Sunday, January 10, 2010

This Week at Liberty 01/11/2010

This was a week of disappointment at the behavior of some of our own species (see HHH above), along with the joy at the gratifying and somewhat unexpected improvement in some of our patients. Plus, we had a couple of spots on Channel 3 to try to enhance public awareness of a continuing problem we face each January. We start with another BuOw (burrowing owl) arriving...
Holly holds a new burrowing owl as Marion records and Jan monitors.
"Open wide!"
As always, fluids help to rehydrate.
Another little BuOw (burrowing owl) arrived this week. Being mostly active on or near the ground, these little guys are at risk from many dangers including ground-bound predators which are not as much a concern to their larger, mostly airborne relatives. After a thorough exam, this bird was given fluids and placed in a brooder for rest and observation.
An RTH is positioned for X-ray.
The offending pellet and a badly broken wing show up painfully well.
There is a pellet in there someplace.
But two pellets become visible on the X-ray!
Dr. Wyman positions a GHO.
A wounded harris' hawk is prepared for "shooting."
Sadly, she's already been "shot" - with three guns!
The osprey gets his turn.
Dr.Wyman draws some osprey blood for testing.
We took 8 birds up for X-rays last week. As it turned out, at least 5 of them had been shot. The harris' hawk had three different pellets from three different guns! Each year, immediately after Christmas, we see a spike in the number of GSW (gun shot wound) birds which we interpret as arising from children getting guns of various types as gifts and using local birds for target practice. This is not only unfortunate for the birds, but is also highly illegal. We hope, through increased education, to mitigate this trend someday... Liberty friend Steve Bodinet did a wonderful piece which appeared Thursday, Jan 7th on Channel 3 to let the public know about this situation. You can view it at Thanks, Steve! The osprey showed no trauma but was tested for lead and aspergillosis.
A GHO recovers from surgery.
At first, it looks bad...
But he is actually much better and his prognosis is hopeful!
A great horned owl recently went through surgery to repair badly broken wing bones. His wounds had begun to heal and Dr. Driggers had to re-break the wing and install pins in the bones. At first, Jan and the Medical Services staff were not hopeful, but this week he was much improved and was looking good. There is hope he will continue to get better!

Lots of new feathers growing in!
The electrically burned HaHa that we have been treating (and reporting on for several weeks) has a bunch of new wing feathers coming in! These blood feathers (new feathers have a blood supply while they are growing) look to be both secondary and primary flight feathers and demonstrate how resilient birds can be with the proper care - and a little of luck! We'll keep you posted on his progress this spring.

No comments: