Thursday, September 25, 2014

No sign of slowing down and we are bursting at the seams.......................

Now in possession of 9 Golden eagles with various issues along with 2 American Crows, 3 Ravens, 1 Coopers hawk, 3 Swainson's hawks, 1 Peregrine falcon, 1 Red-Tail hawk and 1 Sandhill Crane.  Now that is just as of today.  Tomorrow, who knows?!

Of these patients, several cannot be released back into the wild due to their injuries.  All of these patients require supportive care everyday and some, those with more serious issues, more medical care on top of everything.  We are working on a transfer of one of our non-releasable Golden eagles to a facility in North Carolina where he (our eagle) will be living with a female eagle in a static display situation, meaning there will be little handling of these birds.  They will not be used for educational programs on the fist.  I feel this will be the best situation for this particular bird.  As the rehabilitator, we are responsible for what is best for our patients and that varies, of course, from animal to animal.  We will also be placing another one of our Goldens with a facility in Indiana, along with our non-releasable Peregrine falcon.
We have recently released 2 Coopers hawks and a Red-Tail hawk, a Long-Eared owl, an American Kestrel and a Cottontail rabbit.  All of these releases were successful and went off without any problems.
The days are becoming cooler, as are the nights and Fall migration is on.  Hummingbirds have already moved on and the raptors are already in process of migration as well.  I've seen a few Turkey Vultures still in the area, but that should change any day.  Soon, the Merlins and Rough-Legged hawks will be arriving in Utah.  So much change going on and life goes on, sometimes needing our help along the way.  Enjoy the photo's.

Connie holding Sandhill Crane on intake exam

Adult Raven electrocuted and burned in Carbon County, Utah

Adult female Coopers hawk that will not be able to survive in the wild.  Looking for placement in an educational program for this girl.

Connie holding one of our newest Golden eagles from the Mounds area of Carbon County, Utah

Male Kestrel on banding day just before release.
Long-Eared owl on release day.

First year female Red-Tail hawk from San Juan County, Utah.  Gunshot victim.

Adult female Swainsons, hawk from Salt Lake County.  Gunshot victim.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Time to take a stand if wildlife/raptors/bats matter to you

Please take the time to read the U.S. Fish and Wildlife proposal allowing more killing of Eagles in the United States to accomodate wind farms and their companies. Those of us involved in wildlife rehabilitation know that this has been going on for many years, the ugly little secret the wind industry doesn't want you to know about. There are other alternatives, but as always, cost outweighs the death of many many birds and bats every year. This is NOT a CLEAN industry as many have convinced their selves of. This petition can also be signed, adding your name to the Audubon's position on this matter. Lives are at stake.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

No sign of slowing down and Fall migration will be starting shortly.

So the craziness continues.
We have taken in many more birds and been able to do a few releases.  We look the releases as that is the 'pay off' for our work.   We want successful patients BACK where they belong after taking care of their injuries and illnesses and preparing them for their lives in the wild.  In order to do this successfully, we have to know WHAT it is that animal does in the wild, what it's niche is.  Then we have to be sure they can carry out this life, as intended.  There is a great deal to wildlife rehabilitation.  Many fields of expertise are required to do this correctly.  I love being a part of this profession.  It's a life long learning situation, as it should be.
We are currently caring for six Golden Eagles. We have two that we know can never be returned to the wild, due to their injuries.   We will hopefully be able to place these two individuals, with one of the Native Eagle Aviaries in the country, permitted to take non-releasable eagles.  Our newest Golden will be having surgery this Thursday for a fractured humerus in his right wing.
 He is a new fledgling Golden Eagle and should do well in surgery.  Obviously, we hope he heals well and can eventually go back into the wild.

We have also taken in two gunshot victims.  One, a Swainson's hawk from Salt Lake County and the other, a Red-Tail Hawk from San Juan County.  Both have been turned over to our state's wildlife officials in order for cases to be opened up and investigated.  The Red-Tail hawk is in poor condition as the initial gunshot happened between 10-14 days ago.  The bird has been unable to hunt and therefore is very thin and dehydrated.  The wound is also infected.  My job with him, at this point, is to get him stronger and take care of that infection and manage his pain.

We are getting ready to release a Ferruginous hawk that came to us from Monticello, Utah with 'failure to thrive' issues.
 Since coming to us, this bird has recovered nicely and has kill tested successfully.  He is very aggressive, which we love!  We had him banded yesterday with his federal band so tomorrow will be the day we take him back to that area of Utah to be released.
He was initially found sitting in a canoe on a womans property.  There was a little bit of water that had collected there in the canoe and I'm sure he was there to drink it.  He was very thin, dehydrated and weak.

Our Barn owl is about ready to be released as well.  She has already been banded.  We intend to let her go near here at an area known as Desert Lake.  It's a great area for an owl and she should do well.  She also kill tested successfully.

We admitted a Long-Eared owl recently.  This little guy came to us from the town of Ferron, Utah.  He has head trauma, but we can find nothing else.
 We are giving him anti-inflammatories to help with the pressure in his brain.  He is sure feisty for a head injury guy, but that's good with us!  Hopefully, his stay with us won't be a long one, depending on that head injury and any long term effects.

We also took in another Swainson's Hawk, this one from Summit County that appears to have been electrocuted.  There is some trauma to one of the feet/toes that we need to be concerned about, but x-rays showed no broken bones.
 We have him on antibiotics and pain medication.  These hawks will collectively be migrating down to Argentina soon, as they winter there and then return in Spring.
 Hopefully, we can get him back into good condition before they start migrating through Utah.  If not, he will have to 'winter over' with us until Spring.

Also, we released our little cat caught Robin yesterday.  This bird was mangled.  I haven't seen many in the shape he was in, survive.  He did very well and with new feather growth, happily took off.  I'm glad the people brought him to us immediately, instead of minimizing the problem so that we could start antibiotics immediately.  This was crucial to saving his life.

We have many more patients, but no more time for blogging.  Thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

And the craziness continues...........................................

It's been awhile since our last post.  So much has happened in that time, so I'll just go over some highlights.  Many more patients have needed our services and we have released many others when ready.  This year is the year of the Coopers Hawk and of course, the Golden Eagle.  The Golden's just keep coming and coming, mostly hit-by-vehicles.  This is always concerning, but the State has recently acknowledged a decline in the Golden population and it's of enough concern that they are monitoring nestlings in many nests by putting telemetry back packs on them while still in the nest.
They are doing this with the help of Hawk Watch International.  There may be others involved, but I only  know of HWI.  I'm sure there are several factors involved, not just one.  This isn't a result of the cyclical aspects of their prey either.  Something else is going on.  We will just keep doing our part with helping those that need rehabilitation in some way.

Our fundraiser went really well.  I have such wonderful support from that area and Yrma, Dave and Sara really worked their butts off gathering support, donations and working on the event itself.  We had many local artists support our work.  I personally appreciate everyones work and support.

These are Say's Phoebe's.  They came in after they were orphaned.  Their mother had built her nest in a camp trailer.  When the owners left to go camping, they heard these little guys chirping for their mother.  Long gone, they needed to come into rehab.  They have grown like feathery weeds, which we love of course.  They need to learn to eat on their own and then, they can be released back where they belong.
We recently released two little Cedar Waxwings, brought to us after being found on the ground, hopping down a sidewalk.  These two little ones had fledged a little too early and were clearly not ready to leave the nest so we helped them along with a proper diet and when they learned what they should be eating and ate on their own, they were released near Price.  We hope they are successful and live to produce many babies to add to their population.
Sadly, these releases don't get as much attention as a Golden eagle release or something larger, but they are just as important to us and take a great deal of time and expertise to do this correctly.  These little lives matter!

This little guy is a Western Bluebird.  He came in as a 'mystery' bird.  Very small and no feathers at that point.  He was found in a nest cavity with his siblings down near the Four-Corners region of Utah.  He was the only one found alive as the tree had fallen and the nestlings were all killed except for this little guy.  We knew he was probably an insect eater as most cavity nester's are, so once we could identify him, we knew we were correct and his nutritional needs had been met.  He will soon be released.  The finders had named him Milton, so Milton it is!

We have had several Golden Eagles come in.  Most recently, two fledglings from near Moab.  Both had recently come off the nest and were already in trouble.  Parent birds were not seen in either case.  The two are not related and came from different nests.  Both are females and were starving and dehydrated.  One has burns to the pads of her feet from being on the hot pavement of highway 191.  Both were also covered in lice as happens frequently in these situations.  Lice are opportunistic, so when something is down and not doing well, they take advantage of the situation.  Both are going to make it I believe and in time, will be released.  They have a lot of weight they need to gain and many things to learn in order to be successful in the wild, before they leave us.  This will take a few months.  We have to teach them what they would be learning from their parents at this point in their young lives.

We recently released another Golden Eagle from near the Four-Corners area.  She had been hit by a vehicle and was transported to us by DWR.  We met them in Green River, Utah and amazingly, this bird had no fractures, just a slight concussion.  We gave her some time and made sure she had no long term effects of the concussion and released her at the top of Indian Canyon in June.  Todd had the honors that day.  As always, all of our raptors are banded with federal USFW bands before being released back into the wild.  This gal also had been banded the day of her release as well.

We hope she is successful in her life.  She is a two year old bird, so clearly knows how to hunt and kill so we did not need to go through that step with her.

Thanks for checking in.  I'll try to update again here soon, but we are right in the middle of busy season for all wildlife rehabilitators everywhere.  Remember, please support your local wildlife rehabilitator.  A call to your local State wildlife office will tell you who that is.  We are professionals that spend our lives caring for our native wildlife.


Feathered brothers and sisters, you came to us broken and as you bled…….we saw you desperate, dehydrated, desiccated, diseased, distressed, emaciated, famished, frayed, frightened, helpless, hungry, ragged, ravenous, shaken, shocked, shot, sickly, stressed, stunned, tattered, thirsty, traumatized, torn, weary and wounded. Defiantly, you stood us off with your last breath as we tried to tend to you. We saw you come in as cute, naked, fuzzy, cuddly youth, as mischievous, defiant adolescents, as fierce, regal rulers of the sky and as cunning, maimed elders whose time on earth was almost done. You endeared yourselves to us, bit us, charmed us, footed us, delighted us, hissed at us, talked to us, mantled at us, and graced us with your presence.

Some of you mended and were able to go on your way, never looking back. Some of you were injured in ways that prevented you from going, so you stayed with us to teach us…….And we came to love you. Others were too far gone, and you went home - where you fly free from pain with the Great One. All of you have touched us, and we are changed because of you.

used with permission by Arlene Powers