Sunday, January 31, 2010

There was an old lady...

Who lived in a house about the size of a shoe with so many critters, she didn’t know what to do…

Hey ya’ll,

Thompson, the Barred owl was released here last night, rather than taking him back to (an area relatively close to) Main Street in Alpharetta. It was another one of those events when you go out in the evening to feed and they start going bonkers, bouncing around and hanging upside down and you’re afraid that they will commit owlicide if you don’t let them go then and there…so I put food in the chute, opened the door and retreated to the house so he didn’t just blast out and die of flight. (recall comments in Richard’s Release)

The last time I got up to check on him was about 2:30 this morning. Nigel was yelling his head off, (thank God my rooster was quiet), Scully was as quiet as a church mouse, Sam was hooting, even Jeffrey was making a racket and in almost three years this is the first time I heard him calling. Thompson, along with the two resident Barreds were zooming (and I mean zooming) around the yard yelling like monkey’s. It was incredible. I took out my pocket camera that has the video option, but it was too dark… I’ll upload it to photobucket, but it’s just audio of the goings on, along with me stumbling around in the dark. At one point, I was standing on the trail and one zoomed head level about 2 feet away from me. Whew! Very few people have been able to experience this with me here because when you get more than one or two people, the birds pick up on it and won’t come around. I’ll put food on the hackboard this evening and maybe Thompson will follow suit and come in with the other two for a snack. They don’t come every time I call them, which tells me that they are doing fine in their habitat, but I’m happy to see them every time they grace me with their presence…

I had to wrap Thompson up and give him some fluids orally and force feed him some mice the first night. Since raptors are pointed on both ends, I have to have a care so I don’t get hurt. And yeah, I know I need to paint my kitchen…

He was self feeding by the following evening, so on the third day, he went outside in the big boy chamber. This is called the ‘concealment posture’…all squinty-eyed and blending into his background during the day.

Barreds are one of my favorite species…

And their faces transform as the evening progresses…

Thanks to Alera and her parents for scooping little Thompson out of the road and getting him to me.

And Thanks to Dean from Murray County for capturing this beautiful Red-tailed hawk and getting him over to Appalachian Animal Hospital. Radiographs revealed a fractured ulna with the radius intact, so he gets cage rest for about 6 weeks. The intact bone is used as a splint, so you don’t have to intervene surgically, which is a good thing. Now we wait to see how he heals.


And “Francis”, a Barred owl that came into Appalachian AH last with a boo-boo wing. It looks broken near the tip. Not sure of his prognosis right now so we sit tight and see what happens… He’s nervous and flighty and probably won’t make a good program bird if he isn’t releasable and we all know what THAT means… **sigh**

Remember the ancient Red-tailed hawk that I took from the nice folks at Chattahoochee Nature Center about a month ago? She’s still hanging in there and had her first surgery on her foot last Monday. Still infected and swollen and will need subsequent surgery, her attitude is incredible. She’s alert with a twinkle in her good eye (notice cataract in her left eye) and I will fight alongside of her as long as she is willing to keep going. I will not assign an arbitrary timeline as to her improvement. She’s been like this for months and we can’t expect miracles overnight. I switched her antibiotics, still using DMSO directly on her feet and give her an NSAID twice a day for pain. The problem with feet is that there isn’t a lot of blood supply, so it’s hard to get medicine down there where you need it. DMSO helps with inflammation and is a carrier agent, so hopefully, it will bring the ab’s down into the foot.

She’s a very docile, sweet bird that has been loved by some human, somewhere. I only wish they had kept her on a proper perching surface and then she wouldn’t be in trouble like this. I would give anything to know her history, but all I know is that they don’t come out of the wild chirping at you and moving their tail out of the way when you scratch their back. Its cases like this where I cry like a fat dog. Sometimes, the birds know that you’re trying to help and this is certainly one of them. She has never burned one calorie being aggressive towards me and allows me to do what I need to in order to assist her. She came to me with the name FUBAR, but I have since switched it to “Grace”, because she has shown such grace and dignity in her fight to recover from her very serious problems. Long-term prognosis is probably not good. This house will be full of weeping and black headaches if/when she gives up the fight… Please keep her in your thoughts.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and if you have a few dollars to spare, I sure could use the Mouse Money. The PayPal link is located on for your convenience. We all appreciate your support in these tough economic times…m.

Monteen McCord
POB 130
Holly Springs, GA 30142

Monday, January 25, 2010


Hey ya’ll,

My friend Lillie came up for a visit last weekend and boy, did I have a fun-filled Saturday awaiting her! It sounded so weird, I’m not altogether sure her boyfriend believed her, but here is the proof! We, along with my dear friends Nancy and Bill went to the Northeast Georgia Poultry Show up in Jefferson, Georgia and a good time was had by all. Believe me, there ain’t no good way to get there…took three forevers, but it was well worth it.

People of all ages, races and ethnicities…it was awesome. Elderly folks, little bitty kids, black, white, Asian, Hispanic…well dressed all the way to being able to see the Skoll ring on their back pocket. It’s really amazing how many people loves them their chicky-poodles.

I don’t know the names of them, so I’m just going to let the pictures do the talking, OK?

My lovely friend, Lillie with a Cochin of some sort. Check out the hairy feet and spurs!

These were by far the weirdest ones I’ve ever seen. Very small dinosaurs from the Upper Jurassic period?

Strike a pose…

I’m Noko Marie…don’t mess with me!

Awesome young lady in the FFA with a Mille Fleur – obviously a French breed

Needless to say, some of these birds were quite intimidating.

I think this is a Polish breed. His head was so poofy, I couldn’t get it all in the frame

Rod Stewart – eat your heart out!

What a comb, eh? This bird has not been out in 13 degree weather. Probably up in the recliner watching TV!

We demanded proof that this bird actually had eyes…it took a minute to separate all the feathers.

These kids were from the Oconee Chapter of the FFA. The obvious affection for their birds knocked me out!

The pic doesn’t do this bird justice. His cheeks glowed like abalone.

Yes…the old chicken in the stroller trick, as Maxwell Smart would say.

It’s hard to see just how small some of these birds are. They would literally fit in your hand.

Chickens galore! – Sorry it’s slightly off. I was shooting above my head trying to get as many rows as possible.

And more chickens!

Another “Modern” breed. I wish they came in a Misses size 14, tho…way too small for the cats and Johnson

There were more bantams than anything else. They were cute, but personally, I like the big ones.

Dick Dickerson gave me a pair of Egyptian Fayoumis – I’m a happy chicken mom!

I think this is a Barred Rock

This here is Dick and Jane. He’s the cock of the walk! They have settled in nicely with the other girls.

Discussing the finer points of foraging.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog! ….m.

Monteen McCord
POB 130
Holly Springs, GA 30142

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Brrr... Brrr...and Brrr!

Hey ya’ll,

I’m hoping the new year is bringing you other things besides icy sidewalks and bruised bottoms. I’ve only tweaked myself a few times so in the grand scheme of things, I’m not too worse for wear.

Well, I was able to go a few days without a rehab bird, so I could clean the crates and wash the poop sheets, sit down and have a martini, but now I’m in possession of what looks to be an old Red-tailed hawk with a severe case of bumblefoot. Only one of a few things causes lesions on the bottom of their feet: living in captivity and being forced to stand on improper perching surfaces, clenching their feet together and poking himself with their talon, or having stepped on a thorn. She was found on the road feeding on a road-kill and her left eye is goobered up, too, which is the least of her problems right this minute. Her feet are horribly swollen and she’s fighting an infection, which is why I can’t seem to put any weight on her.

Actually, it looks like this bird has been put through a quizenart or was maybe an extra from The Night of the Living Dead. Dog tame, too. If you rub her back, she moves her tail to the side for some lovin’ from the oven… Not your typical ‘wild’ hawk behavior.

I’ve had her since last Wednesday and I’ve been giving her ab’s and applying DMSO and there has been some improvement. She’s at hospital today getting some xrays of her feet. She will need surgery on one foot. I don’t like cutting on feet. The outcome is iffy… this pic was taken 1/7. See how her back toe is curled under? Not good. Please keep FUBAR in your thoughts and prayers. She’s gonna need them…

Slight improvement – taken 1/11

On a lighter note…
What’s a cat have to do around here to get a drink of water?

So a trip to the bird store and 50 bucks later…for a submersible water heater. It’s only money.

Tell me Face doesn't possess discernment...

On Frozen Pond…

What’s a goose have to do around here to get a drink of water?

So a trip to the bird store and 50 bucks later…for another submersible water heater. Money? What’s that?

There…now THAT’S more like it! Johnson naked in the hot tub…YOW!

I dump his greens in the dishpan to simulate his natural feeding behavior…
Celery, mung beans, leaf lettuce, carrots…he’s a happy goose.

Johnson messing around on the roof the other day…notice the serrations on his beak.

The Bluebirds are all poofy and happy about the hulled nuts and mealworms…

Church, the dead cat, wandered by for a visit. This was his favorite place to drink until it froze.

That’s it for now from this end of the frozen swamp. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog! ….m.

Monteen McCord
POB 130
Holly Springs, GA 30142