An Eagle’s Second Chance

After a two month stay, a very big, strong and fat female Golden Eagle was released back to the wild. She arrived on August 4th as a young and very skinny eagle. She was found by a falconer who gave her some food then called Martin to care for her. After an initial examination, Martin thought she would just need to stay a little while to eat a lot and regain her strength before being released for her second chance to make it in the wild.

It turned out she needed a little more time, staying just over two months. On November 9th, Martin caught her from the large chamber she’d shared with the juvenile white belly bald eagle, and put her in a kennel to take her up to the C-Overlook for release.

Though we normally try to organize a public release, today we let the camera be the means to share this release with our growing online audience. Martin took the opportunity to answer a lot of common questions we’ve seen in emails and comments.

FAQs in this video:

9:00 – About the “hood”

9:30 – About weight and “keel” bone

11:38 – About the young eagle and her parents relationship

12:20 – Why it is so hard for Birds of Prey to survive

12:48 – About her rehabilitation process

13:55 – About her weight and second chance

14:30 – About where she will be released and why that place is chosen

15:30 – About how she will survive her first five years

16:20 – About her time of release and weather conditions

17:00 – Do we train them?

17:30 – About banding and birds returning

19:50 – Why we hold public releases

20:50 – Why don’t we just release the eagle out of the box?

23:30 – About the eagles feet

23:47 – Differences between Golden Eagle and Bald Eagle as juveniles and adults

25:20 – Effect of Martin holding the eagle

26:00 – Why doesn’t the eagle fight Martin?

27:30 – What the eagle may do just after release

Eagle So Stuffed Full She Can’t Fly!

On August 11th, Martin received a call about a Golden Eagle behaving oddly. He and Susan went out to check on the eagle. Upon arrival, the homeowner pointed them in the right direction, then Martin and his net went in after the eagle.

After stirring the eagle from the top of a building, the eagle did glide down a short distance. Martin followed and with a good run, manage to capture the eagle which stayed on the ground.

On first examination, and seeing the size of the eagle’s crop, Martin was pleased. The huge crop meant the eagle had simply eaten too much to fly and was otherwise healthy.

After more of an examination and confirmation of a healthy young eagle, Martin got permission to release the eagle in a safe, shaded, rural area. All the eagle needed was time in a safe place to digest her huge meal.

Martin also reminded people to “Slow Down For Eagles”. They often eat road kill, so if you see them ahead of you on the road in rural or wilderness areas, slow down! Eagles are big and heavy and can’t quickly get out of the way. If they have eaten a huge meal, they can’t even fly.

Please click here to learn more about “Slow Down For Eagles“.

Hawk Saved Becomes a Last Act of Kindness

This video is about a Ferruginous Hawk and the family that saved him.

A man, Rob, brought an injured hawk to Martin. They had seen the hawk near the road. Rob’s son took off his shirt and used it to capture the hawk. Then they brought it to Martin.

In an initial exam, Martin suspected the hawk had been hit by a car. After placing the hawk in a chamber, the hawk showed problems with balance then blindness. Martin did a simple test of the hawk’s sight by moving his hand in front of the hawk. He concluded the hawk was not seeing him. Likely this was the effect of a concussion.

Martin did what he could for the hawk, making sure he had plenty of food and a quiet, dark place to heal. Fortunately, this hawk did recover after staying for a few weeks. The hawk began flying well and exhibiting other signs of a healthy hawk.

While the hawk healed however, Rob was in a bad car accident that took his life. For the hawk’s release, his family stepped in to release the bird in Rob’s honor.

Turkey Vulture Release: Threatening and Hissing after 8 Months Rehabilitation

An injured Turkey Vulture arrived on September 30, 2018. After an exam, Martin discovered a break on his wing. It would take some time to confirm how the bird was healing, so for many months, the treatment was a dark, quiet place for the bird to heal.

The Turkey Vulture stayed nearly eight months as Martin monitored the health of the wing by periodic examinations and x-rays.

On May 15th, the well fed, healed, threatening and hissing Turkey Vulture was flying well and ready to return to the wild.

Golden Eagle Release, Winners & Thanks!

This Golden Eagle was hit by a car and had some neurological issues. After a couple months stay, the eagle recovered and was released by a big supporter of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation, Dave Gourley, of Findlay Subaru of St. George.

This video also announces the winners of our Gorillapod Contest and shows the arrival of boxes and boxes of donations!

Winter Hummingbird

This hummingbird arrived from St. George, south of Cedar City. It is likely the bird hit a window and experienced a slight concussion.

The bird stayed for a little while to fully recover and was released down in a warmer region than snow covered Cedar City.

The Southwest Wildlife Foundation takes care of all native Utah Wildlife, even a tiny hummingbird!

Horned Lark Released!

This video contains all the stuff I took with my phone from just a few days old till release. We had no idea what kind of bird it was. Took some time for it to grow up enough for us to determine exactly what it was. First horned larks we have raised. Unfortunately, only one of the two that a cat brought in to its owner grew up to be released. The other one aspirated during a feeding a week ago when it was mostly grown. Difficult to raise them successfully, so many possible problems. KayAnne Cantonwine and I took turns feeding them overnight and playing mamma bird.
Happy to see it fly free.
Susan

Two Great Horned Owls Released!

Two Great Horned Owls were released back to the wild this past Father’s Day. Martin invited everyone out to C-Overlook and asked all Fathers to enter a draw to be the ones to release the Owls.

Martin’s Letter

Dear Friends of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation,
Next Sunday is Father’s Day and if there is one thing I’ve learned in my 62 years of life, being a father has very little to do with biology. The truth be known I have never met my father. He was a man who abandoned my mother, my brother, my sister and I when I was 2 years old.

It is my understanding that he ran off with his mistress and I have never seen his face or heard his voice. You may be asking yourself why, as father’s day approaches that I would be reflecting back on something so sad. The truth is, it was probably the best thing that ever happened to me because in my life I have had at least four fathers. Four amazing men who are responsible for making me the person that I am today.

 The greatest man I’ve ever met was my grandfather, a kind gentle soul who drove a laundry truck. My grandfather stepped up in my early years to fill the role as father. He gave me my morals, my integrity and my love for all living things. My grandfather gave me one piece of advice that I have lived by my entire life. “Get up every morning and do good.”

My second father was my stepfather. This man stepped up and took on the responsibility, some might even say a burden, marrying a single mother with three children. He was always kind, but most of all he loved my mother to the day he died.

My third father, was my Scout Master Mr. Clark. As a retired Marine survival instructor, he took on his role as Scout Master with a dedication that I’ve never seen before or after. Mr. Clark taught me most of the life skills that I use every day and for that I will always be grateful.

My fourth father was my mentor, Hubert Wells, a multi-generational Hungarian falconer who took me under his wing and taught me to fly birds. His patience, guidance and encouragement has set me on a path that has become my life’s work.

As you can see in my life, fatherhood has had nothing to do with biology. A father is a person with strength, integrity, honesty and a willingness to help a young boy grow into a man. As Father’s Day approaches I have been thinking about what I could do in my own way, not only to honor my fathers, but all fathers. Here is what I’ve come up with.

Fathers are wise, kind and gentle and in our culture the symbol of wisdom is the great horned owl. I currently have two great horned owls that have been orphaned and brought to my rescue center. The owls are now large and beautiful, flying in their chambers and feeding themselves. It is now time to release them to the wild.

I would like to dedicate the release of these two beautiful great horned owls to all fathers everywhere, so this is what we’re going to do. At 8:00 in the evening on father’s day, anyone that would like to participate in the release of these great horned owls, please show up at the C Overlook above Cedar City. We will have a free drawing for all the fathers in attendance. We will chose two names and each of the lucky fathers will have the opportunity to release one of our great horned owls.

This will be an opportunity to hold a big beautiful owl in your hands and release it to the sky. Please come and join us. I look forward to seeing everyone at the Father’s Day Great Horned Owl Release.

Martin Tyner, Founder & CEO
Southwest Wildlife Foundation

Rescued Great Horned Owl Released | January 2017

Susan and Martin got the call at night before they went to bed and a couple hours later UDWR delivered another great horned owl that was extremely thin, has some broken feathers and some balance problems. It was found out on the Milford Flats and was probably hit by a car, but Martin found no broken bones and he did eat last night which is good.

You can see the owl’s beak looks a little tweaked, but he is still able to use it and open his mouth to eat just fine. They usually swallow small rodents whole.