Sunday, March 04, 2007

Someone pass the Nyquil?

Do we really need our sinus cavities? I mean, why are they there, if we only notice them when they are clogged beyond belief?
I would like to just taste an orange, or some soup, or anything except this nothingness.
I will be swilling a rather large dose of Nyquil in a minute, so this post should be coherent, but if I leave nonsensical garbage on your blog, please forgive me.
Big tree went boom boom
A big tree fell at Lake Isabella. It is rather close to the GHO nest, though the nest is still there. What is NOT there is the female owl. I noticed her absence last week, but held out hope that she was just low in the nest, brooding 2 or 3 new chicks. But it seems that there has been a nest failure. There could be any number of reasons:
1. The female died for some reason.
2. The male died for some reason, and the female would have to leave the nest to hunt for herself, leaving the eggs/chicks to grow cold.
3. The eggs were duds and the parents left the nest.
So, it's still early, so if they are both still alive, they will try again. If one of them has died, hopefully the remaining owl will find another mate and go on.
Speaking of death:
Helen, the 22 1/2 year old red-tailed hawk at RAPTOR, died after a prolonged illness of unknown origin.

helen and me

close up helens face
Marilyn, one of our rehabbers, tried everything she could think of to save Helen. She was up tube-feeding Helen every 2 or 3 hours for days and days, but to no avail.
If there is a Rainbow Bridge for wild birds, Helen is sitting on top of it, with full sight and feeling a rush of youthful buoyancy in her veins.
Helen (1984-2007)

Armleder Park is Flooded
I heard on Cincy Birds that someone had seen 30+ sandhill cranes land near Armleder Park, so I took the girls out with high hopes. And this greeted us. A park and parking lot full of water. Damn.

Geoff took the girls to an indoor playground while I fell into a cold-virus-induced coma on the couch. I woke up in time to notice this out the window, in the back yard:
Our resident red-shouldered hawk had caught herself a mouse and was tearing it apart on our back fence! See the brake light on the car behind her? I bet that was a startling sight to the person driving by.
RS feeding
Jeff, our bander, told me to be on the lookout for color bands on the RS in the area, because RAPTOR has monitored an RS nest very close to our house in the past. This one did NOT have a color band, so she is either one of the adults, or a new bird to the area.
RS getting ready to fly
Just before take-off (did she realize I was watching?).

If you look really close, you can see blood on her talons.
When a sight like this catches my eye, it feels like such a blessing. I am not one to prescribe to any religion, but "blessing" is the only word I can think of to describe it.

Boomer update:
Today, Boomer was adopted by a family in Indiana, with a few kids and a female Boston Terrier. First reports say that he is getting along just fine.
Thank goodness.

Sunday Sketch:

sunday sketch 030407


Mary said...

What a load of information, Susan! But I can't get past Helen - 22-1/2 years old? They live that long??? So sorry...

And I'm also glad to hear Boomer has been adopted! Yay!

Great photos, love the sketch.

Take care of YOU. One of the worst things in life is not being able to taste food. I surf the frig and panty when that happens to me - desperate to taste something.

Dave said...

It's a bummer when you loose a good bird. You have my sympathies.

Aleeve Cold & Flu, a gift from the drug gods.

Trixie said...

Sweeeet RS photos! I dig the brake light. What concentration from the hawk not to let the car rattle it.

Feel better!

NatureWoman said...

Ugh, I hear you about the sinu cavities - don't pay attention to them until they are all clogged up and you can hear the shower spray in your brain, and you can't hear anything or smell anything or taste anything. Been there, starting to get over that now.
Ohhhh, I'm sorry Susan about Helen, may she RIP.
Ewww, a parking lot full of water - why? Goes back to my water in places it shouldn't be issue.
Cool shot of your red-shouldered hawk!
Good news on Boomer! Will you get further updates?
Love your Sunday sketch! Wraps your week up good.

mon@rch said...

Susan – always love finding GHOW’s nesting! Sorry about their failure but as always they must have a good reason for it. Sorry to hear about Helen and sounds like she lived a wonderful 22 years. That is ace regarding the Red-Shouldered Hawk! Did some studies with them in the 1990’s and probably one of my fave’s of all Raptors!

Liza Lee Miller said...

First, YAY Boomer! You be a GOOD boy now and treat that family well!

Second, I'm so sorry about Helen. :(

Third, totally cool RS on your back fence. Wow!

Fourth (but now that I think of it, should be first), FEEL BETTER!!!