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Rescued Bald Eagle Released, Dedicated to the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund

From Martin Tyner, Founder of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation:
On Friday, January 27th, the eagle release was dedicated to the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund. An organization that helps underprivileged children receive hearing aids and other services, so that they may hear the sounds of music, their mother’s voice and their friend’s laughter.

Justin Osmond, Founder and CEO of Olive Osmond Hearing Fund and his father Merrill Osmond, lead singer and producer of the Osmond Family were chosen to release the eagle. At 3:30 Friday afternoon we invited everyone that would like to attend to meet us at Rush Lake Ranch, about 10 miles north of Cedar City along the Minersville Highway, to witness this beautiful eagles return to the sky.

The release site is about 8 miles from our rescue center. An old abandoned pioneer farm with a grove of large cottonwood trees. This is a favorite roosting site for the bald eagles that come down from Canada to spend the winters with us in Southern Utah.

There were over a hundred spectators that had come to watch the eagle release. As I got out of the car I pointed to the trees about two hundred yards away where there are three adult bald eagles, which had already arrived for their evening of rest in the large cottonwood trees. More eagles would be arriving soon. The largest group of eagles I’ve seen in that grove of trees at one time was 48 bald eagles in one sitting. This is the perfect place to release my newest eagle.

We gave Justin Osmond a moment to tell everyone about the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund and the amazing service they provide to under-privileged children with hearing loss. We walked a few steps over to the black rock wall that surrounds the property. I removed the hood from the eagles head and instructed Merrill Osmond to push the eagle away from him as the eagle is released, then she will soar back into the sky.

When I said to Mr. Osmond, “release the eagle”, she immediately took to the sky, flew hundreds of yards to the southwest and then turned to the north and landed at the top of the giant cottonwood trees with her fellow eagles.

We now wait for the next phone call, to rescue a sick, injured or orphaned wild critter. But in the meantime I will continue to provide wildlife programs to the schools, scouts, eagle courts of honors and community events with my best friend, a golden eagle named Scout, a 28 year old Harris Hawk named Thumper and a prairie falcon named Cirrus.

If anyone would like more information about our wildlife rescue or wildlife educational programs please contact us at: info@gowildlife.org

Great Horned Owl Release | Jan 25, 2017

This great horned owl was brought to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation Rescue Center by Utah Division of Wildlife Resources on January 3, 2017 after it was found near Delta Utah.

UDWR was very suspicious of the circumstances concerning this owl as it was found near a half a dozen dead doves and another dead owl missing its wing. Suspicions were it may have been shot.

Upon close inspection by Martin Tyner, wildlife rehabilitator at the SWF, he could find no lead pellets in the owl, but did discover several small holes. This owl was fortunate that it has recovered from its injuries and was able to be released today at the Parowan Gap, in Iron County Utah, by Jerri Frehner where about 30 people gathered to watch its release and hear its story.

An Eagle’s Recovery shared by TV show Right This Minute

Our deepest thanks to the TV show and web site RightThisMinute for sharing our story of an Eagle’s amazing recovery! Extra thanks to host, Gayle Bass and writer, Josh B, for highlighting the problem of lead poisoning in Eagles.

We’re truly grateful for their wonderful edit and promotion of this tale as education is a crucial element to the work Martin does.

Martin and Eagle on the home page of Right This Minute

A Rescued and Saved Eagle Story for Save the Eagles Day!

It’s Save the Eagles Day and we’re thrilled to share the story of a saved bald eagle! A large, but immature bald eagle came into our rescue center last week. Its legs were paralyzed and it was suffering from severe tremors. All signs of poisoning.

Lead poisoning is fairly common in this area as people go out to target shoot at Jack Rabbits and they leave the carcasses behind. The eagles, vultures and large hawks find the carcasses and consume them. The lead pellets in the carcasses start to slowly poison the birds. As in most cases by the time the symptoms become severe and they can no long fly or stand, if found, that’s when they come to us.

After a week of fluids, medications and food we have flushed the toxins from the eagle’s body. She is now regaining her strength and scrappy disposition. She now stand, walk and fly the full length of our 40 foot rehab chamber. If she continues to improve, she will be ready for release within the next couple of weeks.

Earlier video of this eagle:

Young Bald Eagle Rehabilitation

This young bald eagle was brought in to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. The eagle was very weak and experiencing neurological issues, limiting the use of its legs. Martin suspects lead poisoning and began treatment with fluids and high protein. In the two days since arrival, the eagle is showing signs of improvement but has a long way to go in recovery.

If you have any questions about this eagle or would like to help us caring for the critters, please leave a comment or write us at info@gowildlife.org

Release of Great Horned Owl

This great horned owl was brought to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation, Inc. by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources in November. It had been hit by a car west of Cedar City receiving a severe concussion which caused it to lose its vision and balance. Within a week of its arrival into our rehabilitation it was able stand and feed itself. Its vision was also returning but it still suffered from neurological and balance issues.

After two weeks in our care it was able to fly back and forth to the perches in its rehabilitation chamber. It was well on the road to a full recovery and after a month in rehabilitation it was released late in the afternoon on December 28 by Douglas Chang the president of the Las Vegas Chapter Audubon Society. Several spectators met up at the Rush Lake Ranch along the Minersville Highway, just north of Cedar City Utah for this release, but since the trees there were full of wintering bald eagles, we drove out to the Parowan Gap where the owl was released back to the wild.

Grebes Rescues in Winter Storm

Susan has been very busy grooming dogs for the holiday and Martin has been busy all day with phone calls about little birds that cannot fly. People are finding these little football shaped birds with red eyes all over Southern Utah, from Richfield to Cedar City. Most of them are Eared Grebes and some Western Grebes which are all migrating through the state heading south. They cannot take off into flight from land and can’t even walk well on land, so they are easy to pick up.

But watch out, they bite with their little pointy beaks, at least its not serious.

They can only take off from water. Lakes and rivers reflect the moon at night and that is where they land to rest on their migration. Guess what looks just like lakes and rivers at night to these little birds? Streets and parking lots that are wet with rain or snow with street lights shinning on them. So during storms when the pavement is wet, it looks like water to these birds and they land thinking it is a safe water landing where they can rest and eat.

Unfortunately they have some rough landings and can get scraped up hitting the pavement, but usually survive the initial landing, they just can’t take off again and can get run over by cars or snow plows. Some lands in yards and other places so people are finding them here and there.

What do you do if you come across one?

Usually, call your State Fish and Wildlife Service or a local wildlife rescue organization such as the Southwest Wildlife Foundation in Southern Utah, but in cases where hundreds of these birds are landing all over the state. They might need a little extra help from good Samaritans. They need to be taken to open water that is not frozen over and released on the water. They can relax, feed and take off when ready to resume their migration. They can be picked up and transported in a box to the nearest lake or reservoir that is not frozen over and then released.

With another big storm beginning tonight and going for the next couple of days, we have a feeling there will be more in need of rescue. Several years ago about 4000 landed in southern Utah during a big storm. Many of them died after landing on the freeway, Main Street and parking lots. Drivers don’t always see them so many perished getting run over.

Many of them were gathered up by good Samaritans and taken to Utah Wildlife Resources and the Southwest Wildlife Foundation. Volunteers were taking boxes full of them down to Quail Creek Reservoir, which wasn’t frozen over, where they were released for several days.

Lets hope we don’t have a repeat, that only a few came down in the wrong place, but we want to educate you all just in case.

Martin’s Deer Rescue included on Right This Minute TV show

Martin’s recent rescue of a mule deer was shared by the TV show and web site, “Right this Minute“.

After asking permissions to share the video Susan captured, the team at Right This Minute edited then shared the tale at TV stations across the nation and on their web site!

Many thanks to Right This Minute for helping promote wildlife rehabilitation and Martin’s work at the Southwest Wildlife Foundation. Extra thanks to host, Gayle Bass, for her awesome narration as well as Nikki C for her writing on the their version and Dia S and Daz who found our video and recommended it!

A Surprise Rescue and Release of a Mule Deer

The plan was to go out to dinner for Martin’s Birthday after Susan got home from work and Martin from Hawking.

Once home, they let Cody outside to play frisbee. After Susan threw in it several times, Martin took over while Susan cleaned up dog messes. After spending ten minutes in the front yard, Susan neared the far corner near the pine tree and large rehab chamber and heard something moving. She turned around and saw a mule deer running away from her toward Martin and the gate.

Where the heck did it come from?

It must have been laying very quietly by the tree and they didn’t even notice it in the yard. Cody didn’t notice it either until it ran past them. Martin examined the young deer checking for injuries. It was cut up a bit around the face. It could not have gotten into their fenced front yard by itself so they figured it may have been hit by a car and was stunned or in shock. Thankfully, no serious injuries and someone decided to bring it to the foundation. Since no one was home, put it in the front yard.

Martin put it into the large connecting chamber and decided since it was not seriously injured the best thing would be to release it to the winter range where it could find plenty of food and join another herd. I- 15 and the main street in Cedar City are major problems for the deer trying to migrate from summer mountain range to winter feed, and many get hit every fall, winter and spring. If kept in captivity and as it felt better it would injure itself worse so we drove it out to winter range and released it.

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