Total Freedom

Update on Ollie. In the short amount of time that I was able to care for Ollie, he grew amazingly fast, his feathers grew in beautifully. He was really strong and was darting around the mew amazingly well. I had served him a few live grasshoppers and mice and he didn't have any problem at all fending for himself, therefore I saw no reason at all to keep him any longer. I took him out to the pre arranged place and thought that I would be able to set up and take a few pictures of the "release" I was really excited as well as a bit anxious, hoping that he would do ok. Well, it was the most perfect and successful release, the little twerp did not even pause to look back and say thank you, see you later, nothing. He took off like a rocket and streatched his little wings and tried out his acrobatic talents. To quick for me to even think about captureing any photos. When he was tired out he lid about 200 yards across the canyon on the top of a rock bluff. We watched for a while and later in the day Ollie was seen hunting grass hoppers or lizards (not sure which) I am thrilled and confident that he will be just fine. It is always a bit scary to me when there is a release, but this little guy was definately ready to go. I have not "seen" him sence but have heard the distinctive kee kee kee of a kestrel a few times. ~



Photo taken 7/12/2008~F6.3~ISO400~1/250
I would like to introduce you to two of the beautiful babies that have come to live at
Ironside Bird Rescue.
This first beauty(grin) is named Scooter. It is a baby Red Tail Hawk, still mostly covered in down, strange for the middle of July. I guess this one is what you would call a late bloomer. The wonderful people that found Scooter reported that every year they find the babies dead on the ground below the nest. This year they were lucky enough to find Scooter, alive and well, but quite hungry. Scooter is getting stronger and stronger every day but refuses to stay on the nest platform and climbs up the side of the rock wall that is in the mew(hawk house). Scooter is exhibiting a healthy appetite and growing stronger each day. We have him/her housed in a secluded area so that he/she does not become habituated to humans, that would not be good for this bird, or any bird's future. Even as soft and adorable as they are, it is important that we as humans don't become attached and jeopardize giving them the best chance of survival that we can. (I know, But they are so darn cute!!) That is why I have decided to photograph the progress of these two adorable little ones and share their stories here, online. I am excited and looking forward to the day when these two are flying and hunting free, back in the wild where they belong.
Photo taken7/12/2008~F5.6~1/250~ISO400

Ollie is a baby Kestrel. The smallest of the falcon family. Ollie is so small and adorable. Just look at those big beautiful dark eyes. He also was found on the ground, and unable to be returned to the nest. His feathers are almost all in now, you can still see a little bit of his baby fluff on the top of his head and a little on his wings. But Ollie is flying quite well. He is eating like a little pig and getting plenty of exercise. It won't be long before Ollie will be ready to go on his way, he just needs to hone his hunting skills a little before he is ready to go.

Photo taken 7/10/2008~F5.6~1/60~ISO400