I know that many of you check often and enjoy my blogs. I am going to try to write shorter posts, and do so more often. I have a lot of excuses why I haven't blogged in over a month.
All of my "free time" has been devoted to the construction of the Raptor Facilities. On April 4th, The GE Wildlife Committee helped me get 2 of the 8 indoor enclosures framed out. I am proud to say that a couple of friends helped me "finish" those two enclosures this past weekend. I am estimating that it takes around 30-40 hours to build one enclosure the way that I am doing it. I will get some photos up on the website soon so that you can all see how great that they came out.
As the donations keep coming in, we will keep building. It seems like we are in a never ending state of construction . Combine that with my kids schedules, karate, softball and riding lessons.... I stay out of trouble. I really want to finish these 8 enclosures ASAP so that we will have a species specific cage for virtually any Raptor (Hawk, Owl or Falcon) that may come in.
As soon as the 8 enclosures are done, we are going to have a huge Open House and every donor will be invited to come and see what their (Wildlife) contribution has made. It is beautiful, one of the nicest facilities I've seen.
The second phase of the Raptor Facilities will be a 175 foot addition off of the back of our existing structure. The 8 individual (inside) species aviaries will have doors, so that the birds can be rotated in and out of the huge flight aviary. This facility is desperately needed in our area to prepare raptors for release back into the wild. They must build flying strength to successfully hunt once released or saving them will be a vain effort. Please send your checks to keep construction going and PLEASE stop by and actually see what we are doing. I love giving the 3 minute tour. If I am not at an fundraising event, I am home working at our facility. If you stay longer than 30 minutes I will put you to work.... :)
Michele, Kelly, Gayle and I did two events on April 25th. Michele, Gayle and I took a Red Tailed hawk, Great Horned Owl and a Kestrel to the Maple Festival at the Cobleskill Fairgrounds. Kelly took some of her raptors to the Wildlife Festival at the COBY College Ski Lodge. We all love to educate the public and it is a great chance to get off of our facility and educate the public about what we do. It also helps us with fundraising to keep things going.
We hope you enjoy some photos from the Maple Festival:
NYWRC at Cobleskill Maple Festival
(Click the slideshow once it's running to open it in a new window if the photos don't load properly for you.)
Speaking of donor checks, an update: The llamas (several more have come in) and the sheep and cows are all doing great. I found a home for all 5 of the Great Pyrenees dogs that I took in as well.
On May 17th, a local Girl Scout Troop is coming for Shearing Day. Ray Baitsholts (our shearer) is planning on starting around 8 am to get the 40 plus sheep and 30 plus llamas sheared up. As we shear the sheep they will also get feet trimmed, get wormed again, get their tails (and testicles) banded and get a State of NY eartag for permanent ID. I need Dectomex Injectable Wormer for cattle (if anyone is looking to donate an item). Many hands make light work; if you want to volunteer, May 17th would be a great day to do so.
Speaking of sheep, I received a phone call on another 120 sheep that need to be rescued and need long term homes. There are people that talk about it and people that make things happen.... I try to be the latter but am getting spread thin. If you know of anyone that would provide a great (nonbreeding, no kill) home for these sheep please contact me privately because I can not afford to bring in another 120 sheep without some support. If someone pledges to pay their hay, I'll take them in and find them homes and deal with their problems but I can not open the doors to 120 without some assistance. Please ask your friends that have sheep and call your friends that sell hay to ask if they want to empty out their haylofts for the upcoming haying season. We take donations of hay gladly. Sandy Gordon has been great about bringing us hay when he can. Round Bales (that are not rotten) are gladly taken in also. I want to help these sheep but I need your help.
It is official. "Orphan Season" (as we refer to it as wildlife rehabbers) has started. All of the 20+ rehabbers that work with NY Wildlife Rescue Center have started answering the calls for baby cottontail rabbits and squirrels. I received my first raccoon orphan call last night. The mother had died in a barn, the foxes and farm cats had eaten part of the litter but 3 very tiny "coons", about the size of newborn kittens, came in. I estimate them to be about 1 week old. Their ears and eyes are still shut. I was up most of the night with "Whine, Moan and Scream" (now you know why I don't name my wildlife charges). I am working hard to keep these little guys alive. I bet we get a ton of (rabies vector) calls this year. Most rehabbers don't want raccoons and their licenses do not allow them to take them in. 'Coons are tough, sometimes have rabies and carry a roundworm parasite that can kill or blind you. That is why I built our rabies vector area last year (which we are planting shrubbery in to finish now); an area completely off limits to people for the wildlife we rehab that carry diseases fatal to humans.
My wife (the squirrel girl) has taken in over 10 squirrels. She loves them and we both leave school during our lunch period to run home and feed the orphans rather than eat our own meals.
In the first 4 months of 2009 we've been busy. We've taken in over 150 animals! That is more than many shelters do in a year, and many shelters get some govt funding: we don't. It is going to be a busy year for domestic livestock, exotics and our wildlife. I was hoping to do some bear cubs this year but it looks like it will be next year before that might happen. There is only one other facility in NY that does bear and Jean does a great job at it.
The whitetail fawns will start arriving soon and all of the baby birds will start coming any day. I guess I don't need any excuses for not blogging. I will start blogging more often about what is coming in and going on at NY Wildlife Rescue Center but the blogs will have to be shorter.
You can do your part by keeping the checks coming. I know that times are tight but we can not continue to expand and take in the animals that we do without your continued support. Do you do a random acts of kindness daily? We do. Till next time (soon) Have a great day.