Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

September 17, 2010

Meet Quincy the Snowy Owl

The other weekend Angie and I were at one of our favorite conservation areas... Mountsberg. I believe I have blogged about it before and making mention of their Raptor Centre.

I thought on occasion I would talk about one of the Raptors I have gotten to know over there and share their tale.

So, today I have chosen Quincy the Snowy Owl.

Quincy is a female. I have chosen her first to blog about because her story sticks to my mind with some very sad visuals.

She was born in captivity and raised by humans. Where this happened would be the equivalent of a "puppy mill". I couldn't believe that such a place existed! In a small town far out of the GTA, there was a farm, and the people on that farm bred and raised birds of prey to be sold as exotic pets to those willing to pay the price.

Apparently this farm was more like a junk yard. Picture one of those creepy old dilapidated farm houses with nasty inbred looking people within. That is my visual, right out of one of my horror movies. These people had absolutely no regard for the birds they were raising and selling. I honestly feel that anybody who bought a bird from them has no regard either. Eagles, Hawks and Owls chained to the litter about the property (rusted cars, fence posts, etc). They were fed Canada Geese that the people went out and shot themselves. So, this sucked for the Geese of the area as well; but even more so for the birds who ate them. Why? Well, the bullets remained within the Geese, which were then devoured by the raptors, and thus were slowly poisoning them with lead. Many carcasses of the Geese lay rotting about the property as well.

I don't know how many raptors were on site at the time of the arrests. I don't know how many had to be put down due to illness.

Quincy was one of the lucky ones to make it out of there alive. Since she was captive bred and hand raised, she can never be released as she knows nothing on how to fend for herself in the wild. She does have a great home with amazing people who care for her at Mountsberg.

If you ever make it out to Mountsberg, please stop and give a moment to Quincy. She is the only female Snowy Owl at the centre so you can't miss her.

September 8, 2010

Jigger update and a question some may be asking...

So, after a few days of seeing Jigger hobbling about the backyard and taking in every bit of food offered to him; we finally went to The Toronto Wildlife Centre and picked up a Squirrel trap. They loaned it to us with a $20 deposit; this was on Sunday September the 5th. When we got home, Jigger was out back. We figured not to even try catching him since it was quite late in the day now. So, Jigger got a good feast of peanuts and away he went.

Now, it is the evening of the 8th and we have not seen him since.

A number of days ago I had hopes of catching him and getting him to the centre in order to be healed to good bouncy health again, with us then picking him up and bringing him home. After my last visit to the centre, I just had hope of getting him there and knowing where he was all the time and that one way or another, he would not be suffering... be it being safe, warm, fed and getting needed medical attention or if it were an injury beyond repair that he would be put out of suffering. I came to these thoughts as I said, after my last visit to the centre.

See, in our visit, with the centre looking up our file. Angie asked if there was any information on Bob. You all remember Bob don't you? And perhaps this is the question you may have asked in the last bit since reading my story about Bob... that being... well, what about Bob? What happened to him? A question that has sat at the back of my mind since the day we took him in. Unfortunately Bob's wound was beyond repair, being an old fracture of sorts, healing wrongly, leaving him forever unable to fly. Bob's return to the wild was never to be. Upon that analysis, Bob was kindly put to sleep. I use the "kindly" word as that is what the centre uses. And it is true. A simple needle putting the being quickly to sleep forever. Actually, I think it is two needles. The first puts one to sleep and the second is what stops the heart and ending it's life. A pain-free quick death.

So, in the end it was the best thing to happen to Bob. Since he had no where to go to live out his days only being able to flutter about and walk the Earth... a very bad thing for a bird in the city.

With this thinking in mind, I was even more ready to turn Jigger into the centre. As I said, my hope would be getting him healthy, but if it weren't to be, at least I know he'd have the same peaceful fate as Bob. Who knows where he is right now? Who knows if he is alive? I keep an eye out for him every afternoon when I get home from work until the sun goes down. I will continue to do so over the next few weeks. Every time I see a black Squirrel out back, I think it's Jiggs and am ready to spring into action. So far every time since this past Monday I have been wrong.

I have to end this with a reminder of why Jigger is getting all this fuss. He's been with us almost every day for about 4 years now. Every day I am outside, Jigger is around for much of it. I can honestly say I am outside just about every single day of the year, no matter the season, no matter the weather. Jigger is like a hyper little puppy. He's running and bouncing about, always around my feet, climbing my leg, my shoulder, the chair I sit on, whatever. He's touched my life, Angie's life, and most who have spent time in the back with him. While I have often called him "a royal pain in the a$$" as he constantly interrupts my garden duties climbing my legs trying to get the treats in my cargo pockets, digs up my freshly planted flowers and vegetables, knocks over my beverages, dirties the kitchen floor on rainy days with his muddy feet, gets me in trouble with the neighbours by burying peanuts in their flower beds, steals my chair when I get up and so on; he really never was that... but I couldn't rightly call him "a good boy" now could I?