Birds of Pray
Was assaulted yesterday by a few, birds of prey and others. Took first-Aid for Wild Birds course, very interesting. We have a rehab centre in the middle of the city, in the woods (oh the difference in smell, OH THE DIFFERENCE IN SMELL!) near the university actually. A very poor centre and yet highly resourceful thanks to the commitment of a few, especially Dr. PM, I should think. I entertained dreams of volunteering in the 1st year, and then vet school happened, and then I didn't. Was hoping I'd somehow manage to this year but, wouldn't you know it, virology exam in a fortnight. Also, comp dying several times a week, if i ever write that saga I promise you will die of fright. Also, translation job, words fail me.
So these were the beauties I worked w [images may be copyrighted etc], the top ones alive, the last one very dead, which was fortunate bcs sad little bird had re-invented cachexia (which comes after emaciation) and a) I am not so good at this bandaging thingy yet [but do you know how hard it is to bandage birds' feet? Ends up looking like a cute Vet-Wrapped pompom but dead, sticking-out feet weren't helping much] [LOVE Vet Wrap though, and Vet Lite], and b) sad little bird kept threatening to come apart - literally - in my hands. Now, injections I'm good at, got my intra-ossea (??? IO injections, Diana?) ones right immediately, both the ulnar one and the tibio-tarsic one.
We got them all from the non-releasable cages, there was a vulture that wanted to make friends - I didn't know this but vultures are highly imprintable and this one was a human-bonding poster child, very much wanting to jump into our laps if given half a chance. In the Grackle enclosure I went in w a colleague, up the slippery slope w the catching net, we were not allowed to bring in wet animals and that was a shame for there was a little, cutey, bald and dripping one that was also majorly imprinted and kept following us, barking very accurately. Hallo, look at me, take me, taaaaake meeeeeee! WOOF WOOF! But we had to break her heart and choose the ones that could actually fly and were not amused. Smallish buggers but their beaks can hurt like the bloody hell.
Then we moved on to the Common Buzzards, the biggest of all the animals we handled. They were much easier to catch than the grackles. Flying into the wire and becoming disoriented and tired helps every time.
I worked on these and the grackles in the clinic. Kestrels are a bloody pain, let me tell you. They use their beaks and sharp tallons as a weapon and complain noisily the whole time, even w a covered head. Ours was, to fit in with the theme, a bit on the emaciated side. His feet also were'nt as yellow as they should so I will wildly guess this bird wasn't in the best possible shape. Falcony birds have a claw in their wings, very cute. Anyway, it was my turn to do tyhe clinical examination and my colleague was supposed to be keeping the bird still and harmless within his leather gloves and bcs he was feeling a bit insecure abt it the feet and head kept moving and we spent more time extricating sharp, little strong tallons from my dermis and me replacing latex gloves than examining the beast. [We wear latex gloves bcs 50% of humans carry some Staph. strain in their skin and birds don't and you see how that could end well for the avian contingent.]
We were working outside and it was getting dark and cold and damp and by the time we were finished the birds looked delapidated and so did we, and it was absolutely brilliant and fabulous and I remembered why I must become a vet bcs there's nothing quite like the sight of a released bird flying back into the wild and knowing you helped make it possible, you are one of the few who are not powerless due to ignorance and therefore knew what to do. [This is, incidentally, also why I could never be a nurse or a vet tech. To think I may actually know better than the doctor what should be done bcs I am more experienced in that particular thing or he is incompetent AND YET he is the doctor and his world is law - no no no, MY word will be law and I will be more than happy to be counselled by all but no helplessly standing by while an animal is butchered/maimed/killed for me.]
This post is called Birds of Pray bcs I did remember, see, and every so often I need to. I do have that untimely exam in 2 weeks and feel not in the least like studying viruses right now but every exam brings me closer to being powerful in the proper way. Those are my foundations, they will be the ones who make the difference, and it's perfectly all right if I feel overwhelmed and fed up and tired and frustrated with how bad it all is if I also remember to be appropriately grateful.
And grateful I am.