Thursday, February 22, 2007

Raptors Anyone?

Well, we have some new animals in residence at Wolf Hollow and from the posting's title I am sure you can guess what kind they might be. Let's start with our latest owl internee.

This Barred owl was found in La Connor lying under a tree and barely breathing. When we got it in, it had balance problems and had VERY foul smelling and loose feces with possible occult blood (blood from the lower GI tract). He also cast a pellet that was poorly formed, made mostly of grass along with a whole beetle, which tells us he had been on the ground for awhile. He was given a homeopathic drug to help deal with trauma and a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory for pain. From what I heard, he looked so bad, no one thought he was going to make it through the night.

But this owl is a wonderful example of owl tenacity, as the next day he was standing and clacking his beak at everyone! And by the time Saturday rolled around, he was ready to be moved to an outdoor mew. Now, I am not sure if I have ever divulged the fact that one of my favorite maintenance type things to do is to go out with some branches, a drill, and some screws and make the mews and aviaries more "homey" for the birds. But, I am so anal about it ("No, you can't put the branch there as he won't be able to hide behind it. No, now it's too low." ) that no one goes out with me anymore. That's fine by me, as I said, I love doing it! So out I went to make the mew more "homey".

This is only part of the mew, but you get the idea! I just love when we first put them back outdoors, too, as they always spend some time looking back and forth, listening to the new noises.

The other raptor we got in is a Red-tailed hawk.

As you can see from this picture, he was a bit banged up when he arrived. Found by the highway in Sedro Wooley, he was initially taken to the Fish and Wildlife office in Mt. Vernon, who then sent him on to us. Upon initial examination, he wasn't using his legs, but he could move them. His right eye had slight abrasions around it with his pupillary response being very slow. But a fluorescein exam ruled out any corneal abrasions, so that was good. An x-ray told the rest of the story.

Can you see it? Here's a closeup of the damage.

His right ulna had what the vet called a comminuted fracture. What is a comminuted fracture, you might ask? It's a fracture in which the bone is splintered, broken, or crushed into multiple pieces. Since the alignment was okay and the radius was in tact and could act as a splint, his wing was wrapped with a figure 8 wrap, to stabilize the fracture site and to immobilize the joints on either side of the fracture.

On Saturday, I got to give him fluids by tubing him and there were antibiotics along with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory within the liquid we gave him. He isn't eating on his own, so I also had to force feed him some venison. Luckily, if you got the pieces back far enough in his mouth he would swallow them, instead of having to really push them down his throat. We checked his pupillary response, which is slightly improved, and he was standing on his perch later that day, all of which are good signs.

Kent and Bucky continue to do well, with Kent still running around on the ground more than normal for periods of time interspersed with her flying around her aviary at others. Now we just need to clarify why she is running around on the ground so much. Shona, our Educational Director extraordinaire, said that could just be an overly-stressed reaction she has, instead of it necessarily being a physical issue.

That was the major excitement for last Saturday. I did hear that we got an eagle in and a Snow goose that was attacked by an eagle. So it's looking like it may be a busy day on Saturday. Oh, and...drum roll please...I GOT A NEW CAMERA! WOOHOO!! Yep, I finally got something a step up from the point-and-shoot variety I had previously! I've got lots of reading and learning to do, but I am expecting the pictures from this new camera to be a might better than the other one, especially with close-ups. Needless to say, I will be taking both cameras with me to Wolf Hollow until I become comfortable with the new one. Til next time...

1 comment:

anne said...

Fantastic pictures, per usual! I love your updates. Love!