Saturday, July 7, 2012

General Update - belated!

I know I sound like a broken record, but it's busy season!  If you've ever been to one of our awesome Behind the Scenes Tours then you'll have seen our main treatment room where all the birds' medical records (called SOAPs because each entry addresses four key items: Summary, Observations, Assessment, Plan) are stored in a large wall rack.  If you toured the facility a couple months ago, you would only have seen ~20 SOAPs on the rack.  Now there are ~40-50 on any given day, and the big dry-erase board with the cage map on it shows birds in almost every cage.

First of all, like usual, let's celebrate releases!  The Humans released ELEVEN birds since the last time I wrote!  Most were young American Kestrels who came in orphaned and...well...young.  They progressed through feather growth, flight training, then Mouse School, and were then released back to the wild.  Other birds that were released were an immature Red-Tailed Hawk, an immature Swainson's Hawk, and an immature Screech Owl.

Of course, being busy seasons, the Humans admitted 22 birds in exchange for the 11 released.

Specifics: there are currently twenty-three American Kestrels in house!  Most of those are kids who lost their family or had their nest destroyed.  A few of them have more difficult injuries, like broken wings and head trauma.  For more info on baby Kestrels, see the previous post.  Four of the baby Kestrels currently in residence include a nest of four kids which was disturbed when someone moved the tractor their parents had built the nest in.  What can I say, us Raptors aren't always the smartest animals out there.  Also, the 100th bird admitted this year was an American Kestrel kid.  Surprised?

Another bird is a second-year Peregrine Falcon with high-voltage trauma (HVT).  He's actually doing really well, which is surprising for HVT birds. Those injuries are usually horrible, but they don't express themselves for a few days.  But this guy is doing alright, and feathers are crossed that he'll heal well enough to be released.  The only thing holding him back is some damage to his patagial tendon, the one that plays a key role in wing retraction.  As long as that heals, he'll be a free bird.  Again, feathers crossed.

Also, there's the Eastern Screech owl that was admitted a couple of weeks ago.  He's the sibling of the one that was released last week.  This little guy is a pistol, and you can be sure he'll never be caught by a cat again.  In fact, maybe he'll teach the cat that's brought in three Screech Owl kids so far this year a lesson or two.

And, finally, remember the Bald Eagle that has taken so long to remember how to perch, fly and land?  She's doing so well!  The Humans have removed all the "easy" perches from her cage, so now she really has to work to coordinate flight and perching, and she's excelling at it all.  A release soon?  Let's not jinx it!

Despite being busy season, that's all the bird news I have!  In other news, the High Park Fire is 100% contained, the smoke level is bad only ~ 1 day a week any more, and there had been lots of rain recently.  However, rain in a burn area is bad news in it's own right, and Humans are now dealing with flash floods.  Sigh.  No one is going to forget the summer of 2012 any time soon, are they?

Thanks for your support!  Don't forget that you can subscribe to the blog with the email link in the right-wing bar, and that I can always be reached by email at

PS:  Only two weeks remaining in the photo contest for next year's calendar! Details here.

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