Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Peregrine Falcons are endangered in Wisconsin. Researchers band nearly all urban-nesting Peregrine Falcons. Since this bird was aleady banded, we were able to determine her identity. "Jesse," was hatched in 2008 in a nest box in Genoa, Wisconsin, near the Mississippi River. In 2010 she nested on the North Tower of Mayfair Mall and produced four chicks. The nest box is still on the roof top in hopes that the peregrines will return there to nest year after year.
We sutured Jesse's puncture and treated her with antibiotics and pain releivers. After the wounds healed, she needed one more procedure: she needed her broken feathers "imped." Imping is a falconry term that means splicing replacement feathers from a "donor" bird of the same species, into the broken feather shafts of the recipient. Without this procedure it would take Jesse an entire year to molt in replacements for her broken primary feathers, and without these feathers, she could barely fly and thus could not be released. Since we did not have any Peregrine Falcon feathers to use, we sent the bird to The Raptor Center in Minneapolis for the feather imping procedure. They implanted new feathers and returned the bird to us in a week.
On Thursday morning, December 22nd, I met WINC Wildlife Rehbilitator Chelsea Matson with "Jesse," Greg Septon, the Director of the Wisconsin Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project, and videographers from TV channels 6 and 12 at the North Tower of Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa.
When we arrived, we noticed Jesse's mate, "Polyo," on a ledge near the top of the building! Greg told us that Polyo continues to roost on the building and hunt nearby. When not nesting, female Peregrine Falcons tend to wander more than the males. With the assistance of Greg Septon, and permission from Mayfair Mall, we were able to take Jesse to the roof nest box for the release.
She flew beautifully and much to our delight, Polyo vocalized and joined Jesse in circling the building. They both landed on a ledge just below the roof. We'll keep our fingers crossed, and hope Jesse and Polyo return to nest on the roof of Mayfair's North Tower in the summer of 2011.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Thank you to all of those who have cared for Indigo during his time with us. He will forever be in our hearts and will be dearly missed by all.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
After her release we will definitely share news of the wonderful event -and hopefully we'll be watching Jesse for many years to come!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
This hunting tactic is why they prefer to nest on rocky ledges of steep bluffs or especially in urban areas, ledges on high-rise buildings.
Peregrine means “wanderer” and certain birds that nest in parts of Canada have the longest migration routes of any other bird in North America.
For more information you can also visit the following resources:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology at: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Peregrine_Falcon/id
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources at: http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/er/biodiversity/index.asp?mode=info&Grp=7&SpecCode=ABNKD06070
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
|A number of waterfowl will choose to brave our Wisconsin winters if they have access to regularly open water and a food source|
Sometimes people need help that is more than we can provide. A few years ago someone called to report large black birds that were carrying people away in Waukesha. Our office person asked questions to make sure this was not a prank. She then tried to reassure the caller that in Wisconsin we do not have birds large enough to carry full grown adults away. But the caller insisted that these giant birds were actually picking up adult people and flying away with them. They had seen this happen with their own eyes. No amount of discussion would dissuade the person. In that case we suggested to the caller that this was a situation we were not equipped to handle and asked for their name and contact information. We asked them to call the police to report this situation and gave them the non-emergency number. We also called the non-emergency police number to describe the phone call and ask that the police do a welfare check on this person as there appeared to be a problem with reality. The police didn’t call back to let us know what happened of course. But I did watch the news the next few days and did not hear of the rediscovery of extinct pterodactyls in Waukesha so feel we assessed the situation correctly.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
|Winter at the Wildlife In Need Center|
Since Lisa had just spent about 10 minutes on the phone I answered it the next time it rang. This time the caller had problems with woodchucks in her yard that she wanted advice about. She believed that they were a breeding pair and that if she didn’t do something about them soon she would end up with an entire colony of them. This, of course wasn’t the case and she was relieved to hear so, but she did likely have a mother and a daughter attempting to burrow near her foundation. We went through the humane options she had available to her and left her with a plan for the next week to mitigate the situation.
Trying to accomplish what needs to get done is difficult enough when the phones and admissions come at such a steady pace, but the computers also lend to the problem. Playing “computer musical chairs” is a game played often around here. While waiting for my computer to respond I answered another phone call, this one from a local media outlet. They had heard about one of the patients we had recently admitted from a volunteer and wanted to do a story on them and their progress. I had to take a message so that I could find out the information they needed. When I wanted to call the reporter back however, I had to wait as we only have one phone line set-up to make outgoing long-distance phone calls (because of the rural area WINC is located in most of our phone calls are long-distance) and someone else was using it to return another phone call.
While I was waiting I decided to make some copies of a document I was going to need the following day. Using the copy machine on a hot, humid day proved to be a mistake as I was only able to do about half the job before it stopped working. Because we have a service agreement on the machine for situations just like this we contacted the company and placed a request.
It was just as well that I was done with that project for the time because it was just then that 2 new volunteers came over with their training checklists asking if I could go through the office portion for them. Mid-way through the training the phone rang and it was another caller dealing with some mischievous young woodchucks so I provided them with the information they needed to make an educated plan to humanely discourage them from continuing their antics and returned to my training.
|Save the Date! We'll be celebrating Groundhog's Day at the Waukesha Elks Lodge on Wednesday, February 2nd!|
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
On this particular day I arrived at the office to find our Wildlife Education Coordinator, Leslie, already in, attempting to get caught up on some paperwork for upcoming programs. Even though our office wasn’t technically open yet, she had already admitted an injured bird and answered several questions posed by its rescuers as to how we would care for it. By the time I arrived she had also had to switch to the extra computer on the office counter because her normal one was working very slowly and she was having trouble opening some of the programs she needed.
Throughout the year a long-time supporter and volunteer, Rose, and her community action team of young men from Lad Lake will come out to the Center to assist with myriad projects ranging from cleaning and building cages to mowing the lawns. This particular day they were here to assist with re-sanding our crow aviary.
The best part about having fewer phone calls and fewer patients being admitted is that, hopefully it means fewer animals are getting into harms way than during the summer months when they are searching for safe places to keep their young, feeding their families and generally trying to survive. At this point in my story it was still before 1PM but I can’t help but return to the present on this cold, rainy November day. I have to remind myself that even though it was a long hot summer and a long, cold winter lies ahead (in an office sitting on a cement slab with little insulation, and inadequate doors and windows) that our wild neighbors will still need us. I’m reminded of that already as today I’ve answered many more phone calls, admitted 2 patients and as the evening approaches we’ll be waiting on more.
The excitement is rising for the new Wildlife In Need Center facility and we want to share our progress with you! Visit our new blog dedicated to the construction and capital campaign progress at http://www.newwincfacility.blogspot.com/
Thursday, November 11, 2010
When Rick arrived at the home of the caller she showed him there they eagle was; perched in a very large tree over a ravine filled with other trees and vines covering the ground. Things were about to get difficult. The branch that the eagle was on was at the same level as the top of the ravine but too far away to simply reach out to. Rick attempted to use a net that was attached to a pole. It was just long enough to reach the bird but it kept getting tangled in the tree. At this point Rick had assessed the bird from a distance and realized that it was a younger bird and that it was pretty emaciated and most likely dehydrated. Because the bird was young, it's likely it was still unskilled in hunting and may have become too weak to fly well. This can be dangerous even though there weren't any substantial injuries because being too weak to fly means that he wouldn't be able to hunt which is how he became weaker to begin with. Rick succeeded in nudging the bird out of the tree and it glided to the ravine floor.
Rick followed the bird into the ravine full of tangled vines. He crept closer and closer to the eagle and just when he had it in his sights, the bird hopped away. This struggle continued across the ravine for about an hour, but even while tripping on and getting tangled in the vines with every move, Rick was not about to give up. He asked for help and even though the woman who called was not able to herself, she found other caring neighbors that could. The new recruits formed a human wall behind the bird to keep it from escaping onto the clearing and Rick moved in again. This time he successfully captured the eagle in a large blanket.
The bald eagle was, as Rick predicted, emaciated, dehydrated and very underweight. After spending just a night at WINC it was transferred to a rehabber at Pineview for expert care in a facility with more resources for the size and care required for this type of bird. After such a difficult rescue Rick wanted to make sure the eagle did well and asked to be kept informed on its rehabilitation progress. After the eagle had been returned to health Rick received another call, but this time it was to be there for the release back into the wild of the eagle he worked so hard to rescue.
|Rehabbers from the Center the Eagle was transferred to and cared for at release it back to its home territory while Rick photographed the moment he had been hoping to see since he first rescued the bird.|
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
That’s why I agreed to have a young gentleman and his younger sister come in one day this summer with their extended family with whom he was staying for the weekend. The adults in the group explained that the kids were from Chicago so while visiting, they were looking for as many opportunities as possible to get them outside to see both animals and nature.
As I mentioned, and many of you know, anytime the public gets beyond the doors of our office it is a rare situation as we are not permitted to operate as a nature center or zoo. Several of our permitted educational ambassadors are housed in or near our office however, and they also work with people all year long through scheduled educational outreach programs. Because of this and the fact that the beautiful weather was helping to keep our wild neighbors out of trouble (the office was not too busy) I agreed to speak with them for a short time about the Center and share some of these ambassadors with them.
First they were introduced to the Center and what we do. Currently, our office is home to Slither, a Western Fox Snake, Maize, a Corn Snake, and Jewel, an Ornate Box Turtle (an endangered species in Wisconsin). Although some people get a little squeamish around reptiles and amphibians, most children are naturally curious and giving them the opportunity to interact with animals who have been trained to work with people helps to give them a more positive outlook and respect for these creatures who serve an important purpose in our lives.
Next, we walked outside to check on Dakota, our educational Great Horned Owl and Indigo, our educational American kestrel in their outdoor enclosures. The young man was absolutely fascinated by Dakota as he had never seen an owl in person before. Lastly, we stopped by the outdoor enclosure of Waldo, our educational Woodchuck. Waldo was lounging in his hollow log to keep cool in the midday sun but was content to have us enjoy him from afar. The entire family was thrilled by the concept of being able to see such an animal so close up, especially such a handsome specimen.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Normally we don’t recommend using the “answer to every problem” live-trap to solve conflicts between people and their wild neighbors. This situation proved difficult however, as the animal was clearly hiding in a room far from the nearest outdoor exit in a house with 2 large dogs.
We determined that the wayward creature was likely a weasel. The plan was to locate a very small live-trap baited with canned cat food and place it in the closed room. In these situations we always advise homeowners to do their best to locate the point of entry and close it if they can (in this case it was a coincidence involving a door so it was an easy solution) and then release the animal to a safe corner of their property. We’ll come back to this story in a moment.
The next call I received was from a woman who had a Virginia Opossum in a live-trap. She had successfully trapped and “relocated” 3 in the past week and wondered if there was something less time-consuming that could relieve her of the midnight garbage raiders. Our conversation was a helpful one; I explained to her that not only was relocating these animals a lot of work for her, but it was also not the best solution – nor legal! After our discussion, she had a number of recommendations that she was going to set out to implement. Because the animals were getting into the trash, other than putting straps, locks or bungee cords on the container, one option was for her to contact her waste disposal company to find out if she could exchange her current receptacle for a clean, new one that didn’t have such a strong odor, or barring that, taking the time to thoroughly clean the one she was using. She was also going to try leaving the lights on in the area the receptacles were kept to force any potential raiders to commit their crimes in the light. Because she was not providing any other food sources (neither her nor her immediate neighbors were feeding birds or other pets outdoors) these few tactics should do the trick.
Opossums are by nature nomadic and they generally only stay in one area if they consistently find food there. They are not picky when it comes to food, but if they can’t find enough they will move on to other areas where they can. Keeping up food and implementing small things that change the landscape that animals are used to or startle them when they least expect it are often all it takes to solve conflicts in a humane manner. Even if being humane isn’t your top priority (why are you reading this blog then?), the safety, hassle and legality of trapping and relocating animals should be.
The second woman thanked me for all of the information and I think that she will have a much better week now. Back to the first caller. Shortly after we talked she had gone to the bathroom to check on the status of her uninvited guest and brought with her a heavy bag and a piece of bologna. When she opened the door he was peering around a corner at her so she instinctively tossed the bologna into the bag and held it in the doorway in front of her. Surprisingly, he was hungry enough to be fooled with her behind the door and voluntarily walked right into the bag to enjoy his feast. She was able to safely bring him to the long grassy area in the back of her property and release him back to his home and duty of controlling the rodent population there.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Just today I answered a half dozen calls each regarding a different goose in similar situations. Our mission to rehabilitate any wild animal native to Wisconsin remains the same regardless of the time of year, but the calls and patients we get in the fall, especially the latter part of the season are some of the most difficult for both the animals as well as the people involved.
Of course each situation is different, but many have the same obstacles to overcome:
- The goose spends most of its time on water where it is difficult or impossible for a human (or any other predator) to catch him
- The goose can still run even when she does come out of the water making it easier for her to duck, dive and hide in the bushes where she’s safe from predators (us)
If you see a goose, duck or other type of waterfowl that you think needs help please gather the following information before contacting your nearest rehabilitator.
- Where has the animal been seen most often and how near is it to water
- What behaviors (holding out or dragging one wing, noticeably limping, unable to balance) are you witnessing that could help us pinpoint the injury
- How close has a person walking been able to get to the animal before it responds (ie. tries to run away, dives into the water, or perhaps it can’t move at all)
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
|Blandings turtles may be endangered, but nearly all of the reptiles and amphibians native to Wisconsin are experiencing population declines due to loss of habitat and interactions with people (and our vehicles)|
|Our educational Red-tailed Hawk, Raenah, was a victim of a vehicle strike|
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Decoys gone wild
Driving down Highway 18 east of Wales, on the way to Brandybrook Community Center for a fall volunteer meeting a few years ago, my eye was caught by a white owl sitting on a fence post in a field. Unless it was a rare albino, the only owl we ever see in Wisconsin that is white is a Snowy Owl. We do not normally have Snowy Owl in Wisconsin as they live in the Arctic. But sometimes in winter when there is a cyclical crash in their lemming food populations, Snowy Owls will come further south looking for food. I wanted a closer look to see what that owl was. I turned around, drove back and stopped my car before I got the owl. The owl’s back was facing me and across the ditch and field I could see barbed wire twined around the post and the owls feet appeared to be tangled in the wire. I quietly got out of my car (owls can hear a mouse the distance of a football field so I’m sure it wasn’t quiet to the owl), put on my leather handling gloves and grabbed a towel. I knew I would have to subdue the owl quickly because I did not want it to thrash its feet and shred them on the barbed wire. I crept up behind the owl and was almost ready to throw my towel over it when I stopped. The owl was a plastic Great Horned Owl decoy that was so weathered the paint had worn off leaving the white plastic showing through. The barbed wire was holding it to the post. Obviously it had been there for years and I had driven past many times never noticing it. Some wildlife professional I was to mistake a decoy for a real owl! When I arrived at Brandybrook I related my story to explain my lateness. When I told people that I had stopped for a white owl on a fence post, several said “It’s a decoy!” Apparently I was not the only one fooled by a decoy.
Flightless in the rain
A call came to WINC during a driving rainstorm. Someone had called someone else to report seeing a hawk hit by a car south of Waukesha on Highway 59 between Highway 164 and Highway XX. Because I didn’t talk to the witness I didn’t have an exact location. But I did have extra coverage in the office so off I went to see if I could find the hawk. I drove east on 59 looking on both sides of the road for a hawk in the rain. Then I saw a crumpled mottled gray form laying against the fast lane curb on west-bound 59. I drove to the next intersection, turned around and drove back. I parked on the shoulder, grabbed my gloves and towel, and waited in the pouring rain to dash across two lanes of traffic to grab – a dirty gray t-shirt, filthy from being run over, probably thrown by momentum of a vehicle against the curb in a vaguely hawk-like shape. I did rescue it so no one else would mistake it for an animal. I didn’t know if that is what the person saw or if they had actually seen a real animal hit, so I drove back and forth that section of road four times before heading back to WINC to dry out. Hopefully our hawk friend wasn’t injured and flew off to find someplace dry as well.
|Volunteers at last year's basic rescue training class.|
|During last year's basic rescue training class volunteers wrangle our educational muscovy duck for practice.|
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Dead trees (called snags) provide important habitat for many species of wildlife. Woodpeckers often use snags as a source of their insect diet. They also drill holes (cavities) in live and dead trees which they use for nesting. The cavities that they create are important nest sites for a number of other cavity-nesting species that don’t have the ability to make holes in trees; these include chickadees, bluebirds, and kestrels. Snags also provide den sites (both nesting and wintering) for many mammal species. Squirrels, raccoons, and even bears use snags for dens.
If a dead tree is not posing a threat to your home or other buildings, consider leaving it, or only cutting off the most dangerous branches. If you DO need to cut down a dead or unwanted tree, do it in the fall - right now - well after the nesting season is done and before most mammals begin using trees for winter dens. So remember, if you can’t leave it, don’t fell it ‘til fall! You can contact the Center with any questions you may have regarding wildlife in your yard.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The one shot of the event that turned out was this moment; the rest of his adventure was a graceful arch up and out, heading to the west and into a thicket of trees. One aspect of assisting on releases is that you get to talk to people. I talk to a lot of people during the day with questions regarding their wild neighbors and the center, but when you speak to someone during a special event like this it’s different. Before we could hop back in our cars to bid our owl friend a final adieu a vehicle stopped to find out if we needed any help. Once we explained what we were doing the passerby gladly took some information about the Center and said she was definitely going to contact us about volunteering. IF she joins us, hopefully we’ll be able to have even more happy endings.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Here are some ideas:
- Pick greens. Dandelions, clovers, plantain, and wide-blade grasses are important foods for cottontails and woodchucks. Just pick them into a plastic shopping bag and tie shut. Refrigerate until you can them to the Center. We can’t get enough dandelion greens for our hundreds of juvenile cottontails. It is their favorite food and helps cure diarrhea.
- Gather native seeds, nuts or berries the next time you go with your family on a hike. These are foods many of our patients are used to, making them feel safer and eat better. Be sure you identify the plant you are picking from before doing so, to avoid anything that may be poisonous! Stay off of private property as well. And most importantly, please remember to leave some for the wild neighbors who live in those areas as well!
- Grow food materials, even though it’s getting chilly you could still plant some greens or plan to plant sunflowers, greens or veggies next spring for our wild patients.
- The next time it rains, head out of doors and gather up some of the night crawlers and earthworms from the sidewalk. Birds of all kinds love to eat them including our patients! If you prefer not to gather living animals, put them back in the yard. They will help the soil and the local birds may catch them on their own later.
- If your family trims any trees such as elm, oak, willow and apple or thin raspberry and blackberry thickets, ask them if you can gather the branches. Squirrels and cottontails eat the leaves and bark and the branches are good for chewing exercise.
Be sure to check our website whenever you need information about your wild neighbors or the Wildlife In Need Center. And, although we may not be able to incorporate them all, if you have suggestions on how to make our site better we will always listen. Finally, for those “big kid” volunteers, be sure to check out our volunteer pages. They are still under construction, but I’m sure you’ll find more helpful information than you remember!
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Initially, the turtle was left alone; it wasn’t until it had been there for over an hour that they realized what it was doing and contacted the Center for answers.
Once the turtle lays her eggs and buries them, she leaves and does not come back to the nest. Depending on the species and soil temperatures, the babies should hatch in 60-90 days. Once the babies hatch they leave to head to the nearest water. People often ask, but we don’t recommend moving the eggs. Once laid, the embryo soon attaches to the egg and can be killed by disturbing the egg, unlike birds that often turn their eggs during incubation. Leaving mom be to lay her eggs and leave is the best policy.
Calls about turtles can start as early as April or May, and can continue through to August and even into September as the babies begin hatching. Once hatched, they will come to the surface and instinctively make their way to water; often en mass. We will get a great many calls during the hatching period from individuals wondering what to do when faced with this amazing site. Unfortunately we receive a number of calls after this period, and throughout the year, from individuals who took one or more of these babies in thinking they needed assistance. Once these animals begin to get sick or go dormant from poor nutrition we have a lot of work to do to get them back to health. Even with the proper diet they need to be evaluated by a professional to ensure they are healthy as well as psychologically able to survive in the wild before being re-released.
If you see the babies hatching, resist the temptation to take them in. If you can gather them up and immediately take them to the nearest body of water, this gives them a big head start.
Turtles populations all over the country are diminishing, even the more common species. Just hatched turtles like to ones we’re talking about today are always going to face huge obstacles to survival, but turtles are very slow to mature. Turtles that make it to the age of reproduction however, can reproduce for many years which is why they have been able to survive. Human over the past 50 years have increased the death of adult turtles in recent years which means that each year there are fewer and fewer of them reproducing. For more information about turtles in Wisconsin visit: http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/er/biodiversity/index.asp?mode=detail&Grp=49
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The reality is that foxes have adapted well to urban life all across the country; whether it is City urban or Lake Home urban; and even in other countries. Since fall is inching its way closer the majority of fox kits have started out on their own and some of them struggle at first. What is also common in foxes in this area is mange.
According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, “mange is a skin disease of mammals caused by a tissue-burrowing arthropod.” They go on to describe Sarcoptic mange, which is the kind commonly seen in foxes in Wisconsin, as being “characterized by thinning and loss of hair, thickening and wrinkling of the skin, and scab and crust formation.” Patients we’ve admitted obviously have thinning hair, but they will also commonly have sores that are scabbed over and smell terrible over much of their body. Mange is treatable, and we do so with a dual treatment both internally and externally. The unfortunate part of the disease is that the animals eventually become weak from an inability to hunt from the distraction and fighting the ongoing infection from the wounds on their bodies. This is usually the time that they are finally contained and brought to us for care and treatment. [This is evident in the photo above. To read about the happy ending this pitiful creature saw you’ll have to watch for a future post]
But what about his children? Foxes, and most wild animals for that matter, don’t want to have anything to do with humans or our pets. Aside from playful fox kits, they usually don’t want to expend any more energy than is necessary to procure their next meal. Since they are omnivorous, this could range from some berries under a mulberry tree to a mouse or an occasional cottontail, but rarely anything larger. Unless we interfere with their natural behaviors by trying to habituate them the average person will never have a bad experience with an animal like this. It is our responsibility as adults to teach children about wildlife and the world that surrounds us. This means encouraging respect, not fear, of our wild neighbors. It also means understanding that if we show them the respect they deserve, they will do the same in exchange. With development drawing more wildlife into urban areas it will benefit all of us if we learn this lesson.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I came into this internship having a love for but little knowledge of Wisconsin wildlife. Having grown up in a rural area, I came to know and have a soft spot for the little animals that found their way into my front yard and my mom’s vegetable garden, even though their crimes were not always warmly welcomed! However, I now feel that I have gained more insight into how I can live in harmony with wildlife. Reading the book Wild Neighbors by the Humane Society of the United States and learning from my supervisors at WINC have taught me how I can prevent wildlife from becoming nuisances around my home. Admitting patients in WINC’s front office allowed me opportunities to hold and identify wildlife.
But as many of you know, school is just around the bend. My free time to bird-watch and observe fascinating Wisconsin wildlife will be extremely limited. The months will get busier, and my head will increasingly feel heavier with school assignments and other activities. I am going to make the assumption that many of you will also have busier schedules upon the arrival of fall. Who has the time or means to donate to wildlife when there is no room on our calendars and never-ending bills to pay?
However, for those of us who wish to remember the animals in the midst of our busy schedules, we can still pitch in and help! For example...
- Whether it is shopping at the grocery store, filling up gas in our cars, or renewing our magazine subscriptions, there are many ways in which we can provide for wildlife during our everyday routines. Please visit WINC’s website at www.helpingwildlife.org/newsevents/fundraisers.htm to read more about these easy and worthwhile opportunities.
- We can donate our extra veggies, pet foods, and/or other products that could benefit injured wildlife. View WINC’s wish list online at www.helpingwildlife.org/getinvolved/wishlist.htm.
- We should take precautions around our homes to ensure the safety of our families and nearby wildlife. We can find out what we can do to prevent any wildlife-related disasters from occurring by visiting the helpful links at www.helpingwildlife.org/wldlemergency/hoursloc.htm.
- If we do see animals that appear to be injured or in trouble, making a simple phone call to WINC or visiting its website to learn about the proper steps we should take could save lives!
- WINC is always in need of volunteers and interns throughout the year! Whether it is caring for the animals in person, working in the front office and reaching out the community, or educating the public on our wild neighbors, WINC always needs our help! View these awesome volunteer and internship opportunities at www.helpingwildlife.org/getinvolved/volunteer.htm.
I will miss my summer days with Waldo the Woodchuck, Daphne the Duck, and all of the other educational animals and patients at the Wildlife in Need Center. However, even though I will not be able to see them every day, I will always remember them and try my best to remain a part of WINC, whether it is contributing donations that fit inside my budget or volunteering my time at the center next summer. Where there is a will, there is a way!
I was only an intern at WINC this past summer, but in the end, I couldn’t help but feel like I became a part of a…family. And shouldn’t family members always support each other?
...Daphne the Duck says, "YES!"
Guest Blogger J.M.
NOTE: Do you have any suggestions for WINC’s upcoming blog posts? If so, please post them in your comment, and WINC may use them in the near future!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
First question is always is this a small adult bird or baby bird?
Second question is what was the bird doing before you discovered it and what has it been doing since?
In this case, the bird in question was an adult who had flown into the window. Most of the time window strikes cause a bird to be temporarily stunned. We suggest putting them in a covered box, or in a pinch a paper bag with a couple of air holes, and letting them rest someplace quiet for an hour. This protects them from predators and the quiet darkness also helps to reduce their shock. After an hour, take the box outside and open it. If the bird can fly out, fine. If not, it is more seriously injured and should come to a rehabilitator for evaluation. This bird was destined to have a better day and flew away after a short rest.
PS. Don't forget that Tazino's Pizza and Salad Bistro in Menomonee Falls is hosting a 10% event for the Wildlife In Need Center this evening! Download a flyer [here] and 10% of your order will be donated to help us care for our wild neighbors! Tell all your friends and we'll see you there!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
If you talk to phone counseling veterans you will hear countless stories of feces descriptions including ones filled with seeds or found in odd places. And just a side note that even though we do see and deal with a lot of the sort in a Center such as ours, we really aren’t interested in handling it to confirm that someone indeed has a raccoon passing through their yard on occasion.
Back to slime mold. Another classic call was from a woman who was convinced that something or someone was vomiting in her front flowerbed every night. The likelihood that this was the case was slim, especially after several days had resulted in the same outcome. WINC phone counselor Lisa however, knew exactly what the culprit might be; slime mold. I have been told that this type of mold looks like “colorful vomit” and commonly appears in wood mulch during and after times of heavy rainfall. According to my research this is a “fungus-like” organism but not actually of the fungi family. It gets its name from the early stages of its development when it often appears very “gelatinous.” It states that because it feeds on microorganisms that live in dead plant material, it is common to find them on the ground, especially on lawns and in forests.
Many people don’t know why they suddenly see piles of very small feces below their shutters in the summer, why they find deposits in the same area again and again, or what type of animal has been visiting the back deck at night, but if you have questions give us a call; everyone else does!
Thanks again and clean up after yourself!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The granddaughter was a bit older than we had envisioned and she was able to pick the bird up in a shirt; bringing him into the Center in a canvas shopping bag. The most surprising thing about this story however, is that it actually was a juvenile Cooper’s hawk!
Yes, that is what she said it was, but it’s a common occurrence to receive calls about “baby hawks” that turn into infant Mourning Doves when they arrive at the Center. We also get a lot of American Robins - while it’s true we do actually admit numerous robins, many other small birds ranging from European Starlings to Song Sparrows to House Finches come in claiming to be a member of the proud red-breasts as well. We never make people feel bad for not knowing the difference; the truth is there are always patients coming in that even we don’t know at first glance, especially baby birds! By working as a team and with a network; talking to other staff and volunteers, attending conferences, reading journals, posting blogs, and partnering with other rehabilitators however, we find the answers we don’t know and also try our best to share that information. And that’s a good thing because for many of the people we do talk to, there aren’t a lot of other resources for them to get the answers they’re looking for. We love to hear from people that know about and care about our wild neighbors as much as we do, but we love to help people learn about our wild neighbors just as much.
It isn’t something we’re often known for, but we are more than “just an animal charity.” An article in our recent newsletter examined the ways in which we help the people in our communities as well. While we are here for the animals (whatever they may turn out to be) it is the volunteers, members, staff, supporters and community who have always been the heart of the Wildlife In Need Center.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
- you find a cottontail nest in your yard?
- your cat brings you an injured bird?
- you see an owl get hit by a passing car?
- you find a small raccoon near the side of the road?
Did you know that the Wildlife In Need Center has recently received a generous grant to fund and enhance our unique internship programs? The generous donation given by the James E. Dutton Foundation has allowed the Center to make more positions available in animal care this summer. Those of you who’ve been around WINC throughout the years know how important animal care interns are during our busy summer months. Their help allows us to increase the quality of care we can provide our patients. The funding will also allow us to offer animal care positions during our off-season as well which will help launch a whole new aspect of research and allow for the best care of all of our future patients.
As our Center grows and our need to educate the communities we serve grows with it, we also plan to expand our internship programs accordingly. Our new partnership with UW-Waukesha means that we are not only enhancing the experiences and learning opportunities provided for the valuable team members to our animal care staff and volunteers, we are also adding new team member positions including marketing and community outreach as well as an education intern.
Most importantly, we are looking for someone to help us launch our environmental education internship program. If you or someone you know is interested in:
- Learning how to assist the public with wildlife questions
- Designing educational brochures for children’s programs
- Creating educational displays for the new educational wing
- Helping to present educational programs to the public
- Create and publish educational videos
- and more...
Learning to live peacefully with wildlife as well as knowing when a wild animal may need our help are just some of the lessons you could share if you were an education intern at the Wildlife In Need Center. Interns should have experience with various computer programs, working with people and reliable transportation. For a complete description of the qualifications for becoming an intern visit our website. If you want to help inspire people both young and old about the wonderful world around us then we want to hear from you!
To apply send a cover letter describing your interest and previous experience as well as a current resume to firstname.lastname@example.org