Monday, 26 April 2010

Health & Hormones

This time of year always amazes me. Between the moult and the breeding season starting, it is fascinating to watch the change in the attitude of the birds. Oscar, the Barn owl, has become vocal, as usual. Aggro, the Red-tailed Hawk, has started playing with the knot on her leash, again. Orla, the Golden Eagle, has started getting jealous, and wants attention all the time. Kalinka, the Ferruginous Eagle, also wants attention, and has started showing her aggressive side. She caught me just below the eye with her beak on Sunday, it could have been an awful lot worse.

On the other hand, medically, everyone is improving. Luca, the Steppe Eagle, had a bad case of bumblefoot, an infection in the feet caused by him standing on a sharp branch stub on his perch, not just one foot, both. Both feet have improved a lot in the last week, so much so, I have removed the bandage from his left foot. Bernie, the Tawny Owl, had a set-to with a wild Tawny on the roof of his aviary, the wild one caught his foot through the mesh and left a nasty scrape. That has completely healed, I had to check the medical notes to make sure I was looking at the correct foot, which was the right one, by the way.

The two wild buzzards are moulting well, almost finished and ready for training. That will ensure they are fit for release. Ben, the "wild retained", Long-eared Owl, had his routine maintenance the other day. We have to trim his beak regularly to make sure it doesn't twist the upper mandible. He is the Owl that was brought in five years ago with a broken beak. Sabre, the Goshawk, has had her beak trimmed too. The beak was lop-sided when we got her, gradually, we have managed to trim it back to almost the correct shape.

There are feathers flying, (pardon the pun), all over the place. Looks like we will have few flying birds during the summer. So far, fingers crossed, Orla has not started moulting.

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