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Rehab & Release 2020
We admitted 97 raptors this year representing 20 species!
We released 56 birds giving us a 57% release rate.

Juvenile Golden Eagle

On November 19, 2020, a juvenile Golden Eagle was reported in tough shape, on the ground and not flying. CSKT game wardens rescued it and contacted us. On admittance, it was underweight and tested for lead poisoning which showed elevated levels. It was given a 3-day chelation treatment. When retested 5 days after last treatment, the levels had dropped to within an acceptable range. From the time it was admitted it had an appetite that was hard to satisfy! By November 29, 2020, it had gained over a pound, had passed flight tests and was ready to be released - which it gladly did, making a strong flight to a tree, after resting for a minute and making several more strong passes it was off to what we hope is a happy, healthy life. Some Red Tailed Hawks showed up to encourage it to move along. Thanks CSKT for the quick response and timely rescue!

Great Horned Owl

The first part of Sept 2020, we admitted a Great Horned Owl that concerned citizens had found alongside the road and wanted to help. It was in very tough shape - there was a pile of meat it had vomited up next to it, was lethargic and fairly non responsive. No physical injuries were found , but with the meat it had vomited up being so close, it was possible it had found a poisoned meal. Hydration is the about our only course of action in a poison situation, since we don't know what it is and there are not many treatments that are effective in the limited time before it is too late. Fortunately, in a couple days of touch and go - it started to improve. It was a week or so before it would eat on its own, but it had the will to live and finally started eating. It was a week or so more before it was ready to try flying. After eating well on its own and trying to fly, it was moved to a chamber where some other Great Horned Owls were also recovering and regaining their flying strength. On October 5, 2020, it was strong, healthy and released near where it was found.  Thanks to the quick action of the people involved, this owl got a second chance at life!

You can see the video of the release here!

Common Loon

One bird not common at the center this year was a Common Loon - it was amazing to see the beauty of this bird firsthand. The people had been observing the loons on a small lake since spring, had added a loon nest box and were enjoying watching this loon. It started hanging around on a road and not flying, so they contacted us. No injuries were found and the blood lead level was in the normal range - it was decided that observation, rest and good food were the best options. After a week or so of good food, quiet and no further issues arising, we released it near where it had been found. It was happy to be back home and the people were glad to have it returned ready to brighten their days again. Thanks for the watchful eyes and time these people have put into the local wildlife in their area!

American Kestrel Chicks

When summer did arrive this year, it was hot & dry - 3 North American Kestrels in Proctor, MT decided to leave the nest before they were quite ready. They ended up in a yard not flying very well and finding the sprinklers when running were not a great place to get a drink. After watching them for a day without seeing any adult kestrels helping them out, the residents of the home called us on July 31, 2020. There were 2 males and a female - kestrel males and females have different markings - males have more colorful feather patterns. One male was quite close to drowned & not moving at all, but after drying out and getting warm again - he was quite chipper. The other male and female appeared to have some heat exhaustion - after some hydration and time in a cool spot, they were also up and ready to see what was going to happen next. The next couple weeks were spent eating and practicing their flying skills. On August 13, 2020 they were released in the yard where they were found. They all took off in different directions with great flights - off to try their independence again. Thanks residents for having a watchful eye and helping these kestrels get a second chance. They were an entertaining bunch of youngsters!

Red Tailed Hawk

June 26, 2020 we admitted a Red Tailed Hawk that had been found with both legs caught in a gopher trap. It was a little underweight, nothing appeared broken though one leg/foot was not working well and there was bruising on both legs. After a month of rehabilitating the leg and putting on a little weight, it was flying and looking ready to take on the world again. It was released July 27, 2020 near where it had been found (thanks concerned people for switching to a different method of rodent control). It had a nice, long flight with 3 other Red Tailed Hawks vocalizing as it made its flight and landed. Nice to be welcomed back by your group!

Juvenile Long Eared Owl

On June 1, 2020 after a strong wind storm, we admitted a Long Eared Owl chick that was no more than a ball of fluff - probably blew from the nest and was fortunate enough to be found and rescued. After figuring out how to eat, it grew and thrived. Watching its hunting and defense skills develop was quite entertaining at times - so alert and focused! It spent a few weeks learning to fly and fend for himself, and was released on July 17, 2020 - its first flight was strong. After landing to check out the surroundings for a couple minutes, off it went to see what the next adventure in life would be. It was amazing to watch the changes that occurred so quickly in the month and a half it was in our care.

Turkey Vulture

On May 31, 2020, we admitted a turkey vulture from the Herron Park area. It was found in a ditch with a trap on the middle toe of the left foot. Unfortunately, the toe had to be amputated, but mended well. Because of their scavenging techniques, it will be able to get along ok without it. After observing flying for a few days & making sure he could successfully land without the toe, it was determined that this bird was ready to be released. Barbara Summer assisted in the release on June 9, 2020 near where it was found. It had a beautiful flight when released - circled and headed off. We don't get many turkey vultures, what an interesting bird - we wish it the best!

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