Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Beauty Update

Beauty continues to progress in her new surroundings. She eats and bathes readily, and does not hesitate to express her attitude through body posturing and vocalization. Last week, I introduced her to the glove. She does not like "the training glove" as we say, as indicated by her strong raptor feet, which now require a triple leather gauntlet, due to her tremendous gripping power. She prefers captivity on her own terms and may take months to train to sit in the glove. Currently, she will only allow one foot to rest upon the glove, and is not shy to try to bite me; all very typical this early in the game of training an adult bird. In the meantime, we continue to build her medical implant team, and strategize over the best way to reconstruct her upper mandible. We have a model eagle skull from which to study the normal anatomy of the bald eagle mandible. From her first examination, we found the resultant damage and scar tissue from her injury may benefit Beauty and potentially serve as an anchor for her new prosthetic beak. The first surgical attempt will depend on the time required to train her. Our goal is to calm her on the fist, before all the new hardware is in place. In the meantime, we have scheduled her second examination and mold impression to be taken in mid January. Until then, I will keep you, your staff, and volunteers updated as her adventure continues here in North Idaho, where she is skillfully managed daily. We enjoy the challenge that her case brings and believe in her potential as an educator in the future. Thank you for providing us the opportunity to help this special eagle. Here's hoping in 2007, that Beauty may have the opportunity to preen and feed naturally once again......
Enjoy the images of Beauty taken today, as she vocalizes on morning rounds. I hope you can see her spirit remains strong and that her future looks bright!

Jane Fink Cantwell
Raptor Biologist
Birds of Prey NW

4 comments:

robin andrea said...

I am so glad that Jane sent you this update. I hope Beauty will take to the training glove, and ultimately be rewarded with an opportunity to eat and preen naturally. A picture of that will be a thing of joy!

Susan Gets Native said...

Awesome!

Duncan said...

What a feat that will be if successful, fingers crossed for her, Man, you people do great work up there.

Dave said...

Robin - Beauty has a mind of her own but I'm sure she will eventually go along with the training. The handler now requires a triple leather gauntlet, due to her tremendous gripping power. sheesh!

Susan - yup

Duncan - We've had our fingers crossed for quite some time now for her.