Wednesday, April 30, 2014

More new little ones

This is the latest arrival in the cavy room. Two moms had a total of eight babies, one had five the other three. Their dad is TJ and he's been one before, these little ones are just as cute as can be.

Punk kid

His name is PUNK but he's not a kid. This is an extremely handsome adult male Kestrel in breeding colors. He seems to have hit a window last week and is now flying well enough to be returned to his mate. She's been flying around calling for him, wondering where in the world he's gone to. He's being returned to his territory tomorrow.

UPDATE: The release went just the way it should have. There were two kestrels at the site but just before opening PUNK's crate they flew off. He headed for the tip of a dead tree and sat there. Then he flew up to the top of a tall tree and was immediately joined by another kestrel. I have no idea if it is his mate, couldn't see the coloration on their backs due to the suns position.

Just before I left Ken's place one of them flew over to the transformer right next to the drive. Still was facing me so don't know if it was PUNK or not. I'll let the three of the little falcons figure out who's who.

Friday, April 18, 2014

A wonderful day for all

First step to freedom. Loki, the human, opens the crate door for LOKI, the eagle.
First full wing beat.
He never looked back, just forward to his future as a wild and free bird.

Back on December 13th this beautiful almost two year old Bald Eagle arrived here with a broken left wing. Dr. Blessing inserted a pin into the ulna and then the wait began to see if the bone would repair itself and be strong enough for flight. The pin was removed on January 28th and after another two weeks he was put into the eagle flight barn.

It took him about six weeks to finally make it up to the high wall perch but after he found out it was possible he only came down to the ground for food.

Today he was set free at a perfect spot, on Joyce and Nic Patrick's place on the Southfork. With a mile of river front and a large bluff overlooking it, the site was all this eagle could have wished for. It was sunny, calm and beautiful in Cody when we started to drive the 22 miles to Patrick's. A half hour later it was gale force winds, trying to rain and cloudy.

The release went beautifully as you can see from the photos. Thanks to Dan Thiele, WGF, who drove LOKI over the mountain from Buffalo, Dr. Blessing for his usual excellent surgical work, Sara and Loki Sprung for assisting in the release and Joyce and Nic, their daughter, Becky and one grandchild as an enthusiastic cheering section and for volunteering their place as a release site.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My "angel" is flying away

This is certainly not an angel altho his name is HALO. He's a nasty owl and was not at all pleased to be caught up this morning. Little did he know but he was flying free in about an hour. Sara, Loki and I drove up the Northfork near Wapiti, drove south on a very muddy, slippery road into the National Forest and opened the door of the crate. He blasted out and headed west, we never saw him land.

HALO came here in February after being flown over from Story via Gillette. He had a fractured wing and was very weak. Needless to say, this photo shows just how strong is is now. Thanks to Diane Morse in Gillette for arranging the charter flight, Bob and Ryan of Flightline for donating their services, Erika with the WGF who accompanied the owl here and Dr. Malcolm Blessing for the repair surgery on the broken wing bone.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My baby has flown away

It happened a couple months ago, got the photos today from his trainer, Master Falconer Chris Pfister. This amazing young Prairie Falcon came here in such a starved condition I didn't think he'd make it through the night. He only weighed nine ounces, about half his normal weight. Thanks to rehabber, Diane Morse, who gave him a fighting chance with her first night emergency care, he did and has now been released.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Yes, there was a 90% chance of about one inch of snow last night, or possibly rain. Well, it was snow and it's still blowing around. There are drifts about a half a foot deep and it's stuck to everything. Not the latest snow on record, that would be in July one year way back when. I think I'll take advantage of this moisture and sprinkle some wildflower seeds on top of it over my small tree garden so they'll get a head start in germination. Of course a lot of my bushes and a couple trees are already putting out buds, don't know what will happen to them. I'll bet, tho, that the weeds will come up like gang busters when this melts.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mine, it's all mine

A friend who has a couple cockatiels and parakeets, took over raising a baby "tiel" for me when my adults abandoned her. HONEY is all grown up now and has decided to become a mom too.

Well.........that won't work as she doesn't have a mate and is not laying eggs. She didn't care, so she tried to "sit" on a chicken egg in the carton. To keep her from become too frustrated when she kept falling off that huge egg, I gave her a half dozen eggs I've been keeping from hens who, for some reason, laid very small ones.

The top photo shows her picking out the one she liked. Bottom shows her in her "nest" under a couch end table, completely happy having one of her own.

Friday, April 4, 2014

A thin old man

This photo was taken today after I moved him out of the crate and into a 6'x 6' mew. He's doing so much better after only two days.

Yesterday I made yet another trip to Thermopolis to meet Pat Hnilicka of the USFWS. This time he brought me a Golden Eagle. The birds name is DEUCE and he's about as close to death as could be but still breathing. He only weighs 5.2 pounds which is about 3 pounds less than he should be.

I believe he's an electrocution, the most hideous thing to happen to such a magnificent raptor. DEUCE is, I belive, also very old, probably well into his teens. His right eye brow ridge is also damaged but the eye works. Even with all this against him he has spirit and so far so good.

I'm tubing him with lactated ringers and hand feeding him small pieces of venison steak. He's so pale and I wish I could give him a transfusion but that's not possible.

In the past weeks I've received way too many adult eagles who are starving. In some cases there doesn't seem to be a cause, in one he was hit by a vehicle and had internal injuries. And then there are the electrocutions, they account for two. DEUCE and I will put up a valiant fight and hope for an excellent outcome.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

He's on his own now

After a long time, difficult surgery, and learning how to use his foot again, the time came today for HIGGINS to fly free. I took him down to a large ranch south of Meeteetse for the momentous occasion. He didn't want to leave the crate but when he came out and sat on the bank above the creek he rethought the situation.

His strong flight ended up on one of the ancient corral poles so he could just look around and enjoy freedom at last. He proved he was strong enough to make live kills so there was no reason for him to stay here any longer. HIGGINS was an amazing bird while here and I know he'll do well out where he belongs.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Not a joke !

This isn't an April Fools Day joke, it's April 2nd and this is what I woke up to today. Yes, that's about six inches of snow! As you can see, it's still coming down so who knows how much we'll end up with. And here I thought, with our upper 50 degree temperatures over the weekend, that Spring really had sprung. NOT! Back to using 4WD to get in and out of my road. And what in the world will all the songbirds, trees and flowers think when they venture out this morning?????