Gracee is bringing in the new year very well. Her tongue is improving quickly, with a lot of new, pink tissue. There is still a good bit of damage in her tongue and lips so she has a good bit of recovery to do before she is fully well.
We discovered when she finally fully opened her wings on new years day that in fact she is a pinioned bird. This was missed on intake but that happens. Pinion means that a bird's wing has been cut so that it cannot fly, usually at the wrist. After speaking with Simon at ODFW, we are concluding that Gracee was a bird that was bred to reintroduce Trumpeters back to the Deschutes River and Central Oregon in the mid-1990s. They pinioned her so that she would stay at the river and breed. Which she has in fact done.
Gracee had a mate, also pinioned and put on the river with her in the 90s. They were together until the recently when her mate was killed during the very cold spell that CO had in early December. He had broken his wing and was unable to get away with all or the ice and cold. So Gracee has had a rough time of it...first losing her mate of over 18 years, then the lure.
The fact she is one of our local birds is excellent news. First, it means she is "our" bird...someone who really is part of our local community and who has made CO and Bend her home for nearly 2 decades. Second, it means that she will be safer from predators and can continue to be watched and cared for when we get her back on the river.
She is now using her full 16'x20' aviary, and has a much larger pool. It is still an interim pool until we get the larger one set up. She is eating less good food....another sign she is a local bird!
If you know anything about ponds and pumps and have a couple of hours to volunteer...please call me.
Here's how to help Gracee once she is back to the river. Never feed white bread. Birds actually do not have the enzymes to digest the yeasts in bread and they also cannot pass gas...which means that when the yeast ferments from not being digests, Gracee and other birds cannot get the gas out easily, leading to bellyache. If you really feel like you need to feed the birds...use ground corn from a feed store, or better yet organic lettuce (which is not that expensive for just a few tosses of food to them).
And since the lure likely was in Mirror Pond...if you fish, please do not lose your line and never use treble hooks, barbed hooks, or just don't fish there. And also lobby for degradable fishing line..which interestingly it used to be!
Author: Elise Wolf
I have been fascinated by wild birds my whole life. The current stresses on our wild bird populations is extraordinary, and helping them is not only an act of kindness and compassion, but demonstrates that humans do have the ability to be selfless and act with love towards their non-human planetary family.