Kristi's Photographs and Observations

Nature and Photography
Kristi is a naturalist and photographer who grew up on Lake O' the Pines where she still lives.  You will find her much of the time on or near the lake, camera in hand as she photographs birds and other natural objects.  She is an active member of the Cypress Basin Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists.

Freedom Rising?

Freedom Resized

A few weeks ago, Beverly reported that Freedom had stopped eating, even though she was feeding her daily by hand. She finally determined that she might be depressed, and was able to move some other birds around and get her to a flight cage that let sunlight in.  (Can you even imagine having seventy some-odd injured, sick, and healing birds to look after, and the effort involved in keeping them all situated, fed, and comfortable?  I cannot.) Long story short, she was able to move Freedom; gradually her depression seems to have lifted, and her appetite has improved. Beverly says it's a good sign that she has enough spunk to bite her hand now! 

This is not an uncommon situation for birds with Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy (AVM).  Freedom is far from being out of the woods and back to the wild, but there is hope that eventually she can shake this. Beverly related that she has a mature eagle in her care currently with AVM, and a few weeks back, it was if a switch had been turned and those scrambled neuronal circuits reconnected.  This condition is unpredictable, at best. 

Many thanks to Beverly for the valuable work that she does.  We hope to be able to visit her facility in the coming months, and in the meantime she has sent the best photo she could get of Freedom.  We know there is not a lot of time in her day for photo opps, so we appreciate this, too!

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Update on Freedom . . . Slow Going

So much to do this holiday season that it's been hard to find extra time, and the same goes for Beverly Grage with Wild and Free Again.  She messaged this week that Freedom is not improving as quickly as she would like, but that this is not at all unusual for a bird with suspected Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy (AVM). 

AVM is a newly discovered disease that was first identifed in the field in 1994 when dead bald eagles were found near DeGray Lake in Arkansas. It's been confirmed that Freedom suffered a shoulder fracture that had already remodeled by the time she was rescued, but Beverly suspects that this injury occurred because of the neurological damage inflicted by AVM.  

Suspected to be caused by a cyanobacterium that attaches to an invasive species of hydrilla, AVM is in many cases fatal.  Beverly has had her hands full with an influx of other critical care birds, but promises to send photos and and updates as she can.  Can you even imagine caring for over seventy injured birds in these freezing temperatures?  Many thanks to Beverly for attempting to rehab these creatures that cannot help themselves, and we hope to be able to help her continue this mission in the new year!  

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The Latest from the Nest

Eagle on Nest

Lots of news this week. . . Beverly Grage of Wild and Free Again took injured young female Freedom to the vet, and learned that she had a right shoulder fracture that has already remodeled on its own.  She will be requiring long-term care.  Meanwhile, we checked the nest site one day during the week, and were encouraged to see a parent peering down as if to signal that it's getting to be that time of year again.  More to come!  

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Eagle Update - Freedom is Continuing to Improve!

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We've been posting updates on Freedom's progress to the Bald Eagles on Lake O' the Pines Facebook page, but should also let eveyone know the good news here.  As of yesterday, Beverly Grage at Wild and Free Again says that she is optimistic about this eagle!   

When she was taken to her, she was emaciated and had trouble standing.  She wanted to put her head down in the small carrier that she was transported in, but would readily take food.  Apparently the fluids, feedings, and care and attention from Beverly have paid off, though, and on Tuesday evening 11/8, she was standing better on both feet and looking alert.  Beverly reported even more progress yesterday evening. . . see for yourselves! 

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Michael Mathews
That's a big change and great news. Looking forward to when we can take her back out and release her.
Thursday, 10 November 2016 09:09
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Eagle Update - Injured Eagle Near Nest Site on Lake O' the Pines


As I understand it, Robby Henderson with the Corps of Engineers had received a call on Thursday from some folks who said they had found an immature eagle on its back close to the nest that we all watched this past year, and with no apparent signs of injury.  Robby advised them to bring the bird to him on Friday, and he would try to locate a rehab facility.  

Now that's the big hurdle, because large bird rehab facilities are few and far between, and with funding cuts, even the ones in operation have a hard time.  Thankfully, Beverly Grage of Wild and Free Again in Lindale agreed to take this eagle, even though she is not accepting new birds due to the cost.  

At first sight, it was sad to see this beautiful bird upside down and lethargic in an undersized pet carrier, but also amazing to be able to touch the unbelievably soft feathers, the sharp talons, and that massive beak.  While getting everything arranged, we were able to get some water through a straw to the bird, and it seemed to come to life and hold the head upright - even trying to grab the straw.  

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Michael Mathews
Thank you for the information and fantastic photos of "OUR" eagle. Please keep us informed.
Saturday, 05 November 2016 19:41
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