7/8/08 The eagle life flight cage was finished on 7/7/08! We would like to thank everyone involved, especially our donors and Connie and Clayton Cook for their work on this fundraiser. The flight cage is now known as the Oncale Eagle Flight with special thanks to Brent and Kelley Oncale for their extremely generous donation. For more information and photos, see our Eagle Life Flight page.
2/4/08 LSWR had its very first Eagle release on January 29th. The female Bald Eagle was brought to us by Game Warden Brian Scott and Texas Parks and Wildlife Biologist Chris Gregory on November 12th. She was found on private land in Coldspring, TX, with a fracture to her collar bone. The Eagle was bandaged carefully to allow the bone to heal properly, and she spent four weeks recuperating and receiving physical therapy. After almost six weeks in our large flight cage, she was ready to be released back into her territory. The day was extremely windy but she handled it well. Within two wing beats, she was aloft and flying strong. It wasn't long before we all lost track of her. Without the concerted help of the Game Warden, Biologist, rescuers, A&M Veterinarians, and LSWR volunteers, we would never have been able to give this Eagle a second chance.
12/5/07 Who needs Partridges? We've got Eagles! It's all about Eagles at LSWR this month, and we're looking forward to more!
- From U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service we received our Eagle Permits.
- From Lake Livingston we received an extremely large female eagle that fractured her corcoid (a major flight bone near the collarbone). We expect her to make a full recovery and be released before Christmas.
- From our generous supporters we received a total of $19,000 for our eagle flight cageâ???a big THANK YOU to everyone who donated! We are still working towards our goal of $25,000, but we broke ground on 12/4/07, leveling the area to get it ready. With your help, we hope to start construction soon!
10/29/07 American Bald Eagles are in new homes. In March we took in two immature Eagles that were injured and could not be released back into the wild (see 4/1/07 news entry). The white headed eagle was placed at the Phoenix Zoo. We also did DNA testing and found out "he" is actually a "she"! Justice, the other immature eagle, was placed at the Milford Nature Center in Junction City, KS. Both are on exhibit and happy in their new homes.
8/21/07 Meet Flare, an adult female Red Tailed Hawk. She came to us in Febuary after she had perched on an oil well flare. Unfortunately, the flare fired up before she could fly away, and it singed all of her feathers down to the quill. Every feather on her body was affected, and her feet were badly burned. Once her feet healed, it was a waiting game until she molted in all new feathers. This can take up to two years in the wild, depending on her ability to find good food. I am pleased to announce that our Flare will be released this week (weather permitting) with her new set of molted feathers! With our care and good, wholesome food, she fully molted in less than six months! Flare has built up her stamina and strength and is now flying extremely well. Her time with us was put to good use, as she helped raise an immature male Red Tailed Hawk who will also be released with her. Hopefully both Red Tails will continue to thrive. Think good thoughts!
8/15/07 It's not often that we get in a young bird that we can't identify, but here is our noisy unknownâ???what I believe to be an Ibis. One fact about wildlife rehabilitation is that there are just too few pictures of babies. We get in all kind of baby birds that look nothing like the adults. This is especially true in most of the large birds.
Identifying this bird was a process of elimination. I knew it wasn't a Heron (I've rehabbed most varieties!), and it was too large for a Virginia Rail (despite the similar colouration and beak). Its long legs made me think of an Ibis, but its short, straight beak didn't resemble an Ibis at all.
As our unknown bird has grown, its bill has definitely taken shape into that of an Ibis. So why was it short in the beginning? Well, a young Ibis feeds by placing its beak into its parents mouth, running down the throat as far as it can, to eat partially digested food. That would be very difficult for the nestling as well as very uncomfortable for the parent if the bill was curved. Isn't Mother Nature grand?!
As our little one found its feet and untangled its legs, it started to pick up its food. By the shape of its bill, I knew it was primarily an insect eater so I have kept it on a steady diet of home-grown mealworms, crickets, and grasshoppers. Our Ibis is now outside playing in the pool and is just starting to catch the live crickets I release out there for it. Did I mention how loud it is? Oh, we don't know if it's a male or femaleâ???we'll have to continue to guess that one.
5/18/07 Our condolences go out to the Hurst family on the loss of Justin Hurst. Justin was a game warden in Wharton County that was shot and killed while apprehending a poacher. Justin has brought us several birds of prey over the years, including two eagles, one of which is the immature female that is currently in LSWR care. His great compassion and dedication to his work was outstanding. He will be missed.
4/17/07 On Easter Sunday, we took in four baby Cottontail Bunnies. People were suprised that they could actually reach us on a holiday! But as we explain to folks, animals don't have a concept of good days or bad days to get help. They just need help. Thank you to our kind rescuers for bringing the babies to us so we can give them a second chance.
4/1/07 In March, we took in two American Bald Eagles. An 11-lb, immature female came from El Campo, TX, and a 9-lb male came from Huntsville, TX. Both of these birds arrived within 24 hours of each other with the same injury: they had run into wires and lost a part of their wing. Texas A&M University Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital did an excellent job of cleaning up the amputation sites. Both birds will be placed in education facilities as they cannot be released into the wild.