Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Number four

Nathan holding little SPENCER after his rescue.

YUM! Mouse pieces are great food for the baby.
Nathan called me this evening to tell me that a friend called him with yet another baby GHO on the ground under the nest. We drove out there and picked up a four week old owlet. Again, the nest was an old magpie nest and it was in horrible shape. The baby apparently rolled out of it and fell about 20 feet.

Because we couldn't put this little fellow back, he's now in a cage with a mirror for a "sibling". I'll keep him until he's ready for release and he'll be mentored by my foster GHO, SMIDGE.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

It worked!

Steve and Betsy sent me these photos of our successful nest transfer.

Putting one of the babies into the nest nest.

You have to look very closely but mom is in the new nest on the right side. You can barely see her ears sticking up over the rim.

First time ever

Yesterday was so exciting. Betsy and Steve called to say that there wasn't a third baby GHO in the nest and the adults were very upset. I had recovered the second one on Friday after it too fell from the nest.

We all decided to try something that's been done before but not by me. I took my extension ladder and a large wicker basket to the nest site. It was only about 25' up and in a good spot to reach with the ladder. With Steve holding the bottom I made the climb up and found out why the babies had fallen. It was a very old magpie nest, totally flat on top and leaning at an angle. So much so I don't see how the eggs stayed there for brooding.

I removed the old one and then wired the basket right next to the site. Betsy had gathered various sized sticks and twigs so the babies would have something to hold on to when in the nest. Then came the babies. I put both of them in the basket along with the remains of a baby rabbit that the adult had been feeding them.

This photo shows me hauling the nest wicker nest to the site. I got word this morning that an adult is in the new nest with the other one sitting in a nearby tree. So far so good.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Foster babies

Today I picked up two kittens at our animal shelter. Mom had been killed and I had told the shelter that if they ever got in any wee baby puppies or kittens that I would foster them. The two little orange kittens are one female and one male. The little one is the boy. I believe they're about three to three and a half weeks old. They aren't nursing very well so I'll start them on some baby solid food. Now for some names.............

Friday, April 22, 2016

Oh my, now there are two

I had to drive out the Southfork to pick up a second baby GHO. I was afraid this would happen as the nest is so small and with three babies and an adult there just isn't room to move around.

That's RYAN on the left and TYLER on the right. I haven't introduced them to my foster mom yet, I want to make sure they're eating first. These two babies are about three weeks old.

Happy Earth Day, 2016

Nathan came by this morning on his way to Sheridan. He was wearing one of my favorite t-shirts and I had on my yearly Earth Day shirt so he took a selfie.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

First baby

This little three week old cutie, TYLER, fell out of his nest late this afternoon. It was a bit crowded up there with three babies and mom. Because owls don't build their own nests, they borrow, the one they choose may not be large enough when the babies are growing. That was the case here as mom chose an old magpie nest. GHO's usually have a couple babies, this mom outdid herself with three.

Luckily the home owner has been keeping a good watch on the family and found the baby right away. Because there wasn't a way to get the chick back to the nest I brought him home and will hand him over to SMIDGE, my GHO foster mom. For now he can see his "sibling" in the mirror.

I am honored

Last February I was told by Zach Hutchinson, the President of the Murie Audubon Society in Casper, that I had won an award given by them. Because I was unable to attend their banquet, Zach said he would bring it to me. That happened last Thursday. Today I received his photo of that event.

It is for their 2016 Conservation Award "In Appreciation Of Your Contribution To The Protection and Conservation of Wyoming's Wildlife". I hadn't even known I was nominated and am so honored to have won.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Three are gone


Today is the start of a new life for three of my baby Swainson's Hawks. They've been here all winter because they weren't ready to handle a 12,000 mile migration to Argentina for the winter. They required a leader, even better, a large group of swainson's to lead them to their wintering grounds. Because the adults had already left it was necessary to keep them here until the older birds returned to the area.

That happened this past week so my friend, Julie, and I drove them to a wonderful release site and opened crate doors. The most exciting part was getting to that area. With all the rain we've been having, the two track alongside the canal was extremely muddy. And the side road to the area I wanted was so bad that I parked the truck and we walked downhill for a bit carrying the crates. I only fell twice when my feet slipped out from under me. So much for my clean jeans.

HUDSON took off wonderfully, heading left, and landed in a far tree. That was after WILSON finally decided to leave her crate. She also flew left to a far tree. Then it was PATTISON's turn. She walked out of the crate, stood for a couple moments and then flew off to the right and flew and flew. She finally landed on a far rock outcrop where some small birds let her know they weren't pleased at her choice of perches.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Surprise, surprise!

I woke up to this lovely sight this morning at 6 o'clock. I knew it was trying to snow when I went to bed but it managed to figure it out. We're lucky compared to the southeast corner of the state and the Denver area. And we, of course, need the moisture for the upcoming harvest seasons, but it was still a shock.

Most of the trees and bushes are already leafed out so don't know what they're thinking. I don't think this will last long as the ground is very warm.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Amazing news!

I had some wonderful news today. Yes, I'm being extremely sarcastic. Last Thursday I wasn't feeling all that perky and started coughing more than usual. Then on Saturday morning, about 2 o'clock a.m., my heart started bouncing around. Thinking I was having another minor afib attack, my first thoughtwas "gee, I wonder if Sara and Julie are in town". They're the helpers who do chores if I'm not here.

Then when I got up at 6 o'clock a.m., my heart was behaving normally. Monday I had to deliver eggs and pick up some feed, 750 pounds of it. Because I was still leery I asked Nathan to help move the 50 pound feed bags. I don't know what I'd do without that young man.

Well, Sunday and Monday nights my coughing was horrible so I decided to go into the walk in at Cody Clinic this morning to be checked over. They asked lots of questions and listened to my heart and lungs and finally decided to do a chest xray.

Back on March 19th I had my pneumonia 23 shot. Supposed to keep you from getting problem. NOT! I now have pneumonia and am on antibiotics for seven days. I'm not feeling all that bad, a bit tired, but it's not stopping me from doing my chores. Such fun.....

Friday, April 8, 2016

Harrowing trip

Yesterday morning I sent my one year old male Rough-legged Hawk, KING, to his new forever home. He is now living at the 5th oldest zoo in the US, the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park, in Binghamton, NY.

Unfortunately, because we're so small, we have to go somewhere to get somewhere. And his trip involved stops in SLC, then Detroit and finally Binghamton. All went well until the plane was heading for the last stop. It was scheduled to arrive in Binghamton at 11:09pm, Nancy was going to call me to let me know he made it okay. I got a call about 11:20 but not with good news.

When the plane was not quite half way to the final stop it developed some sort of problem so it turned back to Detroit. Poor KING had spent 10 hours in his crate being moved from here to there so I was concerned. Nancy called me about 20 minutes later saying that Delta was sending another plane out and it should arrived in Binghamton in a couple hours.

I got an email from her at 1:00 this morning telling me he made it and was doing just fine. This is the first time for a plane problem to happen when I've sent a bird out. As I have two more leaving IBR, one to KS and one to AK, I certainly hope it's the last.

Saturday, April 2, 2016


I have lots of rabbits living on my property and this is nesting season. I also have a bunny barn where I raise domestic rabbits. Usually the two never meet but yesterday I found a wild cottontail inside the bunny barn digging a nest hole. The screen door had swung open so the animal decided to take advantage of the soft dirt. Needless to say I'll fill it in but she certainly made progress in a short amount of time.

Badly wounded

This amazing Peregrine Falcon, JIMMY, was probably hit by a vehicle or possibly hit something as he was chasing a meal. His left wing was torn off between his elbow and wrist. I'm hoping he'll survive this ordeal and be a candidate for surgery to clean up the tip of his wing so he can be an educational bird on a fist. Right now he's fighting hard and I'll be with him the whole way.

UPDATE: He did not make it.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Deer update

Remember DANCER? She's the fawn I got in when she was only a couple weeks old, if that? She's now a real deer and is spending more nights away from her foster home barn. Here she in on another walkabout. She had been gone a couple days but returned. She decided to head out again but picked the wrong night, a storm came through and dumped a lot of snow. She was back again a couple days later ready for a square meal and warm bed.

Eventually she'll just leave and only show up from time to time but not forever. She's done really well thanks to her foster parents and their excellent care of her during transition to a "real deer".