These young chipmunks arrived on May24th, They were very, very weak and dehydrated. They had been found just outside of their nest, with no mother around. After realizing how difficult is to care for such young critters, the rescuers brought them to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation of Utah. Susan began around the clock care with a special formula thinned down to get plenty of electrolytes into them. After initial struggles to get them to take the formula, they began perking up and eating more. Feedings were every three hours while closely monitoring their weight.
More training with Belle!
Belle arrived in August of 2018 and we’ve filmed her training and development since arrival. This is a part five in the series of her transformation from young hawk to provider and educator.
Her hunting provides natural food to all our Wildlife Ambassadors as well as any rehabiliting critters in our care.
Additionally, Belle is an educational bird. She goes along with Martin, Scout, Cirrus and Helen to Wildlife Presentations throughout the Southwest.
She has become an essential member of our team!
To see all her videos, please visit her playlist at YouTube!
The training of Piper, our male Wildlife Ambassador Prairie Falcon, continues! In this video, Martin takes him to a new area and continues their work. Piper is allowed to fly free!
In this session Piper is free to fly around and learn to be a wild Prairie Falcon. To bring him back, Martin tosses the lure. With practice, Piper will fly further and further and longer and longer. This is a difficult time in the training of a prairie falcon, Martin discusses the challenges and ways through them.
To view all videos about Piper, please view Piper’s Playlist.
World Class Raptor Rehabilitation Facility
The Cedar Canyon Nature Park
In October 2000, Rocky Mountain Power donated 22 acres of majestic canyon property in Cedar City to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation of Utah.
Step by step, with the assistance of countless local businesses and volunteers, we have been working to develop the Cedar Canyon Nature Park into a permanent wildlife rescue facility and nature park.
The reason for the Eagle Flight Chamber here at the Cedar Canyon Nature Park is because we rescue many eagles, both golden eagles and bald eagles, every year.
Currently, our largest flight chamber is 10 feet wide, 12 feet tall and 40 feet long. That’s fine for housing them, they are able move around a little bit, and falconry techniques can be used to get them further exercised for release.
We really desperately need a chamber that is 50 feet wide, 100 feet long and about 30 feet tall to give the eagles enough room so that they could actually fly and circle within the chamber to build up their wing strength and exercise before they’re released back to the wild.
The Eagle Flight Chamber
World Class Raptor Rehabilitation Facility
Here’s the concept, in any place that grows, especially alfalfa, we have hay barns. Hay barns are basically nothing but a roof supported by some metal pillars. Hay is stored under the roof to keep it out of the weather. There are no sides to these hay barns. We have lots of them here in Utah, they’re quite common.
|For the eagle flight chamber, we would start with the completely open framed structure with just a metal roof type that is clean and smooth with no sharp edges that animals could get hurt by.|
|We would also purchase four 40 foot cargo containers and two 20 foot cargo containers. These containers would line up to form two sides of the outer walls and function as various sized smaller chambers.|
|From there we would use thin walled tubing, metal tubing, and weld the thin walled tubing going up vertically, so we have bars. So the first half is a solid wall with the cargo containers, then barring all the way around the top half of the flight chamber so that there would be lots of ventilation and the birds could see out.|
|A long narrow building in the center of the outer structure would leave about 20 feet on each end leaving a clear path for recovering large birds to circle around. That would be a big enough facility for the birds to circle and build up their strength and endurance.|
|Inside the center building would be a little observation area where the birds couldn’t see the public but the public could see out and see the animals exercising inside the chamber.|
It’s a big, big facility, but again it would be a world class facility that these animals could get their exercise. Not just eagles but large hawks and owls and falcons could exercise in a facility like this.
The great thing is that our park here in Southern Utah is very centrally located which would allow us to receive other eagles that have been rescued by other rehabilitators and place them into our flight chamber. We could certainly see eagles coming from all over the United States to get exercise in the flight chamber. Not only could we help eagles in the flight chamber, but the California Condor which has been relocated here to Southern Utah.
The goal of the flight chamber is to care for the animals and secondly, to function as an educational facility.
The Southwest Wildlife Foundation of Utah
The mission of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation of Utah is threefold.
1) Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation
2) Wildlife & Environmental Education
3) Development of the Cedar Canyon Nature Park
We believe the Eagle Flight Chamber is a vital as well as monumental next step to fulfilling our mission.
A Monumental Structure
As the first major structure for wildlife at the park, it must also accommodate the following needs:
|1) Work area for rehabbers and other staff.|
|2) Food storage and food preparation areas.|
|3) Reception and…|
|viewing areas for VIP Visitors.|
|4) Quarters for visiting student interns, academics or researchers.|
|5) Quarters for 24/7 on site caretakers.|
The community is so excited about what we’re trying to do, however, it’s small town Utah. Raising the funds is very difficult. We have to be able to reach out well beyond Cedar City and Southern Utah out into the rest of the country to say please help us.
This is something that your children, your grandchildren, your great grandchildren will be able to come to this amazing park and wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to say that you had a small piece in the development of the Cedar Canyon Nature Park?
We would love everyone to roll up their sleeves, give us a hand, and we’ll make this park a world class facility for everybody.
Belle the Harris Hawk is our newest Wildlife Ambassador. In addition to attending educational presentations with Martin, she is a falconry bird. Her full story can be viewed in this YouTube Playlist.
Part three takes place at the Parowan Gap. Martin gives a recap of previous training then begins the next step: working with the lure.
Taking it step by step, Martin shows Belle’s first attempts and explains the process thoroughly.
More of her early training days will be shown in future videos.
Four Critter Tales
Cooper’s Hawk Not Quite Released
Martin introduced a Cooper’s Hawk that he planned to release. In chambers, the hawk seemed ready, however after released in a more open area, Martin noticed the hawk was still not flying quite right. He brought him back and after a couple more weeks, the hawk was released was again, fully recovered.
Arrival of Sharp-Shinned Hawk
This hawk was brought to Martin one night after having been caught up in fishing line. Martin examined the hawk, noticed some problems. The hawk stayed for awhile for some TLC and was released back to the wild.
A quick peek at the Halloween Vulture
Susan takes a quick peek in at the recovering Turkey Vulture from a good distance away. As the birds recover, they are left alone as much as possible so they stay calm and do not get agitated and reinjure themselves.
Martin and Scout on the job!
This is a snippet from an educational program Martin and his birds provided to the Las Vegas Audubon chapter. With Scout on his arm, Martin shares information about eagles and his an experience in hunting with his one of his eagles.
In this video, we try to stress the need to be alert for eagles on the road. We show three of instances of eagles that were hit by vehicles and Martin discusses this problem, why it happens and how to help prevent it.
For more information, please visit our Guides page to download materials for sharing and classroom use.
Piper the Prairie Falcon
Piper is one of our newest Wildlife Ambassadors and falconry birds.
In this video, Martin tells of his early life from in the nest with mom and dad to in the chamber with Cirrus, our female Prairie Falcon.
All grown and raised wild, Martin and Piper begin training. This first part includes their earliest sessions, including Piper’s first few jumps to the glove!
Martin is a master falconer and explains some basics of falconry as he works with Piper.
Martin provided a free bird of prey program for the Chrysalis group this week and their way of saying thank you was to volunteer their time and service for the Southwest Wildlife Foundation.
We were excited that we had a new tenant in one of our rehab sheds today at the Cedar Canyon Nature Park. It was a beautiful three foot long great basin rattlesnake. Rattlesnakes are reasonably common here in southern Utah. In the process of getting our volunteers started on their service project Susan instructed them to be very careful and watch where you place your feet and hands as we do have the occasional rattlesnake on the park property.
For more information about rattlesnakes here are some great educational links:
How to Help Wild Animals
Distance is the best way to help
And dangerous. Even small or young animals that look cute and fuzzy be problematic. Besides sharp talons and strong beaks, contact with humans can affect there development in extremely negative ways.
Fight or Flight
Wild animals run on instincts, they fear humans from an early age.
“The animals that I rescue, they get as little human contact as I can possibly get away with. We don’t want them acclimated to people. Wild animals have a very strong fight or flight instinct. They want to stay away from people and that’s really really good. The fight or flight instinct develops in most birds of prey, between 14 to 21 days and that’s when the instinct kicks in. They develop a natural fear for things that they do not understand, and that’s a survival technique”
Even young, hurt or trained they are wild and need to respected.
“These are wild animals, she still has all of her instincts. If handled inappropriately they could be very dangerous the relationship is built on respect for the animal and if she ever does anything to hurt me these large feet right here, that’s what she kills with if she were to reach over, grab my hand, and put all four talons through my hand, well that’s fine she’s a wild animal and if I get hurt that’s my fault.”
Keep Your Distance & Call
- Police Dispatch(NOT 911)
- Wildlife Rehabilitator
- Wildlife Organization
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Watch Video on Youtube: Wild is Wild
Read and download full transcript of video: Download Transcript