zaterdag 24 september 2011

OWL Rehabilitation Society - Week Four.

Week four was a one full of 'hands on' experience. I handled several birds and got involved in some interesting cases. It's not the best thing for the birds to take pictures at all times and mostly when it's interesting picture-time I got my hands ful of Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), Barred Owl, Merlin (Falco columbarius), Great Horned (Bubo virginianus) or Osprey (Pandion haliaetus). This juvenile had a bloodfeather so we had to bring it in for a check up.

As I said before, we have some interesting permanent birds. Meet some of our Front-Ed friends. These birds are all placed in pairs or groups and are mainly used as forsterparents for juvenile birds. They give to the youngster what we can't give...'Birdmanners'.

Serenity- female Snowy Owl (Nyctea scandiaca).

Goldie - female Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).

Rusty - male Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus) -
light morph.

Casper - female Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) -
sub-arctic morph.

These pictures show you why they call the magnificient Golden Eagle 'Golden'. They also show some interesting morph-types. North America's Birds of Prey are geographically variable in colour. Casper for example is a light grey-white morph of the Great Horned because she was used to the life up north, a lot of snow and a different sub-arctic landscape. Great Horned Owls in southern BC are darkbrown-grey. She's the Bombdiver by the way. And I'd like to introduce you to our new pet, don't ask me how this little hairy guy ended up in our bed...

Some voices whisper that it was hiding in my hair! We're babysitting the Farty-Bumbum Trio, we're still enjoying the sun but we did welcome some showers, we're still trying to teach our hound some manners and I'm waiting to taste Hannah's first and without a doubt delicious cheesecake!


Thurb-Han-Tho-Living the LowLife.

vrijdag 16 september 2011

OWL Rehabilitation Society - Week Three.

Meet Rob Hope, Rob is OWL's mainsupervisor when it comes to Bird Care! He's training this female Peregrine Falcon (Falco perigrinus) to hunt again. It's an intense proces of mutual respect between falcon and falconner. After the training is over, this bird will hopefully be released with succes.

A lot of International Volunteers join OWL to learn all about raptors. Liron (Germany), Pascal (Swiss) and I (Belgium) often do jobs or check-ups together. Field Flights contains 11 Bald Eagles in rehab, five of these big birds are ready for release. It's always exciting in this cage, we feed, we clean or we mow the fields! You need eyes on your back, that's for sure...These pictures are Liron's by the way, thanks mate!


I always enjoy doing the check-up in Interim Training Flights. This cage contains Owls and Hawks in rehab. Two Barred Owls (Strix varia) are definitely ready for release, the moment you throw the mice on the platform they come and get it superfast which is a wonderful scene to look at...enjoy!

And sometimes there's a collision...: )

Whenever there's a dead bird we can practice several injections on it in the Medical Room. We do subcutaneous and intramuscular injections and try eight-wraps around the wings. I all looks so easy...on a dead bird! Sonja and Liron try very hard to bring this Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) back alive ; ).

We handfeed several glovetrained birds on a daily base. These birds are all permanently injured or human imprint. Experienced volunteers take them to schools and events to teach people all about raptors. Sarah, a four year old Barn Owl (Tyto alba), raised by people, spends her days on a perch in the common room and gets her fly-training in the Inside Interim every day. It's very interesting to follow her training up close or to do it yourself.

The beard is gone...Not only Rob trains the young Peregrine, Barb and Martina take over when Rob's not around. The first step of the training is the jump to the glove. They place the bird on a perch and she has to jump a couple of feet to the food on the glove. At this point, the falcon is still leashed because she might take off and it's way to early for her.

Have you met Pygar in the header? Handsome juvenile Golden Boy!
MeetTheMooseCrew still standing and living the life.
Almost time to go home...


Sideshow Deejay and Pervert.

woensdag 14 september 2011

Mushrooms in Boston Bar?

Nope, no mushrooms in Boston Bar. Normally, fall is the ideal mushroomseason! But The biggest part of British Columbia had an extraordinary month of september so far, with a lot of sun and high temperatures. What a mushroom needs is moisture so we'll need a few days of rain before we can start picking. We didn't mind the sun on this lovely day! A roadtrip to Boston Bar feat. Tanja Tija Minga Zizi and Cava.

This picture is on its side for an unknown reason. Anyway, we had a lovely day and lots of fun. The girls had there swim in the lake, we picked berries, we had lunch and we tried to catch some fish without any luck...On the road back home, three girls and two dogs were sleeping in the car and I had a little nap myself!

Beware mushrooms, once the rain comes...we'll be back! It's always an adventure with Tania and the FartyBumbum Sisters.

Lots of love

T H & Th.

woensdag 7 september 2011

OWL Rehabilitation Society - Week Two.

It's quiet at the facility, we do our daily check ups on the birds in rehab and on our permanent birds. It's cool to learn the different habits of several raptors during this daily routine. Casper, a Great-horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) attacks on a regular base so we have to wear a hardhat while going in. And beware of Ladyhawk when she's in a bad mood. Flinger, a Roadside Hawk (Buteo magnirostris), native to Latin America is a lot easier to deal with. She's glovetrained and we handfeed her every day.

Every two days, our Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Goldie, needs to be treated. She has severly advanced bumblefoot. This bacterial infection of the footpads is very common for raptors in captivity. There are only a few options left for Goldie. In a few days, x-rays will make the decision for this beautiful old eagle.

I've handfed several birds already so I'm getting used to handling birds on the glove and everything that comes with it. I hope I'll have the chance to work with Stella one day. Stella is a big sized female Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). She's been through some rough things in the past and she's not easy to handle but it's definitely worth every risk!

I've spend some time with the Barn Owls (Tyto alba) last week. This is probably the only place one earth where Barn Owls can actually rehab in a barn...with real chickens! I've fed the Owls several times and I've cleaned the barn...this is a great idea to take home!

And ofcourse we have our unexpected visitors passin by. A big coon visits us on a regular base to steal Tiger's (the housecat) food and Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) have their nest under the roof of the Outside Interim Cages. Everybody has its place...

If you deal with living animals, you have to be able to deal with the dead ones as well. Unfortunately, today one of our latest permanent birds, Peanut, died unexpectedly. Peanut was a little Northern Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium californicum). Pygmy-Owls are smaller than a Starling with an average weight of 70 g. Peanut could have been very old...You can only do so much, so long Peanut!

Enjoying life in North Surrey feat. Tania Zia Tia Minga Cava Jake Tamara Duke and Maya.
Learning every day at OWL feat. Rob Barb Martina Pascal Julia Sonja Liron and a 1000 volunteers.
The Beard The lady and the Pervert.

Unforgettable High and LowLights.

Lonely Icefisher, End of Season...Parry Sound, April 2011.

Viktor, Dead Horse On My Mind, Maberly April 2011.

T H Th.