Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Every January the Wildlife In Need Center holds a celebration to show our appreciation for our amazing volunteers. This party is all about our volunteers and recognizing the hard work they do all year long. This year we were excited to host the party in our own gathering room here at the center!

The night is filled with food, drinks and lots of fun. Staff gives a presentation thanking all our wonderful volunteers and also awards the new Volunteer of the Year. This year the award went to Christine Fuller. Christine’s 2011 hours totaled 244.5 hours (average volunteer will clock in about 200 hours per year). Since becoming a volunteer in 2009 she has come to WINC with a wonderful attitude every shift; lifting the spirits of both staff and the resident ambassadors. Staff is lucky enough to encounter her wonderful attitude twice a week. Christine is here at the center every Saturday morning and has stepped up to help on Tuesday afternoons since the beginning of last summer. She gives incredible kindness to our patients and her fellow team members. Her heart has a big warm place for wildlife and it shows! Christine also helps at other WINC events including our dog cookie cutting party to make cookies for the World’s Greatest Cookie Sale.

Christine is dedicated, reliable, and has a great attitude. The center would not be the same without her and we are very grateful to have her as part of the Wildlife In Need Center’s volunteer team.  Thank you, Christine for all that you do. Congratulations on being 2011 Volunteer of the Year!

Interested in volunteering? The center is always looking for more volunteers! We have volunteering opportunities in animal care, grounds and maintenance, office, phones and admissions, baby bird feeding. For more information call the center at (262) 965-3090. We offer volunteer orientations once a month here the center to give you an idea of what we’re really about.
RSVP for a volunteer orientation today!
Tuesday, February 28th from 6:30-8:00PM
Tuesday, March 20th from 6:30-8:00PM
Tuesday, April 17th from 6:30-8:00PM

This could be you!

Guest Blogger M.F.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

And An Owl In A Pear Tree

Once upon a time we received a phone call from a woman who had an Owl in her pear tree. This owl, she claimed, “must have been injured,” because she had seen it in nearly the same place both the day before as well as today and she was afraid to go outside because of it. We did our best to explain that even if there was something wrong with the owl it wouldn’t pose a threat to a grown adult while it was in a tree and we tried to gather more information from her as to what more was going on to give us an idea if there really could be something wrong with it.

After a short time it was obvious that the caller was coming at the situation from a much different place than we were and was unwilling to provide us with anymore of the information we needed.

The following day, the adult children of this same woman called and tried to tell us the same story of the owl in the pear tree. When I encouraged them to approach the tree to gather more information the same as I had suggested the previous day however, the owl flew away just fine!

The reason I share this story is just an excuse to talk about the fact that baby season is just around the corner and the earliest babies are already being prepared for by their Great Horned Owl parents!

Each year we admit as many as half a dozen or more “owlets” because of strong spring storms and poorly built nests. This is the situation that Dakota was faced with when he was a youngster. As much as he has become a part of the Wildlife In Need Center and who we are over his 11 years with us, his true and ideal place would have been the freedom of living as a wild owl. Because he was taken from his family that blustery spring day rather than brought to a rehabilitator who could’ve reunited him with his family like we do with the owlets we admit, he will never live that life.

Just a reminder that when you find an animal you think needs help, make your first step a positive one and contact your local wildlife rehabilitator before you do anything else!

This puff-ball can't get back up into his parents' nest without a little assistance. This is not a safe place for someone like him to be so if you see this situation, give us a call
An experienced volunteer is gently gathering up the owlet to bring to the Center for evaluation. Once we've determined that there are no injuries we will send out re-nesting volunteers and staff to reunite the babies with their family.
Owlets that are a little larger and more feathered like this one are called "branchers." These little guys may be capable of hoping and gliding enough that if found on the ground they could get back up into the lower branches on their own. If they can't do so in a reasonable amount of time however, always call a rehabilitator for advice 

An Owl Re-nesting Volunteer climbs the tree armed with a new "nest" to install for the owl family
Thank you for caring!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Turtle Town, Snake City, and a warm place to spend the winter

During the winter the center receives both reptiles and amphibians that end up spending the winter at the center until spring when warmer weather arrives. This winter we received a Common Garter Snake that had a tail injury. It was found on someone’s driveway, probably trying to bask in the sun to stay warm, when they noticed the injury on the tail. One of our volunteer vets took a look at him and decided the dead tissue should be removed with surgery to allow for proper healing to avoid any infections.

Last week Thursday, February 2nd the Garter Snake had its surgery to remove the infected area of its tail. The surgery was a success! It took under a hour to complete surgery and see healthy tissue under all the infected tissue. Since snakes have such a slow metabolism, a snake its size only eats once or twice a week! The Common Garter Snake already got his post-surgery meal and ate every last worm. We will continue to monitor the snake through the rest of winter as we prepare him for release this spring.

Guest Blogger M.F.

Surgery, after care, and food aren't free; want to help this little guy out? 
Consider making a donation to cover some of his medical costs.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Do you know what day it is?

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
A woodchuck would chuck all the wood a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

Thanks to Rebecca Seymour for the photo of Waldo during his 2010 prognostication

But Waldo the Woodchuck would rather have a dried banana or a nut in the shell. And that sort of treat will be his reward for his official prognostication on Thurs, February 2nd - Groundhog Day. The story goes that if Groundhog Day is sunny and bright, woodchuck sees his shadow and it will scare him. He will run into his burrow and sleep 6 more weeks. That means we will have 6 more weeks of winter. Why would a woodchuck be scared of his own shadow? Well, you probably aren’t your sharpest when you first wake up in the morning – poor Groundhog has been hibernating since October, no wonder he is a little confused.

The origins of Groundhog Day probably go back to the European Christian holiday of Candlemas “For as the sun shines on Candlemas day, so far will the snow swirl in May”. German immigrants brought the idea to the Pennsylvania area. The local abundance of groundhogs that would begin rousing from hibernation in spring somehow got mixed into the tradition and Groundhog Day was born.

You may have heard of a chuck called Phil that tells the weather out east in Pennsylvania. But weather is a regional effect. When I lived in Georgia, General Lee foretold Atlanta’s weather. Here at WINC, we count on Waldo the Woodchuck and his backup Gregory the Groundhog to let us know if we will have an early spring. So here’s hoping for a cloudy February 2nd so Waldo will forecast an early spring. The earlier the spring the sooner Waldo will get the first spring dandelion leaves handpicked by his friends here at WINC so he has a little added incentive.

Guest Blogger L.R.