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IWS PH Nest Updates & Photos; NO COMMENTS OR DISCUSSION ALLOWED
Topic Started: May 19 2008, 09:16 PM (53,862 Views)
ingrid
Member
Hi everyone,

It's been a long, stressful day but both chicks are in our care and safe....

We had been returning from our boat survey when Dave Remple got a call from someone that one of the PH chicks was missing from the nest. We grabbed our gear and sped down to the trailhead. Today was the fastest we have ever hiked to PH nest!!!
Just before arriving at the command center we saw one of the parents fighting off an intruder eagle. We tried to get some of it on film (video and pics to follow). We also had to do some reconnaisance before we made our move, so Cedrick went to the blind, Dave went to hook up the computer, Matt was filming and I went to the command center to check out what was happening in the nest. When the power was on in the command center, Dave and I immediately saw that both chicks were gone from the nest.
Dave, Cedrick and I rushed down to the nest to look for the chicks while Matt filmed. Dave found Wobble (sorry, I still call them Wobble and Bobble) first, just below the nest and under some brush. Wobble has a cracked bill, but seems to be okay otherwise. Cedrick found Bobble lower down the slope, also under some brush. That was when you guys heard me calling for Matt to come and help us gather the birds. Both birds were very alert, which is a good sign. Cedrick and I got Bobble, and all of us returned to the command center, called Peter Sharpe and Dave Garcelon. Dave R. did a medical assessment. Sadly Bobble has a broken wing. We put raptor hoods on the chicks and placed them in soft carrier bags. We got out gear together and hiked back to the vehicle, all the while craddling the chicks like newborn infants, checking to make sure they were watered, cool and comfortable. We returned to the base and cleaned up Wobble's bill and Dave taped Bobble's wing. They were both fed and medicated. They are now both sleeping soundly and seem to be doing well. Tommorow they will be flown to the mainland for veterinary care.
As for the intruder bird, we will be looking at the GPS data as it comes in and hopefully we'll be able to ID it soon. Indeed it was a SC born bird, sub-adult, and probably a 3 year old.
I'm not sure the chicks will be returned to the nest anytime, if at all. That's up to the vets, Peter Sharpe and David Garcelon.
Thanks to all of you for the postings. We were able to peice things together from the postings and clips. Keep it up and of course thank you all for your faith in us! We did out best!!!

I hope this fills in some of the gaps...
Ingrid
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ingrid
Member
We're still awake here, blowing off some steam, but checking on the birds now and then. Taking turns doing it too!!

Ingrid, Cedrick, Dave, Jess, Jess, Donivan, Matt, Earl
(aka eagle 911 crew 2008)
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ingrid
Member
Eaglers,

It was amazing today!! I learned ALOT! When we were hiking back to the truck, i kept saying to myself "OMG" i'm hiking with a young eagle in my arms"!!! I do feel terrible for 10 and 26, and the chicks; they are away fron their home and their parents, but it certainly feels good that everyone here cares and is rooting for them....

ingrid
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Cumbrian
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From: Annie_Little@fws.gov
Subject: Fw: Santa Cruz Eaglets
Date: May 20, 2008 4:49:18 PM PDT (CA)


Hi Pat,

Can you please post this update for me to the forum? I have to run home and
will check in later.

Thanks,

Annie

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This message was sent to Annie Little and Kate Faulkner ... from Dave Garcelon ...


Hi Annie and Kate,

I spoke with Pete who had just left the vet's office. The one bird does
have a fractured humerus as we had thought, but no other injuries. He is
going to have an orthopedic surgeon look at the bird and do the surgery
(probably pinning and wiring the bone). The other chick has been grabbed
in the bill (probably how it was drug out of the nest) and it has a deep
puncture wound in the upper mandible. The vet wanted to keep that bird for
additional treatment and observation to make sure no infection started.

So, that is the news for now. I will keep you posted when I hear more.

Dave.

******************************

David K. Garcelon
Institute for Wildlife Studies
P.O. Box 1104
Arcata, CA 95518
(707) 822-4258
garcelon@iws.org
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IWS Crew
Advanced Member
Hey All,

Peter sent me some pictures of the PH chicks from the vet clinic. Spirit has a broken bill that should heal nicely, but they wanted to keep the bird for a few days just in case infection becomes a problem. Skye has a broken humerus bone that should also heal nicely in 3-5 weeks. At this point we're planning to release both birds from our hack-tower here on the island, using the same techniques we used throughout the reintroduction phase of the project, so it's something we're well practiced in and we expect both birds to have a great chance at success.

Dave

Here are a few photos Pete sent me from the OC vet clinic.

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Spirit being checked by the vet.

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A close up of Spirits bill injury - probably caused by a talon.

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Skye getting a looking-over by the vet. The broken wing is wrapped with red 'vet-wrap'.

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Skye's x-ray - You can see the break in the bone pretty clearly. The vet said the break is in a good spot to be relatively easily mended.
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Eagle Guy
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I think the first chick out of the nest was the one with the beak injury. The vet thinks the second chick may have fractured its wing on the final attack that took it out of the nest because it seemed to turn its right wing towards the attacker at the last second.
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Eagle Guy
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The vet just called and said that the surgery was postponed until tomorrow because there was a complication on an earlier surgery (there were two surgeries scheduled before the eagle's surgery). So things went long and instead of having an exhausted surgeon and staff work on the delicate wing, they are waiting until tomorrow. Both are doing fine and the one with the beak injury is eating like a horse.

Here is a photo I was just sent from Monday's rescue.

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Eagle Guy
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Dr. Weldy just called and they had just finished the 1 1/2 hour surgery on the wing. It has 3 wires wrapped around the bone and three external fixator pins that keep the wing stable. The wing shouldn't need to be wrapped, so it can move it pretty normally. He'll send photos tonight, but everything went well.
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ingrid
Member
Hi eagle watchers!

A lot of you have been asking for the rescue pics and videos. They are on their way, but it'll be at least another day before they are posted. Sorry for the wait, but it'll be worth it!

Ingrid
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Eagle Guy
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Here is Dr. Weldy's summary of the surgery and a few photos.


The animal (bald eagle #65) was anesthetized using gas inhalation and placed on a ventilator. An IV catheter was placed in a leg vein and an infusion pump was used to infuse warmed electrolyte fluids into the bird. The wing was plucked and surgically scrubbed on the outer surface of the wing over the fracture site. The remaining parts of the wing were wrapped in sterile drapes to eliminate contaminating the surgical field. A sticky drape was placed over the surgically scrubbed/prepared surgery site and the incision was made through the drape to minimize bacterial contamination from the skin.The bird was under anesthesia a little over 1.5 hours. Surgery was about 1.25 hours from the first incision to the final radiographs. Three cerclage wires were used to close and oppose the fracture. These are special wires that were wrapped around the bones along the fracture site to hold and oppose the fragments together. This bone is pneumatic (hollow) and communicates to the air sacs and lungs of the eagle. For this reason, we were concerned with placing anything inside the bone to stabilize the fracture like a toggle pin or metal pin (which would involve opening the fracture site) and felt this technique was the fastest, least traumatic and would stabilize the fracture as well as any other techniques available. Minimizing the risk of a lung infection/pneumonia is paramount in managing this repair. The external apparatus is composed of 3 pins penetrating the bone, 2 pins below (distal) to the fracture site and 1 pin above (proximal) to the fracture with a connecting bar between them. This will keep the fractured wing aligned (from bending and rotating) so it can heal. We will leave the wires in forever. The wires are very light weight and will not interfere with the bird's ability to fly. The external pins will be pulled when the bone heals (about 4-6 weeks) if we are lucky. The skin was closed with an absorbable ( they will dissolve) monofilament suture so no sutures need to be removed. The colored wrap over the metal is to keep the edges from poking us and catching on things in the cage. The bird was sitting up 15 minutes post anesthesia. The radiographs are before (see photo from previous update) and after surgery to check pin position and fracture alignment. Dr. Jim Felts feels we got great alignment and pin position (called pin purchase). As you can see by our picture together, we are happy and relieved this is all over and successful. The bird did not eat on its own last night, but I made sure it had food in its crop. Today we are still waiting to see if it will eat on its own. If not, we will force feed it. The bird will be kept on pain management for 3-5 days or as needed and prophylactic antibiotics for 5 days.

The veterinarians and the bird following the surgery (Dr. Weldy on left, Dr. Felts on right)
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The eagle back in its kennel
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X-ray of the wing at its equipment
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Eagle Guy
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Both birds are doing well and eating on their own. The DNA results came back yesterday and both birds are male. I'll talk to Dr. Weldy on Monday to set up a time to bring the first bird back.

Bird with a beak injury
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Bird with wing injury
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ingrid
Member
Finally, the pics of the PH nest rescue on Santa Cruz!


Look closely and you can see the injured bird with a bloody bill behind the bushes.
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Dave carrying the broken bill bird to the command centre.
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Cedrick with the broken wing bird.
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Dave giving the chicks' their first medical exam.
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Ingrid readying the second bird for its exam.
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ingrid
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PH rescue continued:

The first bird resting after its exam.
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Both birds asleep side by side!
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A photo opportunity for Cedrick and Ingrid!!
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Cedrick and Ingrid putting the birds in bags for the hike back to the vehicle.
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Dave (in tent) Cedrick and Ingrid cooling down at the command centre.
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Cedrick and Matt hiking back to the vehicle.
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Eagle Guy
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I just spoke with Dr. Weldy and both birds are doing well. He would like to hold on to the bird with the beak injury for a while longer to make sure things heal. Right now I'm planning to pick it up next Monday and take it to the island on Tuesday. Both are eating on their own and are spending their time together in a dog run.

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ingrid
Member
More photos of PH rescue day:

Jess S. from the IWS Island Fox Crew feeling sad for the birds but still manages to lend a hand.
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Dave disinfecting the broken bill.
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Dave checking out the wing.
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