to take on another partner and continue to raise these awesome birds of prey.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Special accomodations

This is TANK, a beautiful adult male Rough-legged Hawk. He was right near the town of Meeteetse on the 23rd when he was hit by a car. Unfortunately the driver never stopped. Fortunately another driver, right behind him, and her family who were on their way to Colorado for Christmas did stop, gathered up the bird and called me. I asked them to take the hawk to the gas station in Meeteetse, and ask for a box to put him in until I could get there. The lady behind the counter was super so when I got there he was safely in a box and waiting inside where it was warm.

As you can see from this photo TANK is not in a usual pose for a raptor. The damage is apparently to his spine altho nothing appears to be broken in the xrays we took a couple hours later. He has full use of his legs, wings and feet but can't stand up. Scoots backwards just fine so I put him in this sling to keep him in a normal position. Hopefully this is just some spinal bruising and it will soon repair itself.

Until that time I have to hand feed him which is not his favorite thing altho he does swallow all the mouse pieces when I put them in his mouth. Hopefully he'll be up and feeding himself very soon so he can be on his way.

UPDATE: Sad news. His head injury worsened during the night and he started having seizures. He was euthanized on Saturday morning.

Great news times two

Today some really good news for two birds. The top photo is of MONROE flying off after his wing repaired itself with cage rest. Altho it was another 300 mile round trip to Riverton for the release, it was worth it. He only weighs 4.3 ounces but is still a mighty little bird.

The bottom photo is handsome HIGGINS, the baby redtail who arrived with an unexpected broken leg. He's gone through surgery with external pins applied to keep the bone ends in alignment. It took many weeks and spaced out removal of the six pins but he finally was able to stretch out his leg in a normal position. Unfortunately he wasn't able to hold his foot flat so had to wear a shoe for most of the time. Just last Monday I removed the shoe and voila! he's standing normally on his left foot. Now he just has to get strength back in that leg and a good grip with the foot and he'll be ready for release. That won't be until this Spring so he'll have the best chance for survival.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas morning

At least two of us were just relaxing. This is SOPHIE and SISTER soaking up the rays on my unmade bed after enjoying a leisurely breakfast. It's a brilliantly blue sky outside, the wind is calm and all is right with our world. I got the chores done early and then came in to open my presents. My volunteer, Sara, is coming over for dinner, this will be a wonderful day. It is so far.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fun new rug

This is something I got for the fun of it. There's a company that makes personalized merchandise and I picked this rug. It's called a Tweet Heart rug and it has the names of most of the dogs, cats and a horse who have lived with me over the past 45 years starting with my first dog, GYPSY and including the two dogs and two cats now here. Their names are on each of the little bird houses.

Now I need to buy another one to include those names I missed.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Strange visitors

I know, these aren't wild birds but they are now staying here for an undetermined time. Their person had to move out of state with not much notice so I'm babysitting them until she gets settled.

The top bird is a Rose Breasted Cockatoo, her name is CRAZY GIRL and she's nine years old. She is also looking for a home with someone who is very knowledgeable about psittacines, or parrot like birds. They are very like an intelligent perpetual two year old and need interaction with their person. She was hand raised and does have a few words and sounds in her vocalization.

The other bird is a hybrid Amazon Parrot, ANNIE, and she is 12 years old. She was also hand raised and will be going to her person as soon as it's possible. She sings opera, says words and is quite entertaining.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Wounded youngster

Today I was lucky thanks to WGF Warden Dan Thiele of Buffalo and BLM person Bob Barr. Dan picked up this young male Bald Eagle in the Buffalo Wetland Habitat Area unable to fly after he was luckily spotted before he spent too much time on the ground. I believe he'll be two years old in about April. As Buffalo is across the mountains to the east of Cody, it would have been a trip for me over what may have been some bad roads. That's were more luck came in. Bob was coming over to Worland for some shopping and agreed to bring the bird with him. That made it only a 192 mile round trip for me. I had already made arrangements for x-rays on LOKI which proved he does have a fractured ulna in his left wing. The radius is just fine so it will act as a splint if surgery is not deemed necessary. He goes in on Monday to see if that's the case or if it will only take some support bandaging for a few weeks.

UPDATE: Surgery had to be done but so far so good. He's being very quiet in his mew, eating his meals and perching. I did put a red heat lamp in there as it's still not the warmest of times altho today, Wednesday, it's supposed to be in the upper 50s. That will end with possible snow and in the 20s tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Yum ! ! ! !

Tonight is the annual Christmas party at the Stone Soup Studio in Cody. Linda Raynolds and Elijah Cobb put this on to celebrate the season and it's a wonderful time. Everyone brings a dish to share which means there is a huge variety from soup to nuts. Actually I don't think I've ever seen soup but that's about the only thing not offered. My contribution is two apple pies as shown above. I know, it's cake icing but it's the only thing I could think of to make it festive. What's a little more sugar in your diet, right!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New eagle patient

I don't know what caused this beautiful adult male eagle to be grounded but he isn't able to fly. SPENCER was found in a Lovell oil field and the fear is that he was electrocuted. Only time will tell if the small wounds on his right wing will develop into a non-repairable situation. In the meantime, he's finally eating and is doing well. Not happy being inside but for the moment it's the best place for him. Our extremely cold weather would be hard on him in his present condition.

Great improvement

TUNDRA has made great strides since he came in unable to stand or walk. As you can see, he's not only standing but up on a floor perch in his cage. He's been filling up on a diet of mouse pieces but just recently he's been able to do some ripping and tearing on his own. He's gone from 22 ounces to 31 ounces, quite a gain in 10 days. If he continues to make such progress he will be ready for release in March when they head north.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Another first

Some amazing news and some sad news. This past week I drove to between Cody and Powell to pick up a bird that had hit a window. When I got there and saw the bird I first thought it was a very small Prairie Falcon. I was wrong, it is a big adult female Merlin. The difference is that she is called a Prairie Merlin. It's a different color phase of the species. She suffered some head trauma and wasn't able to stand altho she could move her legs, feet and wings.

The sad news is that she just died. I had very high hopes for her recovery as she ate wonderfully this morning. I had to cut up her quail and hand the small pieces to her but she readily ate them.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

We're covered

Yesterday, Monday, it was 53 degrees here in Cody, the sun was out most of the day and the sky was blue. That ended in the evening and this is what I woke up to this morning. The temperature at 6 o'clock, before sunrise, was 10 and we're only supposed to be in the mid teens. The wind blew so hard last night that there are drifts not quite to my knees. Amazingly the chickens water buckets weren't frozen, nor is a good deal of Beck Lake.

I also found out late yesterday afternoon that my new truck doesn't have a block heater. It started this morning when I headed out to mail Christmas packages so I stopped by the Ford garage to see what it would take to get one installed. It will take $200, they have to order the part and probably won't be installing it until next week. About the time our predicted -16 at night temperatures go back to above freezing. I believe I have a good battery, at least there hasn't been any hesitation in starting so far.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Another Northern visitor

The second injured Rough-legged Hawk came down within a few hundred feet of the first one received at IBR this season. His name is TUNDRA and he's a baby of this year, probably about 6-7 months old. He made the long, difficult migration from above the Arctic Circle only to come across something he's never seen, a vehicle on the road.

At this point his feet, legs and wings work but he can't stand. He's being propped up by a folded towel for now. And, as you might be able to see, the tip of his upper beak is missing. It appears as if he hit the road and it was abraded off. Because he can't stand, and can't tear his food without the beak tip, I've done his work and am now feeding him mouse parts.

He has a good attitude and will go in tomorrow for xrays to pinpoint the damage, probably to his pelvis. That will heal but takes time. Hopefully way before his need to migrate back north in March.

UPDATE: This amazing young bird is coming along. Xrays showed no fractures. He can't quite stand but is eating each mouse piece I hand him. He is a bit thin so probably will slack off a bit when he's full. He's gaining strength every day so the future may be bright for him.