Desert Horses

Welcome to my horse blog, Desert Horses. We live in the desert southwest, near Palm Springs, CA, but board our horses up in our local mountains where it is cooler in the summer. I have 4 horses, all rescues. Here is the ranch up the mountains where the horses stay, October, 2015. That's Scout in the arena.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Horse visit and 3 bird tales

Since our temps were low this past weekend, I drove up to the horses yesterday.  Quad is now getting a noon feeding, in addition to his morning and evening feeds.  He is starting to fill out.  I bought him some senior feed, some CocoSoya, and some probiotics.  I'm hoping that all of these will help him put on some weight.  All the other horses look good.  Gigondas is super shiny and fit!  Scout needs to be brushed out, as her summer coat is coming in.  Sunni is AWESOME!  He's super shiny, too, and his dark bay coat looks very good.  I'm going to have to return this week (someday) and put fly repellent on all of them.  Yes, fly season is HERE.

Anyway, the ranch owner was out & about feeding her birds (she raises birds to help finance her horses).  I found broken eggs in a couple places on the ranch and she told me the ravens steal them from the nearby chickens!  Interesting!  She also told me that one of the parents was ... dead!  It got into the poison bait that they put out for the ground squirrels.  That leaves 3 juveniles with 1 parent.  The family has lived on their ranch for many years.  Very sad indeed, but there are so many ground squirrels that I'm always stepping in holes myself!  As I pulled into the are up by the tack room, 2 huge, FAT ones scampered away.  Ugh.  I hate them.

So, one morning she went out and found one of the young ravens tangled up in some of the string from the various bags of pellets she just unloaded the afternoon before.  She heard a commotion and went to see what it was.  The poor thing had so much string wrapped around its leg!  She tried to get close to it to remove it...NO DEAL.  She went out later and one of the other babies was entangled in the other end of the string!  For heaven's sake!  Now they were both flopping around.  Since they couldn't fly, she was able to get the string cut off the first bird's feet and she was able to capture the 2nd one (it was so exhausted).  She gently took it up to her porch, got the scissors out, and snipped away.  She told me the raven didn't even try to peck or bite her.  It was as if it knew she was helping it.  So, she was able to release that one, too.  I looked yesterday and all 3 of the juveniles were out flying, so apparently it has recovered nicely.

Then, after I took Scout up to the round pen, I heard a hawk crying.  I looked up and one of the ravens (the adult) was chasing the hawk!  They were doing an aerial ballet.  I wasn't able to run and grab my camera, but it was interest to watch.  Cathy says that the ravens are driving out the hawks, who drove out the owls.  There used to be an owl in the pine tree right by their driveway, but I haven't seen it for quite a while.  So, the hawks drove out the owl and now the ravens are driving off the hawks.  She informed me that the family of quail, which had 15 babies, now only has 2.

And, then, to top off my visit, we went out front to look at the new tile her husband put down next to their huge fountain.  Unfortunately, a female scrub jay was floating in the fountain water.  She had apparently swooped down to get a nice, fat worm which was at the bottom of the pool, not seeing the water and she drowned.  OYE!  Such is the cycle of life, eh?

It was a pleasantly cool day up there.  Next weekend, however, temps will be in the 100's.  We're supposed to have rising temps this week and by next weekend, it will be 118 and 120 here in the desert.  OUCH!

 Goofy Quad!  He wouldn't leave me alone yesterday!

1 comment:

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Sounds like a bird soap opera. It is fascinating seeing how the different types of birds interact. I often see ravens fighting hawks here too.