Archive

Posts Tagged ‘maintenance’

More Raptor Talon Care

February 18th, 2013

More Raptor Talon Care

The maintenance and care for your raptors feet and talons is a primary area of focus for maintaining a healthy raptor.   Regularly checking on the condition of talons and feet is an important part of my daily routine so when some odd-looking lesions appeared on Cedar’s feet last week, I immediately started to focus my attention on treatment.  These sores appeared (pictures below) approximately two-weeks after a hunting expedition that nearly ended in tragedy with Cedar alighting upon some high-tension wires. Luckily, she did not completely land on the wires, but found them uncomfortable and she decided against landing there. In attempting to land, however, her feet came into contact with the wires. I inspected Cedar after the hunt, but was unable to notice anything at that time.  A few weeks later, I noticed some sores on her feet that appeared to be similar to bumblefoot, but were not seeping, weeping, or causing any apparent discomfort to Cedar.  I am currently in the process of healing up these sores with regular feet soaking in a mild solution of warm water and betadine.  Additional treatment with Silvadine should clear these up in a few weeks.  Healing foot injuries takes a great amount of time for raptors as there is decreased circulation in raptor feet.

My personal feeling about hunting near electrical towers and wires is quite simply “no way”.  The risk to injury to the bird is too great to take a chance and no matter how well your bird is trained, you can never completely control them when they are off the leash hunting on their own.  On this occasion, I had forgotten about the electrical lines in this particular area and was blinded by the plentiful abundance of rabbits in the underbrush.   Subsequent hunts at this *particular* location have been quite fruitful, however I still arrange hunting differently when coming near the wires.

 

Left Foot

 

Right Foot

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Spring Mews Update

June 4th, 2012

Spring Mews Update

 

The Mews got  some much needed attention this spring with some stain on the roof and some additional trim completion. A new coat of stain on the roof shingles really brings out the color contrast between the siding and the roof.  I also finished up some additional siding trim and I was able to get most of the door covered on the back side.  With some new black paint on the bars and some fresh screening, the mews is ready once again for it’s new resident, “Hunter.”

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Left Turn on the Falconry Journey

January 4th, 2012

Left Turn on the Falconry Journey

  

Sable's Hawk Feet

 

Sometimes the journey takes an turn when you least expect it.  While this sideline delay isn’t completely unexpected, it is most certainly unwelcome as it takes away from the Hunting Season and all the Hunting activities.  Being sidelined for hunting injuries is bound to happen, it’s just a matter of time and luck. Sable is now laid up for about three-four weeks as we intensely care for her feet which are marred up by an encounter with an angry squirrel and an opossum.  Each time out hunting has it’s own potential for hazards and the holiday break gave us extra hunting opportunities which in turn gave extra opportunities for danger.  While late December isn’t exactly ‘the-middle-of-winter’, it is supposed to be a time when the weather is cold and the hibernating animals are, well, hibernating.  Opossums normally hibernate and are tucked away in a den or a tree-trunk somewhere sleeping away the cold winter days.  In this case, Christmas Day wasn’t exactly a cold winter day and the weather for the previous couple of weeks hadn’t been solidly cold.  In any event, an unlucky young opossum met it’s fate when it wandered off into the sticks in search of a meal and Sable was perched high in a tree overlooking those sticks.  We’ll be caring for these feet for a few weeks while we let them heal up.

 

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Raptor Foot Care

September 28th, 2011

Raptor Foot Care

 

BEFORE:

 

This picture is from trapping day as we dressed and cleaned up Sable after getting her home.  The dirty feet and marks and splotches indicate wear and tear possibly as a result of recent tangles with squirrels or other small biting mammals.  As I scrubbed and cleaned her feet up, one of the spots opened up an started bleeding.  The Scales were quite dry, hard and cracked.

 

AFTER:

 

This picture is after nine days of regular washing, scrubbing, and lotion.  The talons are bright and glistening.  Small dark splotches still exist due to scabs and possibly scars that continue to heal up. Given enough time, these will disappear and the scales will grow strong in their place.

 

Clean feet make for a happy raptor.  As I outlined in my ‘raptor talon spa‘ program that I designed, it’s a regular practice with my Raptors  in order to keep clean feet.  It’s also entirely possible that two or three soaking sessions in the tub could yield the same results.  Since Sable is a freshly trapped bird, I’m opting for ‘on-the-glove’ care for now.  When I have more confidence in her ability for soaking her feet, I’ll get her in the soak tub I designed.  So far, I’m pleased with her tolerance of the scrubbing and cleaning and positive  results are starting to show in the condition of her feet.

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Medical Kit Inventory Checklist

September 8th, 2009

Medical Kit Inventory Checklist

Having a well-stocked medical kit put together is a must for falconry.  It’s important that you learn some emergency first aid treatment for field injuries in the unfortunate event that your hawk injures itself in the field on a hunting excursion.  Since you are the caretaker of this beautiful wild animal, it’s necessary to know what to do when your hawk is injured or sick.  Good avian veterinarians are hard to come by, and are usually long distances away from immediate veterinary care.  If you are lucky enough to have a good avian Vet close, then it may not be a big concern.   The additional purpose of the medical kit is also to care for *your* injuries.  You just never know when you will be in need of medical attention.  Cuts, scrapes, bites, scratches, impalements, and footing are all part of the deal when you pair yourself up with a wild raptor.  Of course, if you go about all the proper training and feeding habits, your injuries can be all but eliminated. However, it’s always good to be prepared for those accidental injures.  So, I’ve put together a list of things I carry around in a medical kit, as well as a small baggie of emergency field-dressing items for immediate care.

If you have additional suggestions or items that you “wouldn’t leave home without”, by all means, please leave a comment or suggestion. Thanks!

Hawking / Falconry First Aid Kit

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