Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Toucan Mom, Sloth Mom and now Owl Mom
We have been super busy with Raptors lately, this young Spectacled owl came in two weeks ago, from the Caribbean side of the country. Some folks found her on the ground and took her in. The problem is that they also clipped all her wings. Unfortunately when this happens it can take a year to grow out...so she is stuck here with us. We have a large adult Spectacled owl that I have always wanted company for, and indeed he has accepted her well and they are together in a huge enclosure, but for now I have her in a large cage within the cage while we make sure that she is adjusting and eating well. This is the type of situation, that if they had left the baby alone, in the trees, the parents would come and feed it. Education is very important and we will be talking about her to our visitors. She is very large, like 15 inches, and looks like cotton candy with claws.
This Black and White owl also came from the Caribbean with horrible injuries in the wing...all the tendons and blood vessels were gone, so the vet decided the only way of fighting infection and problems would be to amputate the wing, so he survived the surgery and is actually doing very well. He is the third owl that we have with an amputated wing. It's a long recovery process, which we are just beginning. Once he heals from surgery we will be doing extensive therapy with him to re-gain his balance. This marks owl number 14 in our program! Amazing creatures that I never imagined I would be working with :)
Our Barred Hawk is getting along really well, eating tons, and adjusting to life at the ranch. I was able to speak with the veterinarian who initially treated him and we spent a long time on the phone discussing his situation. He has actually been in captivity for 6 months now. He was found on a farm with his "elbow" shattered. The vet in Turrialba had the bird with him for a few months, then they sent it to a macaw rescue where they had him in a huge flight and there they realized that he really cannot fly. Apparently that is why they asked me to take him. I was under the impression that he might be able to fly when I accepted him, for possible release. I did a flight test in our large flights and he flutters down to the ground. He is able to move and use the wing, but not sustain flight, or hunt. Very sad. I had my biologist friend come check him, as well as my vet, and another friend, everyone has the same conclusion....he can probably fly a bit, but not well enough to hunt...one friend even suggested that his wound looked like a small pistol shot from a 22. I asked the vet about this and he said very likely. His scientific name is Leucopternis princeps, so we named him Prince.
The Toucan babies are now juveniles and full of energy, they spent a few weeks in a smaller cage outside, getting used to the elements and now are in one of the small flights. They cried all day every time they saw me, begging for me to feed them, but they can feed themselves now, so I just went in to visit with them :)
Also new to the Ranch are these two Emaciated Red-Lored Amazons. They were taken out of a very bad situation and came in literally starved to almost death. They have not stopped eating in 7 days and barely bring their heads out of the food bowls. Soon they will figure out that there is more food coming each day and settle down. When this happens they usually start to shed the feathers and grow beautiful new ones...good thing, because once again...you guessed it, horrible wing clips.
Remember Charley the Scarlet macaw? Well look closely, she is finally using her foot to hold herself up and perch!! Only one foot works, but as you can see she is getting along nicely. She now climbs up and down her cage and gets plenty of exercise like this. (scroll thru previous blogs to read her story)
We are working on constuction of Enclosures!!! Tomorrow morning we have ground breaking for Jou- Jou the Kinkajou's palace, and then we finally got the permits back from the Municipality to make a huge enclosure for Isadora Issy the spider monkey...hopefully she will be as thrilled as we are. Thanks to many many donations from our visitors and followers we are making wonderful habitats for these two lucky ones!!
I will send photos of these habitats when finished, and now we have a new challenge, funding for Prince and his large flight that we will need to build! It never ends.....but just in case you are wondering if I ever say no to anything, in the middle of all these new arrivals I got an emergency call from Fish and Wildlife here asking if I could take in several small parrots and amazons that were all confiscated out of some trafficers house. We were waiting for the owl to return from surgery, and trying to accomodate all the new arrivals, so I actually said, no I'm sorry...we are full for now!