Thursday, March 20, 2008

So, I Didn't Go In 2 Saturdays ago, as.....

...I was in Las Vegas...WOOHOO!....visiting old childhood friends. And I didn't go in last Saturday, as I wasn't feeling well....cough, hack! But, as you have probably surmised, feeding baby mice was not the only thing I did that weekend that seems oh-so-long-ago. It was actually MOVING DAY!!! Yes, we moved the three raptors we had indoors to outdoor areas so as to assess their recovery status. Let's start with the Great Horned owl.

Dr. Michelle Loftus came over to take a look at her wing handy work, as she was the person who operated on him...

...and she also gave the wing some laser therapy to help with the healing process.

I was blissfully taking pictures, including taking ones of his feet....

...I just love owl feet, with their downy feather coverings and their seriously scary talons...when I got the distinct feeling that I was being watched. I looked around and didn't see anything and then I looked down and saw this!

Yikes! The Great Horned owl is giving ME the huge hairy eyeball, and I'm not even the one messing with him!!! After the exam was done, Shona and I went out to setup the mews for everyone. Shona knows how much I LOVE to hang branches....No, seriously, I do!...so she let me do most of it. Thanks Shona! Here is the GHo's mew.

And then we placed him in it. At first he looked highly annoyed.

But by the next day he was more relaxed, so much so that he pretended like I wasn't even there when I went in for my photo op.

Dr. Loftus also looked at the Screech owl's eye.

It's a feisty wee thing and this picture lets you see the difference between the two eyes.

He, too, got to move outside into a mew to assess his ability to see food and catch food.

At first he did this "moth" imitation, as Shona called it, where he just clung to the side of the mew before finally flying to a perch. But by the next day he was doing a lot better and was actually perched ON one of the branches we had hung in his mew.

After determining that he could not only see but catch live food, he was released last week!

Michelle glanced at the latest shoulder x-ray of the eagle and NOTHING has changed. And I mean NOTHING. So it was decided to move him into the Slatted Flight cage to see if a little more room might sway things one way or another, as he has already been with us for 2 months.

And lastly, we come full circle back to the Deer Mice, or Deer Meeces, as Shona likes to call them. Unbeknownst to me, they had been moved outdoors to a tub in a sheltered area.

This is what Deer mice, who are rudely awakened when the piece of bark they were napping under is removed, look like. Man, have they ever changed! They have gone from looking like this....

...to this.....

..seemingly overnight! Sniff..sniff! Our babies done all growed up!! And now comes the part which I always feel must be the most traumatic for babies that were raised without parents to show them how things are done in the real world. We released them.

As you can see, one brave soul has made a dash for it. But then there is the one still hanging out in the container, checkin' things out and probably awaiting a status report from the others. He finally braves the outdoor world that is now his home and then comes the look that I just KNEW was coming.

And that is that look that appears as they freeze, when it hits them JUST how big their new world now is. It's that "Oh my god, BETTY! It's HUGE and SCARY out here!" look. All of the babies get it, it's just more obvious with the baby mammals.

Til next time...

6 comments:

Shannon said...

It's so nice to see all the releases, be it in a mew or in the great outdoors. Yay!

anne said...

Terrific pictures as always, Heather! That GHO is absolutely gorgeous.

Kari said...

Those meeces are STILL cute! Glad everyone is doing well, but that baldy better get it together! Oh, and what's up with "Chicken"?

Ann Callin said...

As always, great pictures and story....hope Vegas gave you some respite! MOM

Amy said...

I'll bet those Owls have dropped a few feathers eh? Eh?

fortheluvofpan said...

"moth imitation" - shona is hilarious. I hope you didn't release the mice and the owl on the same day though! - Jen