Snowy Owl and Rough legged Hawk Updates!
Soon after the year began, we admitted a Snowy Owl from Westfield. She had accidentally drenched herself in liquid manure in a barn. Gratefully, the farmer was alert, got her out of the mess and called REGI for help. Kathy Esqueda transported her to us. This skinny little lady was a real mess when she was admitted. Her prognosis was guarded, but she did well. She has doubled her weight as of yesterday. The scrawny Snowy owl kid weighed only 750 grams and now tips the scales at 2580 grams. We worried a great deal about the feathers that she lost and the quality of the feathers that she retains following the manure saturating event. The great news is things are looking great for her. We want to test the waterproofing of her feathers during the week, but as of today she is in a larger flight as she can start exercising for release.
Our famous adult male Snowy Owl Coddington was admitted to REGI after he ran into trouble, also with involving cow manure, in Plover, WI. Coddington was part of Project Snowstorm, a superb Snowy Owl research and conservation project. Again, farmer, Brian Biadesen, found and rescued him and got him to REGI for care. Coddington was low in weight and injured suffering contusions on his wing and body, as well as had cow manure on part of his perfect plumage. We are delighted to report that Coddington is doing well and has also gained weight. He was admitted at 1500 grams and as of yesterday weighed 1668 grams. That is a normal weight for a male SNOW. HIs feathers are recovering well, and he also is in the larger flight developing his flight muscles for release. Check out the great research work of Project Snowstorm at https://www.projectsnowstorm.org/tracking-snowy-owls/
Our first patient of the year (001-19 RLHA) was a beautiful light phased adult Rough-legged Hawk. He had been hit by a car near Plover. He was in good weight when admitted and transported to REGI by Dawn Stein. This Rough-legged Hawk had a rough first month as he recovered from internal injuries suffered from his impact with the vehicle. He was unable to digest whole food for the first 2 weeks and required tube feeding. His road to recovery continued to be a rocky back and forth prognosis as his internal organs continued to recover. Finally, 2 weeks ago he hit his stride and began eating and flying. He continues to recover well, and we expect he will be released in a few weeks.
A very beautiful adult female Rough-legged Hawk (007-19 RLHA) was admitted from Wittenberg, WI. She was found near a road unable to fly. She was starving. She too was tube fed like her cage mate listed above. Her recovery was also a rocky one as we fought both starvation and unknown injury. We continued supportive care and tube feeding until she too was able to eat on her own and began to gain weight. She has been in a flight exercising to develop her flight muscles. We expect she too will be released in a few weeks.
Another Rough-legged Hawk from Ladysmith has a spinal injury and is in crticial condition at this time.
Our weather continues to be challenging with below zero temperatures still showing up on the thermometer in the evenings. The great news is the days are longer. The ice and snow cannot help but start a slow melt. We will have more challenging days ahead. We live in Wisconsin, and it is winter, but we have survived the extended record-breaking weeks that had us working day and night caring for our patients as well as keeping enclosures open as best, we could and the yard open for vehicles.
Heroes showed up to help us with the snow emergency. Amanda Adamski drove for over an hour to shovel our release feeding sights and the trash area and Jerry, owner of Reif Construction, that happens to be building our new clinic, and Bruce an employee of Reif Construction. They fixed our snowblower and made paths to each of our many enclosures. Grateful doesn't cover our feelings toward these fantastic people. We now can get to our feeding areas and the garbage bins are uncovered so trash can be reached. Thank you, Amanda, we can now actually walk between buildings on our large compound, when carrying food and water. (Yes, we still carry water to patients in 5 gallon buckets a situation we hope to resolve with a new well this spring) Thank you Amanda, Jerry and Bruce. You are rock stars in our book, and we are grateful.