Sunday, February 23, 2014


Unfortunately PATRICK lost his battle with lead poisoning last night. As predicted, he did well for a day or so then went downhill quickly. Because his count was almost eight times what is considered a toxic level it was inevitable he would not make it but everyone kept trying. It still doesn't make it any easier to lose such a magnificent bird. He is an adult so there's probably a female waiting for his return to their home territory. We shall both miss seeing him fly free again.

The above photos were taken by the people at the ranch before he was gathered up. As you can see in the one picture, his eyes show how bad he feels. When disturbed he did open his eyes and assume a defensive posture but it didn't last long. Joyce Inchauspe and Richard Platt sent these photos and promised to keep an eye out for any other birds in trouble.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Christmas again ????

Seems that way. Here are photos of a couple of my small evergreen trees taken this morning. Just when the 12+" of snow finally melted along came another bunch of the white stuff. It hasn't completely stopped but after over 6" it's slowed significantly. At least I finally got the chicken houses cleaned during the short spell between storms. Melting snow makes part of their yard a muddy mess. Now for the bunny barn clean up......that will have to wait for warmer temps as their droppings tend to freeze into the ground.

UPDATE: It's one day later and we're now up to about 12" of snow. It's still coming down but barely so maybe it'll stop soon. Just when the chicken yards were drying out so they could come stand in the sun...... This is supposed to last for quite a few days, ick, I am so ready for winter to be over.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


This stunning adult Bald Eagle is PATRICK STEWART, named after a very handsome actor with, shall we say, a minimum of hair on his head, hence almost bald. The eagle was found on the HF Bar Ranch near Buffalo just sitting on a stump in a field. He was seen last night but Brad Rogers, the USFWS agent in the area wasn't notified until this morning. That wonderful man drove PATRICK here arriving around noon.

There isn't anything physically wrong but for some reason the eagle is extremely starved weighing only 5.75 pounds when he should be at least eight. Xrays show no metal in him but as you can see, there is a bit of blood on his beak so he had apparently fed before being found.

Because there doesn't seem to be anything causing his condition and bad depression, a blood sample was taken today and sent to our state lab in Laramie for testing. He will also have a CBC. Tests will be made looking for mercury, lead and WNV just because of all the bald eagle deaths in Utah a couple months ago from that disease.

I've tubed him with a high calorie food and included some Lactated Ringers for hydration. Hopefully it will be enough to give him the will to keep fighting so he can live and be returned to the wild.

UPDATE: He's still alive but the prognosis is very poor. I got the results of two of his tests back. He doesn't have any internal parasites but his lead level is alarming. Anything above 0.6 is considered toxic. His count is 4.75! He has already started his EDTA treatment and will continue that for three days. If he is still alive he'll start another round after being off of it for three days. The treatment consists of six shots a day, three in the morning, three in the evening. And he'll continue to receive the high calorie food via a stomach tube for as long as it takes. Stressful for both of us but the only way to get nutrition into him.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ready for anything

As most of you know, Cody has experienced a winter this year, first one in about a dozen years. Lots of below temperatures, snow and ice. Well, it's not just in Wyoming. My cousins, Shirley and Pete Repp, who live in Wisconsin, have also had their fill of the white stuff and cold weather. Here's a photo of WALTER, their wonderful little dog, all ready for his walk outside. You'll note he is very fashionable in his plaid coat and black boots.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Great progress

SPENCER is now outside in a larger mew. His electrocution wounds are doing well, sort of. The smaller one is completely healed but the larger one is still open. I don't know how long this repair will take, it's been quite a few weeks as it is. He's been in a 6'x 6' mew to keep him quiet and not using the injured wing. He's feeling so well that he's been anxious and not happy in the smaller place.

He is now in a 13'x 20' mew with lots of perch choices. In this photo he's sitting on the window perch, probably enjoying being able to see distances and life going on around him. As to his future release, that may not happen. It all depends on how his damaged wing comes along after all the wounds are healed. And he still has to replace the covering on two of his left talons.

More room needed

Yesterday I moved beautiful baby Red-tailed Hawk, HIGGINS, to a much larger mew. He's fully recovered from his broken leg and the weather has warmed up enough to get him outside. He's been a 6'x 6' mew for quite a few months and was getting pretty antsy and wanting to fly. As there was nothing wrong with his wings he was more than ready for a change of rooms.

In this photo he's on the lower wall perch but it's still above my reach. Yesterday evening he was on the upper perch so he has obviously retained strong muscles while recuperating.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Amazing trip

His name is HALO because the people who found him decided that he appeared like an angel in their yard. This adult Great Horned Owl was found in the town of Story which is about a four plus hour drive from Cody. Due to our very horrible weather, blizzard conditions making the roads impassable, he was transported to Diane in Gillette for safe keeping until a way was figured out to get him to Cody.

He has a broken right wing which made the transfer more urgent so it could be surgically repaired. Diane and I tried everything we could think of. She finally contacted a firm at the Campbell County airport for help and they certainly went way above and beyond. Flightline agreed to fly the bird here with WGF biologist Erika Peckham accompanying the transfer.

This turned out to be a one and a half hour flight from Gillette to Cody even with the strong winds in our area. Thanks to Ryan for doing such a super job. The other thing they did was to take beautiful PHOENIX, the burned Red-tailed Hawk, back to Diane so she (the bird, not Diane) could be driven to Sheridan for release where she was found.

And thanks to lird Flying Service of Ekalaka, MT, they run Flightline, for donating the cost of the trip to Cody. That saved us many, many hundreds of dollars and has given this beautiful owl a chance to return to the wild if the surgery on the broken wing is successful.

UPDATE: Surgery has been completed and now it's only time that will let me know if it worked out well enough for HALO to fly again. Fingers crossed everyone, okay!

Sunday, February 9, 2014


This is BLACKJACK, an adult American Crow who came in from Greybull. He was spotted walking alongside the road, after dark, by volunteer Sara Sprung. She knew that wasn't normal so turned around and headed back to see why the bird was on the ground. When she got to the bird there was a cat trying to catch him too.

Luckily Sara prevailed and brought the bird to me. Xrays revealed not a broken wing but an air rifle pellet lodged in his chest but not known if it was in his digestive tract or in the muscle. A follow up xray proved it to be in his chest muscle and therefore ruled out his getting lead poisoning from it leaching into his body.

The other thing noticed in the xray was some inflammation to his left wing muscle between his shoulder and elbow. That will take time to repair itself. In the meantime he's doing well and will be released when ready to resume his life.

Oh yes, he's wearing a hawk hood to keep him from eating our fingers as he's being examined. Turns out they work for corvids too.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

They are away

I'm cheering them on as they headed for the river and far trees.

This morning I was joined by Susan Osborne and Sara Sprung in the release of two bald eagles. These amazing adult birds came to me many months ago from my friend Diane over in Gillette after she retired. They had both suffered from broken wings and she wasn't sure they would fly again but that question was answered around 11:00a.m. today.

As you can see they were both very anxious to leave their crates and then flew off in the same direction towards the river. This was just above the Corbett Dam east of Cody where the habitat should provide them with whatever they need.

I was originally told they are both females but I believe one is a male. They shared the top of my eagle barn tower and even started carrying sticks, grass and weeds up there as if they were building a nest. Normally I would have returned them to where they came from but as they've been gone from there for over a year, and have apparently bonded, I opted to release them at the same time here so they can continue to strengthen their relationship. Of course I will never know if they do but wish them the best in the rest of their lives.

UPDATE: I drove out to the release site this morning (Monday) and the two eagles were sharing a tree altho they took off when they spotted me above them on the cliff. I am so thrilled they are together, apparently they have become a bonded pair. The river was flowing even tho it's still very cold. There was also a large flock of ducks right under where the eagles were perching so a food source is nearby.