Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas edition of Owly Monday

So with the holidays, I haven't had much time to gather owly tidbits for you.  I am, however, going to post some owly goodies that I got for Christmas.  Some of it isn't owl related, but more bird related.  And maybe sometimes Owly Mondays may just turn into Birdy Mondays on my random whims.  Who knows?

I also wanted to share updates on the Barn Owls.
The babies are developing so fast.  They're starting to get their flight feathers and their facial discs are almost fully formed.  They're starting to look like Barn Owls.  Here's a pic from Saturday 12/26.

The barbed wire adult Barn Owl is doing great.  He went to the vet on Monday and they did something sorta new and genious.  They put 2 washers at the ends of the wound and losely sutured the wound and pulled the suture thru the washer.  He put split shot (apparently used for fishing) on top of the washer and attached to the suture.  Every few days we tighten the suture and put a new split shot on.  The vet wasn't able to suture up the wound because of its size and because the skin is so thin. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday and will have an even better New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Owly Monday

Not too much for Owly Monday this week.  With a stressful, busy week at work and preparing for Christmas there hasn't been much time.  But I have Baby Barn Owl pix and updates and a Barn Owl wound update.  And some Christmas Tree Pix thrown in the mix.
First things first!  Here's a neat crafty owl made from a pine cone!  I think this would be a great idea for our annual Creatures of the Night kids craft.  There are so many pine cones around the Center, especially those big Longleaf Pine pine cones.

How about an Owly tea set?  I just love this set.  We saw one when we were on our mini Honeymoon in Charleston.  It was way overpriced and we couldn't justify it. 

And an Owly umbrella stand from Modern Poverty.  I would love to have this, but we have nowhere to put it. 

Kmart has this wonderful bathroom set.  I can't talk Sam into changing our Master Bathroom Leaf set to this.  Maybe I can at least talk him into the curtain rings, sine we have one missing....

Thats all I've got this week, now on to the real owls!

Haven't they grown?!  They have more than doubled their weights since they arrived and are now staying at the Center and eating whole mice.  And because I miss making fun charts in Excel, here's a weight chart for you.  I think they're about to bottom out in the weights.  With most parn owls, they generally get much heavier than their adult weight and then drop the weight.  First time I noticed it, it freaked me out, but I see it happen every year and, well, Birds of North America says it is so.

Caution: graphic pix again!

On to the Barbed Wire Barn Owl.  The wound is looking better and better!  The dead tissue is sloughing off and the new tissue is granulating in nicely.  It still looks gnarly, but if you've seen the daily progression, you'd be impressed.  (and thanks Miss Linda, for the wonderful handling job and the advice!)

Now to something a bit more pleasant to look at, our Christmas Tree. We watched Christmas Vacation and decorated the tree.  A fun old fashioned Griswold family Christmas!

All lit up.  Its hard taking a picture of the tree.
Close up of some ornaments...I love the one w/ Ireland (education Red-tailed Hawk), its in the upper right of the picture.  I can't tell you how many Owl ornaments I have...Sam wouldn't let me count.  There are a lot of bird ornaments too.

Notice there are no ornaments on the lower half of the tree.  All of them were knocked off by the kittens.  So as they are knocked off, we just put them on the top of the tree.

No pix of the mantle this year...its not wonderful.  I wish we could decorate the house more, but the kittens would tear up/break/knock over any and all decorations withing reach.  Maybe they'll be a little more mature next year.
And here they are...The demons watching Family Guy (yup they're definately our kitt-ehs.)  Chui (leopard in Swahili) is the calico and Eastwood is the black and white one.  We couldn't think of a good Swahili name for her, so we just started calling her Eastwood, the Cat with No Name.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Owly Monday again!

Oh the cuteness over at Cafepress!  There is just so much that its almost unbearable.  I could EASILY spend a fortune.
So I'll start off with something I have...

I got this Sigg water bottle as an Elfster gift (thanx Andrea!!!)   I've been drinking lots of water lately since I have this owly ecofriendly bottle.
Now something I can relate to.

We have a Great Horned Owl in rehab right now that has this attitude.  She doesn't realize she has some pretty bad soft tissue injuries and its quite scary to pick her up to administer meds.  I know my volunteers can back me up on this!

And this baby Barn Owl ornament speaks for itself.


The nerd in me loves this shirt

And to sum it all up:

Cafepress must be like the Walmart of really neat personalized gifts.  They have EVERYTHING for anyone. (ps. I don't work for cafe press....I just really like their ginormous owl selection!)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Busy, Busy

It seems like this week is flying by! One more day and its the weekend! 
We've been getting a lot of Raptors at the Center lately and several species that we don't get too often.  We currently have 3, yes THREE, Sharp-shinned Hawks.  I think thats the total number we've had in any given year!  I'm hoping to release the first one, that we got in the beginning of November, next week.  The 2 baby Barn Owls are growing like weeds.  They've almost doubled in weight! 

An Adult Barn Owl came in yesterday from Winston County with barbed wire still entangled.  I wish I had snapped a picture of it. Its so very interesting to see the progression of these injuries from absolutely horrific to perfect. Sometimes these birds are just amazing in their healing abilities.  It looked like he/she flew right onto the wire and the skin on its chest got twisted and wrapped around the wire.  I cleaned it as best as I could and immediately sent it to the vet.  Here's a picture I took of the wound today.  Daily cleaning of the wound and putting trypsyme on it to help sluff off the dead tissue and regenerate new tissue.  The wound was too large to close, but should heal with daily treatment.
(kinda may want to skip if you have a weak stomach)
((and I'll spare you the extracloseup shot))

 The brick red part is the dead tissue that will eventually come off and the new tissue will granulate in.  The lower part of the dead tissue is where the wire was still wrapped around the barbed wire.  I don't think I've seen this kind of injury from barbed wire, they usually have tissue damage to their wings and petagium (wing web).  I'm excited to see how this progresses and show it in photographs.

Miss Kitty on top, Chui (leopard in Swahili) is the little calico and the black-and-white one is temporarily Eastwood - the cat with no name.
Don't let the cuteness fool you...they are holy terrors. Promise.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I've been a busy Owl this week!

We had our annual Christmas decorating party and pot luck with the Volunteers at the Center.  A little disappointing in the turnout, but we still had a great time decorating and getting together outside of the animal care world. 

And to help us out, Mother Nature sent us some snow! Can you believe it?  Snow, in Alabama, in December!  It wasn't much, but definately helps in getting in the Christmas mood. 

It was a huge success! All the proceeds from the sale went directly to the Alabama Wildlife Center.
Thanks to everyone's donationed crafted and baked goods. 
A special thanks to all the hard working volunteers who came in to donate their time to pull off this annual event.  Your continued support means so much to the wild animals we care for (and to me)!

Now the final reason I've been busy this week.....I'm a MOM!

Well, sort of.  I'm currently the mother of 2 baby Barn Owls.
They were kidnapped from their parents from a Shooting stand in rural Alabama, kept for 3 days and fed chicken.  Thats your basic Raptor kidnapping story.  And people just don't realize how detrimental that is to these guys.  Birds of prey grow soooooo fast and a few days of raw chicken and being handfed by a human could mean death to the little one.  They MUST have a whole animal diet.  (not some raw greasey chicken that was probably injected with all kinds of hormones and such) And if they open their eyes for the first time and see a human constantly feeding it, they will imprinted on humans and not be releasable back to the wild.
And its a Federal offense.
So I've been getting up twice a night for the past week feeding these guys and taking them in to the Center with me and bringing them home with me.  The next 2 nights, I'm getting a break because they're at the
This is all the mother I really ever want to be.  I don't see how people survive years of this!  This almost killed me last year when I had a hatchling to take care of.  These guys will soon be on whole mice (yes, I have to wake up at 12 am and 4am and cut up mice for them.  Its nature, and thats what they NEED to survive) and I'll be able to leave them at the Center overnight.
In spite of all the tiredness and cutting up mice in the middle of the night and worry, I'm so glad I have the priviledge to do this as my career.  I just can't imagine myself doing anything else.  I would be miserable.
I'm so glad to be doing something useful in this world and making a difference for wildlife.

Before seeing Babies first pellet!

Don't forget! Tomorrow is Owly Monday!