Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Saga of Richard and Liz

Hey Ya'll,

Richard, the Great Horned owl had been pelted with buckshot and his right ulna is broken. In birds, that's the big bone in the forearm. It's a good break, as breaks so, but the injury was over 2 weeks old because on the radiograph, you could see the calcification forming already. That means that he didn't hunt during all that time and whomever had him in captivity (I'm still convinced the perp kept him in a cage, then drove him to Duluth to dump him) either didn't feed him at all, or fed him very little. With the prominance of his keel and the pale mucous membranes, either way, he wasn't getting what he needed. We opted not to surgically intervene, esp since the fracture had started to calcify. He's out in the treehouse, so he can't raise too much sand and I have him covered on three sides so he can't see me walk by. His spirits are good and he's eating like a pig and we will just keep our fingers crossed that the break will heal well.

Now, on to Liz...ANOTHER Great Horned owl I just picked her up from a nice family very close to where I live. (Thanks, Nancy...for letting me keep your truck a few days!) The two front talons on the left foot are broken off and the edges are smooth, so the accident is not recent. She too, is VERY thin with pale mucous membranes. Unlike Richard, Liz is too 'down' to eat solid food. It takes a lot of energy to process meat, bones, fur, etc, so you have to mix up a gruel and tube feed them small, frequent amounts and keep them propped up so they won't aspirate if they regurgitate. I'm not sure this bird will live through the night. However, she happened to find herself in the back yard of a very caring lady that intervened and got her some help. We have done what we can do and now we wait; the rest is up to her. She is warm, dry and and has some food in her tummy and if she passes away, then at least it won't be in a ditch somewhere.

Thanks to Nancy (again) for loaning me her truck so I wouldn't have to rent something, we gave lectures at Russom Elementary and Woodward Academy last week. Russom was a small science club, so I took Nigel and all the students got to hold him and have their pictures taken. Woodward had too many students, so we had I think 10 class photo's with a student holding him. He is such a good boy...

Russom Science Club student

Woodward Academy

As usual...thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I'm going round and round with Paypal to add a link to this site to make it a little easier to donate some Mouse Money, but until such time, you can scoot over to and with a couple of clicks, we will magically have rats on the table!


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