Friday, March 02, 2007

What a Messy Eagle Day!

This is how my day started on Saturday morning, a minute after I walked in the door to Wolf Hollow.

Yes, those are my legs with eagle "stuff" all over them. And believe it or not, it was a good thing the eagle was still outputting "stuff". Why, you might ask? Because this is what the poor thing looked like the whole day....

Why does it look that way? Well, per some residents of a nearby island, it looks like he, along with the three other dead eagles we got in, might have all taken part in a feeding frenzy where the main course was the carcass of an animal that someone had euthanized and then, instead of burying it deep in the ground like it was supposed to be, it was left out for anything and everything to eat off. That is, until we started getting all the dead eagles in, at which time the animal was discovered and quickly buried.

Now I say "might" because this little one certainly displayed all the signs of poisoning and all the eagles were found within the same area of this poisoned carcass. But until our local Fish and Wildlife office is done conducting their investigation, we won't know the whole story. We are just hoping that the end result is that this NEVER happens again! It's a nasty cycle, as any animals that ate this and subsequently died could poison any other animal that eats them and...you get the picture. I will post their findings when I know of them. Needless to say, emotions were running high during the entire weekend and it's looking like it's a huge tragedy that could have easily been prevented.

But back to the above pictured youngster. A LOT of his day was spent like this:

Sorry for the blurry pictures. Still getting to know the new camera and it was a VERY active day with it. Here we are tubing the eagle, trying to get fluids and charcoal into him to help flush out the toxins. This was done every two hours. Afterwards, he would have no energy left and a couple of times we thought he had died. No one thought he would be alive the next morning.

But die he did NOT! After worrying about him all day Saturday and sending a multitude of prayers to the universe to let him make it, I got a call on Sunday saying he was up and banging around his carrier! At this point I did my special, and rarely viewed by outsiders, "happy dance" around my place for about 5 minutes! By Tuesday, when I went over to take an "after" picture of him, he was flying around the Heron cage, the largest flight cage we have until the Eagle Flight cage is fixed.

Doesn't he look just a THOUSAND times better?!! He did so well he was released today!! I just LOVE great outcomes to situations like this, don't you?!

Our flicker was moved to one of the outdoor mews, as she was going stir crazy in the carrier she was in.

You can just make out the bald patch on the side of her head. She is still being very finicky about what little she is eating, so we are keeping a close eye on her weight.

We have in, for the first time while I have been there, a Snow goose!

Now, having heard the word "goose" I expected her to be quite big, but she's a tiny thing. Isn't she just adorable? Don't let the coy look and wing wrap fool you though. She was quite feisty and was constantly biting anyone who messed with her.

She was found in Anacortes, along with another Snow goose that was already dead. Spotting an eagle in the area, we are wondering if her injuries were eagle induced. She had a long laceration along her left cranial radius/ulna that was deep enough that the flexor tendon was exposed and cut. She also had a deep puncture wound on the right side along her back, slightly under her wing. She got sutures along the wing injury with the flexor tendon being secured. The puncture would was also severe enough to warrant suturing. The wing was then put in a figure 8 wrap and is to be left on for a week to allow the sutured tendon to hopefully develop "adhesions", which is the only hope for healing this type of injury.

We have another eagle in that was found near a barn in Sedro Wooley and was brought to us by the Fish and Wildlife officer who caught it.

Yep, he definitely has down that "Don't even THINK about messin' with me." stare. But, mess with him we did! The reason he was so easy to catch was because he is having flying issues, and that is due to the fact that there is a tangerine sized mass on the right side of it's chest. There was no sign that a wound was the cause of it, but it was noted that the bottom half of the mass had surface bruising. He had blood drawn to test for lead poisoning and for a general avian panel to determine his overall health. All the tests came back fine. A local vet took an aspirate of the mass and we got the oh-so-fun task of x-raying him to make sure there wasn't a foreign body that caused the mass. Hooooo boy.... was that an interesting experience!

Here is Shona, our Educational Director, all dressed up with no place to go but to the x-ray room. Then the challenge was to get the eagle to lay still long enough to get a decent enough x-ray.

Needless to say, it took more than one attempt to get said decent x-ray!

But get one they did....

to find that there was no foreign object in the mass. So the vet will let us know what she discovers in her aspirate culture and then the mass will be drained or removed, assuming it's not malignant in origin.

The Red-tailed hawk is doing well and was moved to a larger carrier.

Kent was released last week, as was the Barred owl. Bucky had his splint taken off and we are keeping an close eye on his bumblefoot, which he has on the foot the he was resting most of his weight on.

And with that, I leave you this one last image to ponder...

Til next time...

1 comment:

Shannon said...

I can't wait until the investigation is done so you can post about it. Of course, you already told me the story but I want more details, as do you, I'm sure!