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wildlife center updates

October 7, 2009

The raptor cages were cleaned before I got there, so I have nothing dramatic to report. I did data entry for hours, then went to visit the raven. I sang to him and the other animals, and they liked it! The raven even let me pet him. This is always risky. He’ll let us pet him then nip here and there, and a raven’s beaky bite can hurt! He has a way of showing us he wants to be petted. We stand to the side of his long perch, and he hops over to us, and bends his head way down. As I was petting him, he kept raising his head up somewhat, making me nervous. But still, it was great to pet him. Nice thick and soft feathers. I love ravens. We don’t have any around here. I don’t know what part of California this one came from.

Several hawks were released today at various places, and 19 of our 26 raccoons were legally released into a national forest several hours drive from here. The remaining hawks are almost all back in their large flight cage, and I am very grateful for that! No more hawks in the flight cage mainly used for owls. One thing I’m not stoked about is two hawks in a small enclosure. Those two are still getting over avian pox. I am guessing they were not put into the empty owl flight cage because there have been no birds in there with avian pox. I am hoping that is the reason, it is the only one that makes sense. But then, many things over there don’t make sense to me. We have one Red Shoulder hawk in a small indoor cage, because it is not doing well. The hawk was taken to a good vet, but the vet could not tell what was wrong. Could be arthritis. I didn’t know hawks got arthritis. If the hawk does have this problem, it will have to be put down next week. It’s a beautiful bird… but some birds brought in don’t make it, no matter how beautiful.

One of my favorite parts of the job is holding the tame barn owl. He had good thick jesses that he always wore, and it was fairly easy to get him strapped to my glove and take him outside his cage.  A month or so ago, the head boss replaced the owl’s good jesses with much thinner ones that he can easily remove. It is difficult to put jesses on the birds, they don’t like having them put on. The jesses are strung through the anklets, which the tame birds have on all the time They don’t tend to mind wearing the jesses once they are on, which is good.  I can’t even find one of the barn owl’s jesses. Once I find both, it will be tough to put them on him, and then he”ll remove one or both of them again.. and repeat.. so I haven’t held him in over a week and I am not happy about this. I talked to him for a little while at least, and he acknowledged my presence with his usual hello hiss, which is good, but no happy chirpy noises today. I guess he is not in the best of moods.

We are in our slow season now, and hardly any animals are brought in during the week, compared to many animals being brought in each day throughout part of Spring and Summer. Lately, we’ve just taken in a few pigeons and ducks. Not very exciting, but I like all the animals we get (until they attack me, then I am not so pleased), and am happy we can help any animal.

A cool guy came in today with two pigeons. He also made a donation and said he is thinking of volunteering at the center.  And the AWP people are still working really hard and doing a good job.

That’s the animal news for today.

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