And if any of you added “oh my!” to that, you’ve been watching a little too much “Wizard of Oz” lately!
It’s been a slow but steady couple of weeks, with a red-tailed hawk, a barred owl, a gray squirrel and, just this morning, a barn owl coming in.
The red tail came in with a nasty broken wing—the entire elbow was exposed, and one of the bones was snapped right at the joint, rendering it unfixable, so we had no choice but to euthanize. Based on the nature of the injury, raptor rehabber Steve Hicks of Bubba & Friends theorizes that the bird may have been attacked by a great horned owl, as the x-rays showed no signs of lead that would indicate a gunshot. This red tail was absolutely terrified when he came in, which is unusual for red tails and would also fit the GHO attack theory, according to Steve.
A few days later, I received a call about a hit-by-car (HBC) barred owl. This poor bird was concussed out of his gourd, his left eye was pretty cloudy, and he seemed to have some sort of neurological issue, as he couldn’t keep his head level and kept jerking it slowly from side to side. After a vet exam, I took him home and debated for a few days whether we needed to euthanize, as he had to be force-fed, couldn’t keep his left eye open, and the neurological issue didn’t seem to be clearing up.
The day I’d planned to take him back in for euthanasia, his head stopped jerking and he started eagerly snatching mice from the forceps, so he got a reprieve. The left eye is now open most of the time but is still fairly cloudy. Sometimes it can take up to a month for head injuries to fully heal, though, so he’s got a few more weeks yet and will soon need to be transferred to Bubba & Friends for flight conditioning.
The gray squirrel came in late in February, orphaned when the tree his nest was in was cut down. People, as I’ve mentioned before, there’s no good time in Georgia to fell a tree: in the early fall, squirrels have babies in the nest; in the winter, owls have babies in the nest; in the spring and summer, hawks, songbirds and squirrels have babies in the nest. If the tree absolutely MUST come down, PLEASE check for nests and make arrangements to relocate the babies. And remember, it’s against federal law to disturb a raptor or songbird nest with eggs or babies in it.
End of lecture…for now…this little guy is growing by leaps and bounds, as you can see from these photos taken over the week and a half he’s been in rehab.
The barn owl came in near noon today, after a concerned couple saw him by the road in front of their house. They were aware enough of their natural surroundings to know he was “their” bird—one they watched in their yard frequently—and they called DNR to locate a rehabber, after removing him from danger and placing him in a cardboard box for transport. My thanks to them for their quick and level-headed action!
Upon intake, the barnie was concussed and lethargic, and it looked as if his left eye was pretty well trashed (see above photo), but I kept smelling pine tar, so I decided to see if I could clean his eye up a bit and determine if maybe it just had pine tar on it. To my delight, that was the problem with his eye; after cleaning, it looked perfectly normal.
However…he favors his right leg. It doesn’t feel broken, but there may be a hip/pelvic injury that even an x-ray won’t show. I’ve consulted with Steve Hicks, who says hip/pelvic injuries are not common in barnies, so our fingers are crossed that he’s just bruised and sore. Since he came in too late to get him to Smalley’s today for x-rays, we’ll have to wait until Monday to find out anything more definite on him. In the meantime, it’s dark, quiet and rest for him while his head stops hurting and the room stops spinning, poor baby.
Keep your fingers crossed that a massive headache and some bruising are the only issues he has, and of course, I’ll keep you posted on his status in the next update.
In closing, Laurens Wildlife Rescue has again this year been invited to join the Green Choice Campaign, but this requires YOUR participation: go to http://www.greatnonprofits.org/reviews/write/laurens-wildlife-rescue-inc/campaign:28
and post a review of LWR. You don’t have to’ve brought us animals in the past; one of the options under “Your role” is “general member of the public”. If LWR has at least 10 positive reviews (4 or 5 stars) by March 31, 2011, we will receive exposure to potential donors on the Great Nonprofits Top-Rated Green Nonprofits List. Last year we had two very positive reviews—I know more than two people read this blog, so click on that link and let’s get 10 positive reviews up there! (Be sure to click on “Green Choice” in the campaign drop-down menu.)