Wednesday, May 9, 2012

This week's general update

The biggest news (to me, at least) is that my baby has become a good enough flier to graduate to another cage. After all, a mom with a bum wing isn't very good at teaching a kid how to fly. However, thanks to me, that kid was sent over to his new mom with a healthy Great Horned Owl attitude (if he took the "Which Raptor Are You?" quiz, he would definitely get "Great Horned Owl"). Still, I sneaked into his new cage to see how he's doing, and it's clear to me that while he may be able to fly with his new mom, he obviously liked me more:



In other news, the Undead Red-Tail likes to perch with his foot outstretched like a total goofball. He's still under the weather and fighting off an illness/infection, but he's improving daily.

He spends most of his time like this
The Swainson's Hawk that survived a run-in with a methane burner last year is molting out his feathers, and the Humans are hopeful that his new set will be high-quality so he can be kicked out of here this year. Here's a pic of what a feather molted from a hawk that caught on fire looks like:


Amazing that he's okay, isn't it?

There are still four Bald Eagles in house, all plodding their high-maintenance way through the rehabilitation process. And we also have three accipiters (two Cooper's Hawks and a Sharp-Shinned Hawk) at the center, which is a pretty high number for them, too. All three were admitted with impact injuries, probably from hitting windows. This includes the Cooper's Hawk shown below, the one that actually shattered the house window she ran into.

After demolishing a button quail for lunch
The Turkey Vulture that was going to be released now-ish is instead molting in a new set of flight feathers. I think he's doing on purpose so he can keep room service as long as possible. But when he's done growing in new feathers (a couple of weeks), he'll be out of here, too.

And, finally, the Great Horned Owl with the luxated elbow flies great despite the wing droop, and started on Rat School yesterday. Rat School (or Mouse School, depending on the size of the bird) is when the Humans put the about-to-be-released bird in a large flight cage, and give the bird live prey for a few days. Instead of simply flying down to a perch to eat pre-killed rabbit, the bird has to catch and kill the prey itself. Happily, the Great Horned Owl killed his rat. Killed it dead. Full marks for the Great Horned Owl!

That's all for now!

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