Monday, March 30, 2015

Wee screech owl

His eyes don't quite match but only weighing 5.4 ounces isn't much when hit by a large vehicle. He has a concussion and couldn't see a thing when first brought in. This is PIP who was found north of Powell alongside a road where some construction was being done. These teeny owls are nocturnal hunters so he was probably hit during the night.

The bad news is that the head trauma has caused blindness. The good news is that his vision appears to be coming back somewhat. He hasn't eaten a mouse on his own yet so I do have to cut one up and hand feed him. He's not thrilled with that procedure nor am I.

Hopefully he will regain his sight enough for release, only time will answer that question.

UPDATE: Last night he found his mouse and ate most of it. That means he has enough sight coming back that the future is looking brighter.

UPDATED UPDATE: PIP is now out in the front room. It's 8'x 12' with window ledges to sit on. That's just where I put him and that's where he was when I checked before bedtime. He has two walls of widows, seems he just wanted to sit there and look at the world passing by. He also ate his mouse and this morning was up on an overhead beam watching as I came in the mew. Looks better and better for him.

Severely wounded

My newest patient was found by Chris and Ati during a bike ride on Heart Mountain yesterday. HEMINGWAY, and adult redtail, was found laying in a ditch unable to fly. When I met them at the corner of 294 and the Powell hiway I didn't believe he would live. He has suffered a severe blow to the right side of his head which unfortunately has caused damage to that eye. His left eye appears okay. There is also a small spot of skull showing on the top of his head.

He is now resting in a cage in my kitchen with a heating pad nearby. Altho he was standing at six o'clock this morning he isn't now. At this point I'm taking it one hour at a time. He's in good weight and I believe him to be well into his teens. His prognosis is very guarded but I have hopes he will survive.

This is the time of year when raptors are either sitting on eggs or in the process of spiffing up the nest in preparation of doing so. If HEMINGWAY has a mate we will have lost the babies but if, by some miracle he makes it back to the wild, they will probably find each other.

UPDATE: My old man has made some major improvement in the last 24 hours. He's standing most of the time, the eye ointment is helping him keep his right eye open and tonight he swallowed most of his mouse pieces when I put them in his mouth. He's still on pain meds and antibiotics but I believe he's strong enough to move to my cage room where he'll have a larger living space.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring is here ! ! !

Just as I got back from my walk down the road I heard what I feel is the best sign of Spring arriving. A meadowlark was on one of my fence posts singing his heart out to find a lady love. How sweet it is.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

First time visitor

I went out to put the chickens to bed and gather eggs when I caught a small movement out near the redtails pen. I couldn't believe it, for the first time ever a male Ring-necked Pheasant visited the property. Well, at least it's the first time I'd seen one. He's a handsome fellow and let me get quite close for this photo. Hopefully this means more of them will take up residence in the area.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ouch, ouch

I know this happens to humans but I was unprepared to find an adult female Mallard with a fish hook in her right cheek. Thanks to a sharp eyed Eric Holdren and his children, she is now floating free in Beck Lake. He and the kids spotted her during a walk around the lake. Eric couldn't figure out why she didn't fly off when they got close. The long fishing line, with an attached bobber, was caught up in a tree branch.

Here I am after wading out to where she was snagged and cutting the line. Luckily the water depth was blow the top of my irrigation boots. It was also very chilly and windy this morning. I managed to push the hook the rest of the way through her cheek and had Eric cut the barb off with my wire cutters.

We then walked back to the edge of the lake and gave her a gentle toss. She flew off a ways and landed, very happy to be free of the tree, fish line and humans.

Friday, March 20, 2015

First day of Spring

And this is the first day of the rest of their lives. Today, with the help of Chuck Preston and Nathan Horton, my two baby Golden Eagles flew free. Chuck found the perfect place near Oregon Basin. The two men carried the heavy crates to a large flat rock as a takeoff point.

DEUX was the first to make a break for freedom and wasted no time heading for a higher hill.

This is JANUS, he came in with a broken wing that had partially healed by the time he'd been found over in Buffalo. As the fracture was in excellent alignment, no surgery was needed, just a support bandage for a couple weeks. He was the second into the air and immediately headed for the top of the same hill.

This photo shows both birds on the hill but DEUX landed lower. I could just imagine her saying "crap, now I have to climb the hill". She did and the last photo shows them together looking off to the east and wide open skies. They both left this temporary perch and flew out of sight in a matter of moments. There is a prairie dog town nearby so they shouldn't want for a meal.

Even tho they both came from Buffalo they aren't siblings so I hope they will stay together and perhaps become a bonded pair.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day !

And may the luck of the Irish be with you. These two photos are of my great grandparents who immigrated to Canada in the early 1800s from County Cork in Ireland. Their son, Tom Stanton was born in Canada but then moved to Illinois where my mom and I were born.

Great grandmother Lucy McDermott, as a middle aged lady and in her older years.

Great grandfather, Loren Stanton

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Rare sight

Normally golden eagles nest on cliffs in this area of the country because there are lots of them to choose from. This photo, taken today, is a female golden sitting in her tree nest. This is only the third one in a tree that I've seen. I have no idea how long she's been setting and will monitor her often to make sure all is okay.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dark chocolate

Her name is DOVE (my favorite brand of dark chocolate). She's an adult female Golden Eagle, I think about 5-6 years old. She was found on the ground in the town of Casper only able to fly a few feet and not very high off the ground. Thanks to WGF personnel, Heather O'Brien, Cody Bish and Aaron Kerr, I didn't have to make that 3.5 hour drive, we met each other in Shoshoni.

I took her to Dr. Malcolm Blessing this morning for xrays as her right wing seemed a bit weak. She does have a partial dislocation of her right ulna at the elbow and a fracture of the radius. Those are the two bones between her wrist and elbow. Dr. Blessing did what he could to reduce the dislocation but only time will prove if it's enough for her to fly well enough for release.

She arrived in very good condition and ate a whole cavy the next morning. Today she's dining on a half a rabbit. As you can see from the photo, I caught her just as she was removing the hair. It's all over the ground and there's a big clump in her beak. I've no doubt she'll gain the two to three pounds she needs.