Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Some improvement

Some good words about GRUMPY, the female Osprey. I decided to try something different so put a hobble on her legs. It stops them from splaying out and has now allowed her to stand. She stands on her right leg just fine but still can't open her left foot. And it's a weaker leg.

Osprey are notorious for not eating on their own and so far she's typical. I've had to hand feed her since she got here but today I put her into a larger mew, with a flat floor perch and gave her a whole trout. I cut it into small strips hoping it would make it easier for her to pull off pieces. I hope it works.

UPDATE: She is now wearing "toe shoes", something I invented for use on a golden eagle suffering from lead poisoning. She couldn't keep her foot open so the individual splints allowed her to walk normally. GRUMPY is now wearing them on the four toes of her left foot and they seem to be working on her too. And the most wonderful news, today she ate a whole trout by herself. Osprey rarely do that in captivity and by doing so her stress level will be much less. Now if her left foot just comes back enough for release......

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Special visitors

Ian and me in 1978.

Ian and me two days ago.
Ian and Annie two days ago.
I had a wonderful four days starting Thursday when my godchild, Ian and his wife came for a visit. I first met him when he was two days old. His parents and I were living in Boulder, CO at the time, meeting when we were keeping horses at the same stable. Unfortunately they moved back to TX when Ian was just a few weeks old but we kept in touch.

I spent a long weekend down there when he was eight but hadn't seen him since then. He and Annie are now living in Denver and he is now 37 years old. It was a super visit altho the weather certainly didn't cooperate. They stayed in a friends sheep wagon, she rents it out for travelers who want to stay in a non-typical place.

Ian and Annie tried to go to the Park through Cooke City but again, the weather said NO! They did get to see how beautiful the Chief Joseph trail is and I took them to the Historical Center here in Cody.

Now that they're only about nine hours away we should be able to see each other more often. The next visit will hopefully include his mom, Linda, so we can all go tour the Park.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Brilliant colors

I got a call today from a lady in town who has an injured pet bird. I don't usually work on anything but wild birds but said I would help PETER if I could. This is one of the most beautiful finches in the world, a Lady Gouldian. He and his brother were perched for the night when they were suddenly scared. Their dashing around the cage resulted in this bird losing a lot of the flight feathers on his left wing and causing damage to his left foot. I put a small bandage on it in hopes he will regain use of the toes.

He's growing up

Little PETER is becoming bolder with age. I couldn't open the bird cage door so this photo has bars in front of him but he's now able to spring up to the top of his box/den. He's very active and altho I'm still giving him milk he's now munching on greens. He'll soon be ready for release in the back of my property where there are lots of rabbits living.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hanging in there

But in this case it's a horrible thing to have happen. This photo shows the guys from Powder River Energy rescuing an adult female osprey from one of their power poles. GRUMPY had been building a nest, had a half dozen sticks in place, when she apparently stepped the wrong direction and got her left leg caught in a strand of baling twine.

Osprey tend to use a lot of non-nest material in the construction, plastic bags, twine, rags, etc. I'm amazed that more young birds aren't caught just before they fledge.

Thank you to Dan Thiele, WGF and Brad Rogers, USFWS, for making the arrangements to get the bird out of this sticky situation and driving her here from Buffalo. That's about a three hour drive over the mountains to the east.

Right now it's wait and see time. It may take many weeks for the damage to repair itself. The really bad thing is that osprey are very difficult to keep in captivity as they don't self feed very well. That means force feeding which is not fun for either of us. Hopefully she'll get into eating trout by herself.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Nest repurposing

This cutie is DAVIS, a baby GHO now sitting in the rescued raven nest. Sitting next to him is his foster mom, SMIDGE. She is a super foster and didn't waste a minute getting up to his level. I don't know if she'll feed him but I have lots of mice thawing.

Little DAVIS was found on the ground in Manderson after some horrific winds over the weekend. The nest is about 70' up in an old cottonwood, way too far to replace him in it. There is one more chick in the nest and will hopefully stay there. It's an old hawk nest, they're usually large enough for GHO's to use.

Thanks to Sabra and Johnny Davis for noticing the chick on the ground and agreeing to meet me in Greybull for the hand off. Last year was a record for baby GHOs coming to IBR, hopefully this year doesn't come close to that number (12).

Friday, April 17, 2015

Wee baby

I got a call yesterday from The Barn here in Cody about a baby rabbit they found in their parking lot. I figured it was just a youngster out of the nest going about its business. NOT! This little one is only about as long as my first finger. The eyes are open so it's almost two weeks old but should not be out of the nest this young. I wasn't sure if it would live through the night but so far so good.

Female rabbits feed their babies at night but I'm doing it three times a day. He's stronger and more lively, perhaps he will grow up to be released at the back of my property. I have lots of rabbits around here, I'm very protective of them. Of course I can't save them from marauding raptors, fox or coyotes, they have to take their chances in life.

Necessary removal

This awesome nest was built by a pair of local ravens. The removal was necessary due to the fact that they chose one of my power poles for its location. Because the chance of any chicks, or even the parents, being electrocuted, I called Rocky Mountain Power to come and take it down. Mark did a wonderful job as it came off in one piece and fell to the ground.

My plan is to place it on a corner of my eagle flight barn in hopes that the adults, or another raven pair, will use it. Maybe even a GHO as they borrow nests. This one is full of large and small twigs plus what looks like pillow stuffing and deer hair. Possibly even cow or horse hair too. It's well made and will be available for whatever bird wants to use it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ahhhhhhhhhhh Spring

At least in Wyoming. This is what I woke up to this morning, about six inches on the flat ground. It's also only 30 degrees out there plus windy, not a pleasant day so far. By tomorrow we'll be much nicer, this white stuff should be gone, or mostly gone. then the poor bushes and trees that are budding will be able to recover.....I hope.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Not done yet

Right now, 4 o'clock on Tuesday afternoon, it is 73 degrees outside. Tonight the prediction is in the 20's with 70% chance of snow. Tomorrow in the 30s with the same percent of snow. My poor bushes and trees, they're starting to leaf out. I hope this doesn't cause too much damage.

Jurassic Park in WY?

When I got the call about this bird and saw it for the first time I was baffled. It looked to me sort of like a turken which is another name for a bare-necked chicken. But the feathers were not at all like normal chickens. And the knob on top of his beak???? He was tame and probably someone's pet but whose????
He arrived at the Coca Cola office on the Husky Road this morning. Mike McCarthy, the gentleman who called me, said he'd seen it on Sunday around his yard but didn't give it a thought other than wondering what it was. He lives in Wapiti, 20+ miles west of here, and when he stopped his truck at work this strange looking bird jumped down from underneath it.
I stopped by Linda and Elijah's to ask their opinion and to have them foster it until the mystery was solved. They're the ones who thought they knew what it was.....a turken crossed with a silkie. I Googled that and sure enough, that's what he is. We decided to name him C-REX (chickenasaurus rex), doesn't he look like a species of dinosaur? And those weird feet! Mike is going to ask around his neighborhood to see just where he came from so we can get him home.

UPDATE: His name is MARVIN and he'll be a year old next month. He was a learning project for a kindergarten class at Eastside School last year. Because of his personality and uniqueness he remains with his teacher and will do so forever. Yay, MARVIN!

This is a photo from the internet of a very beautiful female turken x silkie, isn't she something?

Fore ! ! ! !

Her name is NANCY LOPEZ as that's the name of a famous female golfer from many years ago. This beautiful, well fed adult female great horned owl was found just off the 15th green at the Powell Golf Club. At first I thought she had a broken wing but xrays show that's not the case. Perhaps it is a dislocated shoulder or possibly a fractured coracoid bone. Dr. Blessing will look at the xrays tomorrow.

The unfortunate thing is that this time of year there are already baby GHOs in the nest. If she only has one and it's old enough to rip and tear food on its own then the male can provide for it. His job is only to bring food to the nest, not pull off small pieces and hand them to the chicks. If more than one, it may require bringing them to IBR and letting their mum take care of them here.

In the meantime NANCY is in a small cage sitting beside a rabbit carcass. She certainly isn't starving at 3.75 pounds, but just in case it's there for her to snack on tonight.

UPDATE: Today, Monday 4/10, NANCY had her dislocated shoulder put back in place. Now we'll have to see if it worked and stays where it belongs after the support bandage comes off.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Free again

This morning little PIP, the screech owl who came in after being hit by a vehicle, flew free. I took him over to Dee and Jim's place off the Powell Hiway and found the perfect release site. When I opened the crate door he just walked to the opening and then scanned the area. He'd look at me and then look away almost as if he couldn't believe he was not surrounded by walls.

This photo is of his first stopping place after making the decision to leave me behind. I hope he does well and catches lots of the mice that Dee says are living around their barns.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

He's doing much better now

Here's a photo I just took of HEMINGWAY. He's now out in the cage room, standing up on a perch, and thinking about the meal sitting next to him. I don't know if he'll actually eat any of the rabbit but if not I'll cut up mice for him.

His right eye looks very bad but it has made great improvement in a short time. Hopefully this will continue improving in the next few weeks and he will be able to see out of it.

UPDATE: Sad news. Another examination of his eyes reveals total blindness so he was humanely euthanized. Such bad news for a grand old man.