Thursday, February 26, 2009

The White House Raccoons

Courtesy of
Photo of two raccoons for those who might live in areas of the world in which raccoons are not a familiar sight.

(Today's raccoon news update follows this back story, thanks to R. of Illinois.)

February 6, 2009

The Washington Post

A 'Raccoon Update' from the White House

By Michael D. Shear

The raccoons are still at large!
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said today that there have been no masked critters caught on the White House lawn today.
The raccoon issue exploded onto the political radar on Thursday with
an exclusive Washington Post report that a single large raccoon and several medium-sized ones were roaming the grounds around the mansion and West Wing.

Here is the exchange with Gibbs at today's briefing:

QUESTION: It's Friday. Let's ask about the raccoons. Have you found the raccoons?

Posted: 11:03 PM ET

From CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

(CNN) — After weeks on the run, officials have nabbed a fugitive who infiltrated White House grounds: on Wednesday, they announced the capture of one of the raccoons raising mayhem around the executive mansion over the last month.

White House spokesman Bill Burton confirms the National Park Service has captured at least one of the particularly ambitious mammals and released it safely in an "undisclosed location."

The pesky intruders were first spotted roaming the premises early this month, and have since proved to be a repeated nuisance for National Park Service officials charged with maintaining the White House grounds.

The matter even made its way to one of the White House daily briefings with reporters, when Press Secretary Robert Gibbs acknowledged the difficulty officials were having in catching the animals.Several traps were set up around the White House lawn in early February after it was determined that one large raccoon and several smaller ones were the chief mischief doers.The traps had included peanut butter and apples as bait, but it was ultimately salmon that did the trick, Burton said.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Venus, the Flying Object, and Help for Squirrel Mange

Photo D. Browne
Venus 2/23/09 (If you haven't gone out to look at her in her current brilliant state, get out there!)
After much scrutiny, I've decided that Venus is accompanied in the above photograph by a flying pig-in-a-blanket.

Photograph courtesy of Lysiane Ribeiro M.D. and

Contributor Karen Kolling brought the plight of the Riverside Squirrels to my attention on author and original Pale Male Watcher, Marie Winn's wonderful website and suggested that I contact Squirrel rehabber, Carol Vinzant for help in the matter.

Carol in turn, in the midst of nursing her cherished dog Jolly through an illness, forwarded this information on mange from another squirrel rehabber Vicki Puluso--

You treat mange w/ivermectin. If the squirrels can be treated individually, it's very easy to dose them. Just a drop on a shelled nut or other food, repeated again in 10-14 days. Overdoses are lethal, so you have to be very careful! These cases don't look that bad, in fact I thought the older pictures just showed spring molting. As you probably know, a healthy squirrel will usually recover from mange fine, so giving them good food is important. Toss out shelled nuts dusted w/Prime supplement, for instance.

(If you have afflicted squirrels, look online for ivermectin, or get in touch and I'll help to find a source.)

This is the second post of the day so keep scrolling down for more on the Tulsa Hawks!

Donegal Browne

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tulsa's Kay Gets Bigger as Her Time Gets Closer

Photo by Catgirl of the Tulsa Hawk Forum

From Hawkwatcher Jackie Dover of the Tulsa KJRH Forum--

Hi, Donna:

Fellow Forum member Catbird suggested I send this photo retrospective to you. It looks at Kay, our KJRH female redtail, through the past couple of years.

We were specifically looking to follow her physical changes. While these photos may vary a bit in the angles from which they were taken, there is a general size difference between the times she is in egg-laying season and when she is not.

All the photo captures were made from KJRH Hawk cam videos, which can be viewed at this link (either in the upper right hand corner of that page, or by following the page's link to the station's video archive):

I'm also sending a photo made by our Forum member Catgirl, which shows Kay and Jay side by side in a tree on February 15. The size difference is striking. (Jay has been showing the proper deference.)Our Forum is abuzz these days!


In reference to Kay and Jay above, Jay alert and ready for anything. Look at his small, neat "ankles". Kay, feather's ruffled, looks heavy and earthbound at least at this moment, she looks ready to go to the nest at any time.

Kay standing. 6/30/07

7/04/08 Kay, foreground, and Jay
Kay has slimmed down considerably from her usual pre-breeding profile.
Kay 2/18/2009 Not only does she seem rounder but her stance and balance also seems adjusted to her current hormonal state.
Kay ponders. 2/16/2009

Kay with stick- 2/23/09
Kay's possibly gravid state doesn't infringe on her trips to the nest for home decorating one little bit.
Kay 2/06 /08 (Note this is a 2008 photo)

7/23/2009 She even seems fuller under the beak.
2/15/09 Just look at the difference in girth between Jay and Kay. Kay has put on a good number of extra calories in preparation for egg laying.
Donegal Browne