Sunday, February 23, 2014
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.