Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Why the chicken crossed the road...

Hey y'all,

I was blasting around town yesterday before the rain started, picking up stuff for our display down at the Phoenix and Dragon In Sandy Springs this Saturday. When I turned the corner on Marvin Land Lane, there was Stitch, one of the Cochins, across the road! She was so happy, just scratching away in some straw, getting down to the primo dirt, looking for grubs and pecking away at grass...BUSTED!


Have you ever scolded a chicken? You fuss and fuss and try to talk sense to them and they just stand there and look at you like you have a lobster coming out of your head.

The girls having their veggies...they eat better than I do...

Well it seems that a major employer in Cobb County doesn't much like Barn owls on their property and these are the same fools who then have to put out poison for rodent control. Another local rehabber reports that they receive a few poisoning cases annually from them. I can understand this Neanderthal mentality in a knuckle-dragging, hay seed farmer living in rural Bartow County, but not a progressive company such as this. No siree. It seems they disturbed an active nest and now I have three babies to raise. I don't know how well they 'hack', so I am just crossing my fingers that they will remain close by after release so I can continue to feed them while they fly around and figure things out on their own. It sucks not having parents to show you the ropes. So I have the two oldest out in the big boy chamber, feeding them on the portable hack board, then I'll move the youngest one out in a day or two, when I'm sure he can grab his fair share...

Barn owls are one of the very few raptors who clutch year-round. I'm guessing because they are so efficient? I dunno know, but isn't that cool? And they are also so different anatomically that they have their own sub-family of Bay and Grass owls called Tytonidae and everyone else is categorized as Strigidae. They are the most widely distributed owl in the world and are so beautiful; one of my absolute favorites to look at but by the same token, they are WILD as snakes and most don't make for good education birds! If you upset them, they start hissing, like steam escaping from a pressure cooker, only at about 60 dB. I believe the barn owls are single handedly responsible for all the bad press for owls world-wide. Can you imagine our pioneer ancestors, blazing the trails out west over prairies by day while huddling near the camp fire by night and hearing this shrieking like some lady is being eviscerated? Their screams are a far cry from the melodious sound of the Great horned or the funny, monkey calls of the Barred. They make HORRIBLE noises!

Baby pics -


He looks so sweet here...like he's smiling...NOT. Reminds me of 'Soren' from the Legends of the Guardian movie.

Another brother -

Wonderful little babes...


This beautiful Barred owl came in from north Georgia last week that had been hit by a car. Sadly, the break was such that Dr. Martinez couldn't patch him up and so another little light went out in the heavens...

Barreds have the sweetest countenance...how mean do you really have to be to eat frogs and fish for a living?

Thank you for taking the time to read my post and if you would like to donate a minimum of $150.00 Mouse Money to HawkTalk in a friend or loved one's name for Christmas, you can bring them out for the nickel tour and private lecture! You can go over to www.hawktalk.org and click on the PayPal icon. Just be sure to leave contact information for me to call to schedule the tour. If you are hinky about sending money via cyberspace, you can send a check along to us at P.O. Box 130 in Holly Springs, Ga 30142.

Also, if you are going to be in the Sandy Springs area this Saturday, we will be at the Phoenix and Dragon Bookstore from 1-4. http://www.phoenixanddragon.com for directions. I will have Scully Christmas cards available! He is SO cute, you just want to gobble him up!

Well, aren't WE just the bluebird of happiness???

....m.

2 Comments:

At December 1, 2010 at 1:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It seems they disturbed an active nest and now I have three babies to raise."
The ignorant poisoning may not be illegal but disturbing a nest violates the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Report this to the US Fish & Wildlife Service. I know enforcement is lax, but still...as for hacking, seems to me (I volunteer with a group that does hacking of barn owls, in California) that barn owls hunting ability is purely instinctual. As long as you keep putting out the food for a period of time that should replicate the feeding by parents who would gradually reduce the delivery of food.

 
At December 1, 2010 at 1:20 PM , Anonymous Monteen said...

You are correct sir or madam...and I have already filed a report with FWS Law Enforcement. Barn owls are not common in this area, so I don't have a chance to work with them very often, esp. babes. I have very good luck hacking Screech and Barred owl babes (and ALL the hawks), but no luck with the Great Horned babes. They take off never to be seen by me again...

 

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