Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Finally a minute to sit down and catch up. We've officially hit 'baby' season. Several orphan nestlings have been brought in during the last few days. Sparrow, finches and starlings, all with big open mouths. My volunteer Diane is sharing the responsibility of baby feeding by taking care of the sparrows. What a huge help that is.
The other new patients I mentioned previously are a new male golden eagle and a ring-neck duck.
The eagle was found by a passerby and he called me. I asked wildlife officer TJ Robertson if he could go look for the bird as it was in San Juan county and that is his territory. After looking for a while, he found the bird, thank goodness. He (the bird) is terribly thin and covered with lice. He's also dehydrated. He has a broken right wing. Both the radius and ulna are broken mid shaft and cannot be repaired as healing has already started to take place. This bird has been down at least 2 weeks. They never cease to amaze me. Hit by something and then left incapacitated, on the road and survives! He is definitely non-releasable. No surgery will be performed. I will get his weight up, get rid of those pesky lice and make sure the wound on his wing heals well and attempt to place him.
The duck came in from an evaporation pond belonging to a company out of Texas looking for natural gas in the area. The pond was contaminated with by-products from the drilling process. There were 19 other duck killed by the contamination, she was the sole survivor. We've been bathing her with the protocol established for waterfowl in this situation. We also have been giving her sub-cutaneous fluids to flush her kidneys. She is eating some foods on her own, but we are tube feeding her at least once a day. Today we moved her outside. Hopefully she will like it better out there, but she had to stay indoors and on heat until she could thermo-regulate on her own. She's doing much better and is feisty, which we like! We call her Bubbles. I'll try posting pictures. As I mentioned previously, there is something odd going on when I try to post pictures, so we'll see how it goes today.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Yesterday, May 6th, Fire, our non-releasable Swainson's hawk was put on a plane and sent to New York to live out the rest of her life. She went to the same group that took a great horned owl from me about a year ago for their education program.
Fire came to us because the rehabilitator that had her didn't know why she was having feather problems. Her initial intake was due to a gunshot wound, but after that issue, she started having problems with feathers breaking off.
When I took her, I immediately took her into my vet's office in Payson, Utah and had more x-ray's done and blood work as well.
The blood work confirmed West Nile virus. We gave her supportive care to get her through that and got her weight back to normal as she was also under weight. West Nile takes a toll on it's victims in various ways. With birds, one of the common things we see, is problems with feather development. If things becomes chronic, well the bird cannot be released.
The pictures in the post are of Fire just a few day's ago.
We'll miss her, but I'm glad she is where she'll be from now on and it's a beautiful place.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Well the last few days have been busier. In this post I've included the pictures of Shu's move to Moab with my sub-permittee Dave Cozzens. He'll hang out there until we can get the paperwork finalized on his transfer. He has more room to move around there. He'll miss his handler, Connie. He would talk to her every day when she would go out and feed, clean and when we caught him to check his weight.
We have several new patients. A clutch of nestling sparrows (3), an adult female Common Loon, a Ring-Necked duck and another golden eagle.
The Loon didn't need rehabilitation, but just to be put back into water. Loon's and Grebe's commonly end up on the pavement or roads just after a rain. They migrate at night and when lights or the moon reflect off of the wet hard ground, it appears to be water. They land and get stuck since they are made to take off from water where they can get a run and then get airborne. On the ground, they appear to be crippled as they cannot stand. We get a few every year and after making sure there are no injuries from the impact, we get them to a large body of water.
Migration is going on now, so besides the orphan issues, like the nestling sparrows, we have issues relating to migration this time of year. I've included 2 pictures of the Loon release today in Emery county. A volunteer, Diane Krozel did the release.
As I mention above, there is another eagle with us and a duck that came in under horrible circumstances, but that's for the next post! It will be my 9pm feeding and medication time here shortly, so I'll get this published and save the rest for next time.
By the way,
If you find baby birds this time of year, a couple of things you need to do. Really look at the babies. Do they have feathers? A lot or only a few? If they are trying to fly and all of their baby down is gone, look around. Do you see mom and/or dad? If so, the babies are fledging, the process of learning how to fly. It's not like the Disney movies where they come off the nest flying perfectly. It's pretty dangerous and awkward those first few hours and days. Look around for predators. If the babies aren't in any immediate danger, just step back and watch.
If they don't appear ready to be flying and/or appear injured, or if you see a cat grab one, then they need help. Call your local wildlife agency (DWR) in Utah or your local wildlife rehabilitator. Injuries such as a cat attack are almost always fatal if no medical attention is received. If they just need to be put back into a nest, look up to see if you see their nest. If you can get them into it, that is the best solution. Don't worry, the old wives tale that the mothers will abandon them if you touch them is just that, a wives tale, not true. If you cannot get them back into their correct nest, then call DWR or the wildlife rehabilitator.
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