Thursday, August 23, 2012

Things to Be Happy About

In recent weeks, things haven't been all dark nights and dead mice at the RMRP.  What, would you prefer the Human phrase "sunshine and roses"?  Okay, things haven't all been sunshine and roses.  Recently many of the birds being admitted to the CCU have been broken beyond repair (multiple fractures, old necrotic wounds, etc).  These birds have been humanely euthanized, and while that's the kindest and most ethical thing to do with those cases, it still hurts to not be able to do anything to help.  In addition to the badly broken birds, the Humans are also admitting many young birds (lots of Swainson's Hawks) suffering from starvation, symptoms consistent with West Nile Virus, and often with traumatic injuries on top of all that.  While these cases are extremely labor-intensive, there is a reasonable chance of fixing and releasing them, and the Humans give care wherever there is hope!  Still, it's tiring and difficult work, so with an influx of such heartbreaking cases, I've decided to help keep spirits high by listing off six wonderful things that have happened in just the past couple of days! 

1.  This immature Kestrel is a probable West Nile Virus case (awaiting blood test confirmation).  He was so neurologically impaired that for his first couple weeks at the RMRP he couldn't stand on his own, and he didn't have the beak-eye coordination to eat on his own.  Now look at him!  Not only is he eating on his own and standing upright, but he can stand on one foot.  He still has a ways to go, but it's great to see him improving!

2.  The Humans released nine Swainson's Hawks into a kettle a couple days ago!  Every Swainson's Hawk that can be released into a migrating kettle is one less bird that has to be overwintered at the RMRP.  Fewer beaks to feed, less dollars spent, and, most importantly, more birds getting their second chance at freedom (and a trip to Argentina).
No, your screen is not dirty: those little black dots are all Swainson's Hawks
3.  This Cooper's Hawk grew up and was released today!

4.  A rehabbed Peregrine Falcon is flying like a champ, and is on track for release after finishing up a molt!

5.  A Common Barn Owl that was probably hit by a car tried to toe-dust yesterday.  Toe-dusting is something that Barn Owls do to scare away predators and other threats.  This bird suffered massive trauma and is being treated for her pain.  The fact that she was feeling well enough to try to be scary is great news!  The video below (not the RMRP's) will show you what toe-dusting is.

6. A Red-Tailed Hawk that was admitted with a fractured clavical was moved to a larger cage after time in the CCU, and quickly demonstrated that he can fly very well, thank you very much.  It's always nice to see a broken bone heal nicely! 

That's all I've got off the top of my head.  Not bad considering all that happened in the past three days.  Through good times and bad, the Humans at the RMRP will keep on taking care of every single raptor that comes across their threshold, and will keep on churning out success stories like these.  Thank you for your support!

Also, don't forget, the Open House is this Saturday from 11:00-3:00 at the main facility on Vine Drive!  Click the link for details and directions.  This facility closed to the public except on Open House days, so come on over for a chance to see what happens here behind the scenes.  There will be educational exhibits, lots of people to explain the ins-and-outs of the facility, and plenty of educational ambassadors on display.  Oh, and there will be snacks!  Hope to see you there!

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