Sunday, March 27, 2016


That's his name according to the kids on the Annis Ranch in Alcova (pop. 76). They found him sitting on a fence post unable to fly. That's because he has a broken left wing. You can't see it but the wing is now bandaged so he won't do more damage by moving it around.

This Long-eared Owl is quite the feisty bird so he should do well when he has his wing repaired. Hopefully that will happen after he goes in tomorrow for xrays and an exam. Thanks to Toni Annis and her gang for driving to meet me in Thermop with the bird.

UPDATE: Sad news. Surgery was attempted to repair the fracture but unseen in the xray was a crack in the large bone. It split open the entire length of the humerus which was not surgically fixable. He was humanely euthanized.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Superman is gone

Well, CLARK is now gone. This is a photo of my Peregrine Falcon being released after six months of recovery and training. Chris Pfister, a master falconer, and my subpermittee, spent that time helping this amazing falcon recover from a bad wound to the back of one wing after it was sutured closed.

Because these birds eat birds, and have to be very quick and able to switch directions instantly, he had to be at 100% for release. Thanks to his expertise, Chris brought this almost one year old male falcon to peak performance and ready for release.

As you can see, this is a beautiful habitat full of small birds, and even pigeons, the perfect food source for CLARK. Thanks to the Lichtendahl's for spotting him and calling me so he could make this awesome release.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Yesterday I received the sixth bird who had been shot in the past year. Most of them had shotgun pellets in their bodies, the crow I got in yesterday was shot with a BB gun. I don't know what possesses people to shoot something just to say they can and did but it's very frustrating to know they'll probably never be caught doing so.

The oldest bird, that I know of, who had been shot was a 20 year old male redtail. He was hatched and banded in CO and was shot in Riverton. He managed to do what most wild birds can't do, he lived to a very old age. And that was ended by some #^$%@ person who wanted to kill something.

So far I've received a rough-legged hawk, a bald eagle, a raven, two crows and a mallard, all shot and with the exception of the roughie, all died. The roughie suffered a fractured wing but with surgery she has survived. She can't fly well enough for release so she's heading for Operation Wildlife in Linwood, KS as a school bird. One in six survived, that is not acceptable but there's nothing I can do other than try to help those injured by ignorant, uncaring individuals.


As all of you know, Ironside Bird Rescue is a 501(c)(3) non-profit facility. Our funding comes from various foundations who award grants to us so we can continue to help all wild birds. And from individuals who donate money to help defray costs.

Just to show you what it costs to run this place, I've totalled up the expenses for the past seven years. It comes as a shock to me too as this does not include any type of salary. I've never received one since I started IBR 29 years ago and I am a one person work force. I now have five volunteers to help if I'm out of town and with some construction. Otherwise it's just me.

2009: 16,368.01
2010: 13,638.98
2011: 14,645.26
2012: 30,912.00 This includes truck repairs and finally a new truck thanks to an anonymous donor for half the cost of it.
2013: 16,061.84
2014: 14,180.30
2015: 22,675.05 This jump is because I now have to pay for all veterinary care.

I couldn't do what I do without all the support from everyone. Thank you all.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Awesome eagle

photo from Moose Jaw Bravo Photography

Last week an amazing bird was brought to the Teton Raptor Center in Jackson. An adult female bald eagle was found near the elk refuge unable to fly. The TRC thought she had been hit by a vehicle, and are still not sure what happened to her. The most extraordinary thing is that she was wearing a federal band on her leg which was put on there in 1982. She is 34 years old! She's slowly recovering but with her age I doubt if she'll be released even if she can fly. She deserves to be in a facility where she won't have to worry about her next meal.

As of now she is the second oldest living banded bald eagle on record. There is another who is 35. And the oldest banded bald eagle on record, as far as I know, is one who lived to the age of 38 before dying.

Besides the 20 year old banded male redtail I got in a couple years ago, this eagle is the second oldest bird I've seen. The oldest is a golden eagle who was injured as an adult and taken in by a 16 year old man so he could help her. When I met the two of them, Gus had just celebrated his 56th birthday. The eagle was still with him making her at least 45 years old. Because he found her before the rules changed, he was allowed to keep her with him. Of course he could never have another one. When I met them the eagle was blind but doing really well. He fed her a good diet and she, in turn, was a companion to him as they grew old together. She's gone now and her body was returned to the mountain where she was found.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Solid gold

And he certainly is. This is an adult male golden eagle found up on the mountain off of Sunset Rim Road. He was spotted by three people while hiking and biking. Luckily Ward met me at the base of the road and led me to where this handsome fellow was laying. I don't know what caused his injury but his left wing is badly broken altho it is mid-shaft humerus, the easiest to fix. The bad news is that the wing had been twisted in a circle twice so I don't know how much the blood supply has been hurt.

More bad news, the pairs are now setting up to lay eggs and he probably has a mate in the area. There are a few nests nearby, anyone of which could be his home base. If his surgery does go well, it will be a couple months, at least, before he'd be ready to go back to the wild. That is way past breeding time so we've lost this season.

UPDATE: He's gone. I got up during the night to check on him and he was dead. Altho he didn't spend much time on the ground after he was injured, it was bad and just too much for his body to take in. Thanks so much to Peter, Buzzy and Ward for spotting him and calling for help.