I'm still alive, I know that a lot of my blog readers get nervous when I vanish for a week at a time. All who know me realize that I have probably fallen to sleep in the chair with some small critter.
It is AWESOME being out of school for the summer. July and August are definitely a great perk of being a teacher. New York Wildlife Rescue Center hasn't slowed down much in the last week. Since last time I blogged a lot of new animals have found their way here.
Cornell contacted me this am. They are going to release the story about the bobcat Oscar to the media. I think that it is a great human interest story. It isn't every day that a bobcat gets hit, lays along the road and gets a second chance on life. Oscar continues the slow rehabbing process. He doesn't like me any more than he ever has but I think he has started to realize that when I check on him a couple of times a day, there is always food associated with my visits. I try not to make eye contact with him. Most "cats" don't like that, he is a lucky kitty.... I feel honored to be his caretaker and one of the dozens of people who have cooperated to rescue him.
Since last blog (sorry), we have taken in baby robins, fawns, skunks, kestrels, hawks, cottontail rabbits, raccoons, a kingfisher, pigeons, and a squirrel. Ray Baitsholts sheared the alpacas that I picked up. As soon as they get gelded, they will be ready for adoption. I am having a lot of fun with the baby robins, they are a relatively easy bird to rehab. I normally do not rehab baby birds while I am teaching at school. It is too hard to teach and feed them every 15-25 minutes. :) I do like to do a few during the summer when I am home.
I have had a couple of fawns come in this past week. One was horribly torn apart by some dogs. I notified some great DEC Officers about that situation. I've already given you the lecture about domestic cats in a prior blog. Supervise your dog(s); when left to amuse themselves unsupervised, dogs often develop a pack mentality. They are capable of some horrible things to wildlife. Wildlife gets killed, your dog can be shot and you can get some expensive tickets. No lecture, just use common sense. Do the right thing.
I had some more skunks come in. I love skunks, they have such a Napoleonic attitude. They act fearless and it is always fun watching them grow up into little stink pots. I love it on release day. They usually just wander off and rarely look back or acknowledge anything that you have done for them at all. That is the best part of rehabbing wildlife: if done well, they can't wait to get away from you and do what they do to survive day to day in the wild. If you know what you are doing, you don't usually get sprayed.... :)
I've had a few Kestrels come in. People often call them Sparrow Hawks but they are actually one of the smallest members of the Falcon family of raptors. It is VERY Important that you do not try to feed animals while in your custody unless properly trained. I had a Kestrel come in that I lost and I believe that feeding it a bunch of gypsy moth caterpillars didn't help it any. I got fluids/a lactated ringer into it but it was too far gone by the time it got to me.
The Kestrels are loving one of the 8 newly completed aviaries in our Raptor Center. Justin and Chris have been coming nights after they are done working to try to help me get it finished for our upcoming Open House and dedication of the Raptor Center. I will hopefully have all of the details of our Open House tomorrow. It will be a great chance to tour our facility. We do NOT let the public see animals that we are rehabbing that will go back into the wild but we do have some great non-releasable educational animals here that will love to see you.
Another new resident of the Raptor Center is a Red-tailed Hawk. I got a call early in the morning a few days ago. The man informed me that he had a baby juvenile Bald Eagle which got my attention quick. Upon pick up, I happily let him know that it was a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk. Why it was sitting in the road I haven't been able to figure out. It will be going back into the wild as soon as it is ready.
Cottontail rabbits, hmmmmmm. Lots of them coming in. I am in a good mood: when your dog or cat brings one home for you -- don't wait until the whole litter is on your porch (or eaten) before realizing that you should keep your dog or cat inside for a while.
Coons, I cant wait until "Coon Season" is over. DON'T TOUCH THEM and I encourage everyone that is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator to go to the Conference in Lake George this November. Take the courses, get your shots, build a facility, get it all inspected and GET YOUR RVS license! There are not enough licensed people doing Rabies Vector Species and those of us that are doing raccoons, skunks and bats are usually full to capacity.
The Kingfisher bird that came in was a first for me, awesome bird but unfortunately had a wing that was so badly broken that it needed to be euthanized. I took in some pigeons. One of them is hysterical. If you are outside here, it will dive bomb you and land on your head to ride around.
My kids have never spent so much time outdoors. People that come to our facility must think that we are all nuts, as my kids are walking around the yard with a pigeon on their head.
Speaking of crazy stories ... one more then I have to catch up with 147 emails ... I got a call from the Pastor of a local church. He had heard that if an animal needed to be caught to call me (wonder how I got that reputation). He said that they had a feral cat, it was living under the church and if I could humanely deal with it, I would get a donation. Now you are talking. I packed up the kids and live traps and off we went this am. Got to the church, saw the hole in the foundation and all sorts of great visions came to my head about all the cool animals that could be living under there..... I was making up a irresistible kitty platter to put in one of the several live traps when I noticed that there was a very cute blue eyed Siamese long haired cat sitting by the shrub several feet away watching the whole production. We had a short mental conversation about what was happening. I walked several feet away, the cat walked over and walked right into the live trap. I do not need another cat but she has taken up residence in my basement until she realizes that life with us isn't so bad -- that is unless I find a great home that wants her (hint, hint)....
Till tomorrow, act young, have fun.