Monday, July 14, 2008


Astoria Park's Atlas, relaxes while doing sentinel duty.

I received an update about the Tulsa hawks which reported that no one seemed to have seen Kay for possibly a couple of weeks. This concerned the reporter, me, and any number of readers so Tulsa Hawkwatcher Cheryl Cavert headed out to try and track Kay down.


Great news Donna -

I spotted Kay this evening. She is back!!!!!! I had checked back over the posts and the last possible spotting had been around July 1st. In fact I saw all 3 of them this evening, at the same time - and it was a thrill. I do not know yet if I got any decent pictures.I just had to share the good news!-Cheryl

Excellent!!! Whew, we've lost enough hawks for one season. (Knock wood.)


After the publishing of the frounce photos. we all saw what a dreadful disease it was, and how painful it must be. Readers asked whether these hawks could have or were getting pain medications. I shot off an email to wildlife rehabilitator Cathy Horvath and she shot one right back.

hey donna ,

pain management is huge for me. i feel that the pain over rides the will to live when they are so very sick. they might not show pain on the outside because then they are vulnerable to become prey, but eating just becomes such a chore and sucks the rest of the life out of them.

they can just linger on for quite some time without eating . it is just too sad. the most important thing to do when i get a patient in is to make sure they are warm. even the older animals , not just babies. they cannot digest their food if they are cold. then comes the pain meds. i use a liquid called metacam . everyone gets pain meds. my method has worked pretty well for me so i won't be changing anything.

i can't say how happy i am that everyone is doing so well. i feel pretty proud right now.

one last note ... i named the youngest houston baby dante . in latin it means everlasting . that is where he will be in my heart. i am so heart broken that i was unable to save him . thanks again to all , i hope to only have good news to tell from now on !!! sorry about all the lower case letters...sadie is sitting on my lap and i can't really shift with one hand . talk to you soon...cathy Horvath

And many thanks to caring Cathy Horvath. Great intuition on her part and analysis of why pain medication is so extremely important in recovery for Man or Beast.

One of my favorite things in Wisconsin is the propensity of Barn Swallows, Hirundo rustica. (By the way they are our only swallow that has a swallow tail.) They're beautiful, eat insects, and are downright cheeky. I like their nests too. And this year with all the rain they've been able to get just the right consistency of mud for lovely nests.

Here is the nest itself. Perched under the aluminum roof of a sideless pavilion. It's a touch dim up there and these guys are fast so not the easiest of subjects.

I think this might be Dad. Hard to tell as both male and female are colored similarly. But whoever it is, the bird is far beyond the next largest Barn Swallow I've seen. He's huge compared to the species norm.

See what I mean? Both parents swoop in every minute or so with another catch of insects. The chicks are young and so not much is ever visible of them beyond a beak and partial head as yet.

The other bird leaves and this bird flies in. Even though the light isn't optimum for it, you're still able to see some of the iridescence of the feathers of this species.

The moment a parent lands on the edge of the nest little tips of beaks appear and gape. Then begins some of the fastest rapid fire feeding in birdland. And look at how far her head goes down the chick's throat.

Then Mom gives me a don't-even-try-it look and takes off for another beakful of mosquitoes, flies, and other tasty human annoyances.
Oh, a bit of Wisconsin folk wisdom which everyone believes to be quite true. Lightning will never strike where Barn Swallows nest.
Do they know something we don't? If they can figure it out, lack of being struck by lightening seems an excellent criteria for the nest placement list.

There is more than enough of rain this season and so the wildflowers are lush this year. Here are what is called in Wisconsin, Brown-eyed Susans.

The wild Black Raspberries are coming on. I picked a gallon bucket full today. But as there is no free lunch, I also have two little bites on my right middle finger which seem particularly poisonous as my finger has swollen up so much I can't bend it and it rather throbs. It wasn't a hornet as I didn't feel a sting, perhaps a spider?

Many of the small roadside slopes which are difficult to mow are covered with the Susan's and Tiger and Day lilies.

There was a gorgeous sunset this evening, but when it was happening I wasn't able to pull off the road for a photograph. So in a fit of whimsy, I took the picture while rolling.
Just think Impressionism.
Donegal Browne
P.S. My apologies, I am once again far behind in the email. I will catch up eventually, promise!

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