Blog Archives

The importance of a Certified Avian Vet

Hi!  I’m Sammy, a blue and gold macaw.  In November 2014, I was surrendered to Fallen Feathers.  I had been living alone for a while as my previous owner(s) didn’t like it when I made noise and they said I wasn’t friendly.

 

On my left wing, I had a growth that had been growing for 10 years.   Jody was concerned about it and took me to Dr. Hillary Frank at North Central Animal Hospital. The doctor took some bloodwork and determine that surgery was a necessity.

In the meantime, I visited with other birds, meet many volunteers, introducing myself to anyone that would walk into the garage.  The garage contained other Macaws and lots of other birds.  I like having all the new friends.

The day came for my surgery. Surgery is dangerous for anyone, but especially for birds.  It is very difficult. Luckily, Dr. Frank is a Certified Avian Veterinarian, so I knew I was in good hands.  She wanted the best for me and I was certainly happy to be rid of that lump.

 

The mass that was on my wing was sent to the lab for testing. We found out that it was benign. Jody was relieved. I wasn’t yet as I had to heal for 2 weeks with the cone of shame around my neck.

While wearing the cone, volunteers had to hand feed me and give me water.   I also got to sleep on the perch since the cone couldn’t fit in a cage and allow me much movement. I’m sure the other birds were somewhat jealous.

It’s been a few months.  I am fully healed and looking for my forever home.

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King for the Day

Baby bird season took over the Sanctuary.  I watched over 1,000 birds come in and out of Fallen Feathers from March to July.  The baby Great Horned owls that took over the aviaries next to mine are now fully feathered Juvenile Great Horned owls ready to be released and explore the world of their own.

Experienced volunteers are busy training new volunteers and saying goodbye to volunteers going off to college.  Needless to say it’s been a busy couple of months.   And it’s hot. People in Arizona only stay outside as long as they have to.

Yesterday, I was privileged to attend the Bye Bye Buzzard event at Boyce Thompson Arboretum.  It’s an annual event that the park has been doing for 20 years.  This is the second time we have participated.

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The buzzards were everywhere lined on the cliffs.  There was a  group of people watching the buzzards and learning about vultures when we arrived.  Everyone was happy to see me up close.  I don’t go to as many events as the other birds, but when I do, it’s special.  Today was MY day.

Red (Red Tailed Hawk), Nod (American Kestrel), Digger (Burrowing Owl) and Raven also attended.  They enjoyed being out and hanging out in the beautiful trees.  Well, not Digger, he still prefers his basket.

 

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Thank you, Paul for inviting us and celebrating the buzzard.  Thank you to the staff and all the fellow birders for making us feel welcome.  We hope to be back for Welcome Back Buzzards next year.

Voldemort, the Turkey Vulture

Dusty in the Storm

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My name is Dusty, I am a Barn Owl. Today two volunteers came into my aviary and brought me inside, where I met another volunteer. This one had a big scary thing hanging from her neck. It was called a camera by others. I had many pictures taken of me (above) and I screamed at the volunteers to scare them. When I tried to fly away, they grabbed and placed me in a carrier.

From there I met the three volunteers who took me for a ride to my new home. They talked and I screeched over them, making it difficult to hear. I didn’t like listening to this “Katy Perry” person, and screamed at them to stop it.

When we arrived, I saw trees, bushes, and farmland. This would be my new home. As soon as we were about to release there was a terrible beeping sound, an alert appeared on all three volunteers’ phones at once: “Severe Dust Storm”. The volunteers refused to release in such bad weather. So we started our long drive back to the rescue where I would be safe in my aviary. I saw other birds struggling to fly in the strong wind. I am glad they didn’t put me out there.

On the way back I complained, I had a very long day and was tired; also, the volunteers stopped for ice cream, which I wanted to try. Although I did stop complaining and was silent for one song by a person known as “P!nk”. This radio thing is very interesting. Now I am sitting and waiting for my release in the aviary with some food.  I appreciate the shelter, I am protected from the ongoing storm.

-Dusty, the Barn Owl

P.S.  I had to wait two more days due to bad weather.  I heard the volunteers talking and they put me back in a carrier and back in the car.  I complained and jumped around.  I lurched at where the opening of the carrier was but it wouldn’t give.  I had to endure another car ride.   The volunteers took me back to the same place.  It was perfect and I was very happy and excited.  I quickly flew away, stretching my wings, knowing I was free.

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Road Trip

I’m Alice, a Cooper’s Hawk.  I’ve lived at Fallen Feathers for a while.  I’m still being trained to attend our events.  It takes a lot of work to go to events and I’m a very anxious breed of bird.  Our Executive Directors and volunteers are very patient with me.   Let me tell you a little about what they do to support us every day and thru these events.

About a week ago, we attended Parada Del Sol parade.  It was the first time we have been there and it was quite the honor.  The event itself started at 10am, but we had to be there to set up at 7am.  That means that the people wake up at 4am to feed us and start getting us birds ready (jessed and crated).

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We were on the road a little after 6.  We checked into the event and everyone started unloaded the trailer.  We birds waited patiently (except Raven, she hops around).

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Once the canopies and tables are all up, the perches are set up and we come out.  People start coming by almost instantly with questions.   Some of our events we have a kid section too with some sort of craft.

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Our volunteers spend the entire event educating people about us (birds) and about the rescue/rehab we live in.  At this event, I got a new perch.  It was very nice and I felt very comfortable.  The other perches we had were fine, and the other birds didn’t seem to mind them, but I am particular.

Here I am, along with Jack, the Harris Hawk and Digger, the Burrowing Owl.    Flat Stanley visited us on Valentine’s Day, shown here with a volunteer and Raven.  Finally, there is Robert, the Great Horned Owl.

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Our entire education bird family is not shown here, but we were all at the event.   The Parade portion of Parada Del Sol finished at 4pm.   People continued to visit while everything was being put on the trailer.  This is common for us.  It’s nice to be seen and cared about by the public and our volunteers are always happy to answer questions.  You’ll just have to come see us in person to truly appreciate everything that is done.

We got home about 7:30pm, put in our aviaries to have our dinner.  It was a good day and now we get to rest.

We will be back with Parada Del Sol this weekend for the main events on Feb 28th and at Tres Rios Natural Festival next weekend (March 7 & 8).   Hope to see you there.

Alice, the Cooper’s Hawk

Not Your Average Target Trip

It all started near the Agua Fria riverbed and Happy Valley, behind the Target plaza.

I live in the area.  The expanse of hunting ground is good (screenprint from Google Maps).

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Caught on Barbed Wire

I’m a prairie falcon.  I am lighter colored than the peregrine falcon.  I cruise at about 45 mph, at a little over 3 feet off the ground when I’m hunting.  I fly faster when I have found my prey.

Today I was on the hunt and ran into some barbed wire.  Not good news.

I am lucky.  A lady walking her dog found me and called Fallen Feathers.  Jody, their founder came to get me; it helps that she lives only minutes away.  That was also fortunate for me as I was in serious need of medical treatment.   The barbed wire cut me deeply on my leg and stomach.  I have been at Fallen Feathers for two nights resting and healing.  They put this annoying necklace on me so I can’t pick at my stitches.   I don’t know how long I am going to be here, but I do know that next time, I’m shopping somewhere else for my food.

Duke, the prairie falcon

Update:  Unfortunately Duke did not survive the severity of his injuries.

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Prairie Falcon

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Fixing our Nest

The beginning of the New Year means it’s almost baby bird season again.  They have been fortunate the past few months to have the time to “get their ducks in a row”.  If you have never been to Fallen Feathers before, the whole organization is operated out of a home.  It is generous and loving and we birds appreciate it greatly.

   
 
Volunteers have been helpful with removing old broken equipment, building new aviaries and resealing existing aviaries.

While one of the goals of Fallen Feathers is to have a free standing facility in the northwest valley, there is still room to grow until that happens.  Help is needed establishing watering throughout the aviaries and additional landscaping would be nice so that we birds have plenty of shade in any new aviaries.

A very generous donation of various bird items and statues was granted in late November.  Everyone has been decorating the grounds celebrating the very creatures they are trying to help.

Today, another much needed donation arrived.  A new trailer for hauling perches, displays and documents for the various public events that Fallen Feathers attends.
The holidays were good to Fallen Feathers, but they work hard and it is well deserved.  They help over a thousand birds a year solely on donations and volunteers and it still isn’t enough to cover the need.
For now the gifts and the break are being enjoyed.   Next month the babies will start coming in and everyone will be very busy for at least 6 months.  As for me, time to find a place to cozy down and keep warm.
Lovey and Thurston,
the neighborhood mourning doves

Autumn’s Big Day (Barn Owl Release)

It’s seems like only days, but I have been at Fallen Feathers for over three months.  My feathers are all in and I’m starting to fly.  I’m not a baby any more so I don’t click for my food.  I’ve started making other barn owl sounds, mainly my scream.  We barn owls don’t hoot like other owls.

I don’t like being around the humans.  I watch them carefully when it’s feeding time.  Two days ago, one of the volunteers came into my habitat to take my picture.  She told me I was beautiful.  I tried to intimidate her with my wings and then I was ready to fly away too, if needed.

Today that same volunteer came and took me from my habitat and drove me away.  I screamed at her to tell her how displeased I was but she told me that I would be fine and that I was going back home to see my parents.  I was being released.

I don’t like car rides but it was worth it.  I saw the man who took me to Fallen Feathers.  He was very excited to have me back in the area.  He told us where my parents live and said that I have a sibling that just started flying too.    I hope they will welcome me back.

I was taken good care of.  I’m healthy and strong.  I’m ready to face the whole world.

Autumn, the Barn Owl

It was a Fowl Kind of Day

I don’t want to jinx anything, but it’s been a little quiet around Fallen Feathers these days.   The last of the baby doves and pigeons are grown.  Most of the intakes now are injured birds.  It’s time to get projects done.  Volunteers have been building new aviaries and taking down old structures that no longer fit our needs.  We are “cleaning house”.

For two of us, it’s also our very lucky day.  Today is the day that I get released.  I’m Charles, the Coot.  I’m also called a mud hen.  I’m a water fowl that has a chicken like beak but webbed feet.  I was rescued by the Brophy College Preparatory Rowing Team  at Tempe Town Lake and brought all the way up to Fallen Feathers.   Mac, the coach checks on me regularly, makes me feel very special.

Charles, the Coot and Mel, the Mallard

Charles, the Coot was very excited to be released and quickly joined up with fellow coots in the pond.  Meanwhile, Mel, the Mallard, casually surveyed the area before joining the flock.

For more information about Fallen Feathers, please visit our website at www.fallenfeathers.org

We Are Grateful For Our Partners

What a surprise for us all.  Today wasn’t a scheduled event, but Jody said it was something that we needed to do.  We birds don’t like to go hungry.  We indeed give a Hoot About Hunger.

What is this all about, you ask?  Today, was Super Saturday Turkey Drive for St Mary’s Food Bank Alliance at Albertson’s Grocery Stores around metro Phoenix.   What you probably don’t know is that Fallen Feathers is an agency of St Mary’s Food Bank.  We receive pet food when it is donated to the food bank.  While this is not guaranteed food, it is always appreciated.

A tip of the feather to this great organization.  We thought we would come out and show our support and our gratitude this season.

I’m Nocturnal

Usually, at least.  Yesterday, however, I made an appearance at Local First Fall Festival in Downtown Phoenix. 
 
I had been shot and my wound had been left for 5 days and then I was taken to Fallen Feathers.  I was taken for medical treatment and I lost my wing.  I’m happy to be alive and I’ve been an Education Bird for 17 years now.  I go to events to help Jody talk about the Rescue and Rehabilitation work that they do every day.
I’m one of eight birds that regularly come out to events.  Fallen Feathers has owls, hawks, falcons, a vulture and a raven.  I’m the oldest.

Every year I also teach about a dozen baby great horned owls the ways of the world, how to hunt, how to eat.

It’s a tough job, but some owl has to do it so they can survive when they go back into the wild. 

 
As for today, I watch the other birds.  I watch our volunteers.  I watch the people taking pictures of me and the people waking by.  I turn my head left and right, the full 270 degrees that I can.  I watch everything. 
 
Robert, the Great Horned Owl

 

 
For more information about Fallen Feathers, visit our website at www.fallenfeathers.org