April30, 2009

We got a call from someone with a rare bird in their backyard that looked like it had a radio-tag. It turned out to be a Black-crowned Night Heron. Not a common bird and really interesting. It had a dislocated shoulder that we put back in and happily it was released and flew away strongly the last week of May. You an see pictures in the Gallery.

April 15, 2004

The Shelter had a call from Evansburg Fish and Wildlife this morning regarding a senior citizen who had a hawk that had grabbed her by the arm and was refusing to let go. An 80 year old woman living outside Barhead had noticed a bird hit her window earlier and went out to see if it was still alive. He appeared to be unconscious. As she approached and tried to pick him up, the hawk out of shock and fright, used his feet on her arm.

The raptors unlike cats don’t sratch their prey with their talons.. The word raptor comes from the latin root raptorius, meaning “to grasp”. When they catch something they bind to it and won’t let go until they feel safe or in a greater danger. She phoned 911 because she couldn’t get him to let go. Const. Eiler of the Barhead RCMP responded and the Raptor Shelter was contacted for technical assistance. The Shelter has had many different emrgencies in its 20 year history but never anything like this. Fortunately there is a lot of experience with hawks in this situation and the bird was removed safely from the woman’s arm. A sink full of cold water did the trick. Immersing the bird got an immediate reaction. The quickest method was not the most pleasant for the hawk but left him uninjured. He had been attached for more than 30 minutes. The sharp-shinned hawk (background picture) has a broken wrist and is recovering at the Shelter. There is no word at this time on the senior but it is assumed she is recovering.

April 19, 2004

A Great-horned owl was found in the parking lot of the Natural Resources office on Bonnyville on Sunday. It had been found by someone and left there. Officer Triekel took it to the Bonnyville Vet Clinic where it was treated and fed until the Shelter picked it up this afternoon. It has limited use of one foot and one wing, possibly and electrocution, but everything seems to have blood flow at this time. The bird is emaciated as well and will need to be fed carefully for a while.

May 6, 2004

A number of Red-tailed hawks have been coming to the Shelter with wing injuries, no doubt due to the strong gusting winds of the last few days. The snow and cold hasn’t helped things either. These birds are adults that probably have nests so hopefully there are other birds out there that will take up the slack in their absence. The older Red-tails can be distinguished by the darkness of their eyes. The older ones will have more brown. (This carries over to some people around the Shelter as well although the brown is due more to what they are full of than their age.) This is a young Red-tail, hatched in 2003. The second picture is an older bird.