November 12, 2014 Leave a comment
April 18, 2014 1 Comment
We released four birds over the course of a week! This video shows two of them, released on April 10th. The first, an immature Red-shouldered Hawk we call Tyson (because he is a spirited fighter) was released by Owl Moon volunteer Jaci Rutiser at Little Bennett Regional Park, in Clarkesburg, MD. Back on January 26th, Tyson was lying in the road at a major intersection not far from Little Bennett Park, and was lucky to be spotted by Jim, who rescued him and brought him home. Jim kept him overnight and in the morning the hawk seemed somewhat recovered. Jim and his wife debated what to do: release him? Fortunately, they chose to play it safe, and brought him to Owl Moon Raptor Center. We took Tyson to Second Chance Wildlife Center, where x-rays revealed he had a fractured coracoid, a strong bone, important for flight, that connects the shoulder to the breast plate. Tyson’s recovery required 3 weeks with the wing in a body wrap, removed periodically for physical therapy (during this period he was given medications for pain and inflammation), followed by 3 weeks of flight reconditioning.
The other bird featured in the video is an immature female Sharp-shinned Hawk, released at Meadowside Nature Center in Rockville, MD. “Peep” (because she often “greeted” us with a peep when we entered her chamber), was picked up by Washington DC Animal Control in Southeast DC on March 3th, and taken to City Wildlife on March 4th, where she received a thorough examination and initial care for a fractured radius, the smaller of two bones in the “forewing”, and a wound at the fracture site. Peep was transferred to Owl Moon for continued care and reconditioning on March 7th. Peeps recovery required two plus weeks in a wing wrap with periodic physical therapy, antibiotics and pain medication, and finally flight reconditioning. Both hawks were ready for release on a perfect weather day, April 10th. Thank you to Anisa Peters for taking and editing this video!
A Barred Owl we call Bode was released on April 4th at Greenwood Park, near where he was found just 10 days earlier (March 25th), in the middle of traffic on Route 108 in downtown Olney, MD. The owl had been hit by a car and would most certainly have been hit by another car, if Jim had not come to his aid. Jim picked him up and called Montgomery County Animal Control, who broughy him to Second Chance wildlife Center. There he received a thorough examination and x-rays, and initial care for a concussion. He was transferred to Owl Moon on March 30th, for continued care and flight testing. Fortunately for Bode, the blow to his head was relatively minor and did not involve his eyes (as it often does in owls), and he recovered quickly.
Another immature Red-shouldered hawk, “Elsa”, named by Daisy Brownie Troop 1876, was released on April 7th at Caitlin Dunbar Nature Center in Ellicott City, MD. These young Girl Scouts happened to have a nature program scheduled, and got a special treat to watch the hawk fly free! Elsa had been found a few miles from there, in Timmy’s back yard in Lichester, MD on November 9th. Timmy rescued her, and his dad, naturalist Billy “Box Turtle”, transported her to Owl Moon. Elsa had a hematoma and severe bruising on her right shoulder and wing. Her recovery required a week plus in a wing wrap, and several more weeks of physical therapy and exercise alternating with rest. But the most amazing thing about Elsa is that she had already survived an earlier accident, which had fractured her left leg in two places. We think her first accident must have happened in the nest, and that she survived through the healing process only because her parents took good care of her. Miraculously, she retained good function and mobility in the fractured leg and foot. But her left leg will always be somewhat weaker than her right. So, though fully recovered from her injuries by early January, we decided to hold Elsa until spring, so we could release her in warm weather, and with an abundant food supply, to improve her chances of survival given her handicap.
In March, we needed to prepare her for release. Because of the old leg fracture, we could not put jesses on her and use our usual method of reconditioning raptors, creance flying. Instead, we sent her to Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research Center in Newark, DE, where they kindly offered to place her in a large flight cage with other Red-shoulder and Red-tailed Hawks, and she could get flight exercise interacting with them. She was there for three weeks, and when she was ready, we retrieved her and transported her back to her home turf, where she was returned to the wild.
January 24, 2014 1 Comment
Here is a link to follow-up story written by the Potomac Almanac about Mama bird‘s release.
January 22, 2014 3 Comments
Owl Moon is in the news again!
On Monday, we rescued this gorgeous, massive female Great Horned Owl from entanglement in poultry netting at a small farm in Potomac. She was exhausted and dehydrated, but fortunately, her injuries: abrasions on her left foot and muscle strain from struggling to free herself, were relatively minor, and she only required 5 days to recover. She was released back in the neighborhood last night (after the farm owners modified the netting to make it taut and secure, safe for tempted raptors).
Netting of all kinds (poultry, deer, landscape, soccer, etc.) are a hazard to birds. Raptors, who cannot see it, will fly into it chasing prey, which may be songbirds trapped under it!
Here is a link to the rescue story, recently published in the Potomac Almanac. There will be a follow-up story of the release coming out soon!
January 11, 2014 1 Comment
Good Morning! This story about our streak of Eastern Screech-owls came out in the Washington Post Kids Post online today. Look for it in print tomorrow in the Sunday Post. It includes some cute pics of the little guys! Read the story here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/caring-for-feathered-friends/2014/01/09/faa5efd8-7668-11e3-af7f-13bf0e9965f6_story.html
January 9, 2014 Leave a comment
Thank you to everyone who donated during our winter fundraiser. Together, we raised over $2500 to support the care of orphaned and injured birds of prey in the coming year. The calendars are now sold out, but we are happy to accept your donations any time of year on our donate page.
January 7, 2014 2 Comments
You are invited to a free raptor talk at Meadowside Nature Center! I will share stories about wildlife rehabilitation and my work with birds of prey. Two of my former patients, Duke (formerly known as “Sir Galahad”) and Sterling, will be there too! You can read Duke’s story here.
Light refreshments will be provided. This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited so please go to the event page or call 301-258-4034 to register. I’d love to see you there!
Wednesday, January 15, 6:45-8:30pm
Nature Matters: Rehabbing Raptors at Owl Moon Raptor Center
5100 Meadowside Lane, Rockville, MD 20855
Master Wildlife Rehabilitator Suzanne Shoemaker shares her experiences and stories from working with raptors at the Owl Moon Raptor Center (OMRC), in Boyds, MD. Suzanne is the founder and operator of OMRC and an expert on animal behavior, animal adaptations, and ecology. Two of Meadowside’s birds will be present at the lecture — both rehabilitated by Suzanne! Free. Ages 14 and up. Call 301-258-4034 to register. Light refreshments provided.