Archive | February, 2012

Rehab Animal Spotlight

27 Feb

Here at Blandford we take pride in the love and care we provide for the injured wildlife that come through our doors. With this blog I have been able to show and explain what has happened to each of our rehab critters. You get the behind the scenes look into their injuries, status of their release, and sometimes a video of the magical moment when we release an animal back into the wild! But how can you personally help?

You can sponsor a rehab animal! We will periodically have a rehab animal spotlight that features a rehab animal that you can sponsor. Your sponsorship helps to offset the cost of the animals time with us.

Our first spotlight animal is a Great Horned Owl that came to us on 2.21.12 where he had been hit by a car on I-96. After a physical examination we did not find any broken bones, but it was apparant that he had some head trauma. For the next few days he was pretty out of it and wouldn’t eat on his own. Fortunetly he is now eating on his own and has perked up a bit (often hissing and snapping his beak when I walk by). Head trauma takes time to heal. He could be with us anywhere from six to eight weeks. He will also need time in our outdoor rehab cages to build up his strength to fly again (It’s tough being in a little cage for months on end!). We have calculated the amount of money it would take to feed, care, and provide medical attention for him if he were here for six weeks…drum roll…$1000! You can see how much money goes towards rehabilatating an animal.

Sponsorship packages start at $25, but smaller donations will be accepted. With a sponsorship package you will receive a photo of the Great-Horned, a certificate of sponsorship, information on the natural history of Great-Horned Owls, an invitation to the release of the critter, and the wonderful feeling that you helped an injured animal survive!

To donate click here and in the comment section be sure to specify this is for the Rehab Animal Spotlight. For any questions you can email Sam at sam@blandfordnaturecenter.org or call me at 616-735-6240 x15.

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Medical Mayhem!

20 Feb

On 2.19.12 we received a Musk Turtle that had been kept as an illegal pet. We quickly found that he was septic, which is fancy for saying he has bacteria infection in the bloodstream. This can be caused by environmental stresses, such as not enough heat or poor sanitation. Symptoms can include loss of weight, lethargy, and a pink/red tinted skin and plastron. Going untreated can cause death. He will be going on the same medication our rehab E. Box Turtle is on and we will be doing what we can for the critter in hopes to release him in the spring.

You can see how pink his skin and plastron (belly) are! An example of how taking an animal from the wild can be detrimental to his health!!!

Our rehab E. Box Turtle is having a rough time. He still has a fluid filled pocket under his skin that we can’t seem to get rid of. The Vet came and took a look at him and thinks he could possibly have a kidney problem. We will continue with his medicine in hopes he’ll get better.

Check out our Wildlife Rehab News board located just outside the Wildlife Center! Here you can see updates on our current rehab critters and also share a story/experience/memory you have of our recently deceased female Barred Owl. Feel free to post them here as well. I look forward to hearing all your wonderful stories. We are also taking donations in her honor!

UPDATE: Ruby, our resident Red-Tailed Hawk, is feeling much better after some TLC. She is off her medication and we are currently working on getting her leg healed up. Hopefully in the next couple weeks you will see her outdoors again.

Death in the Family

13 Feb

Its been a rough week for Blandford staff members. Our female Barred Owl who has called Blandford her home for ten years passed away on Wednesday. She had been struggling with a liver disease for many years and it was surprising that she had lived even this long, but this still doesn’t take away the deep sadness that all of us feel. Many had grown to recognize her as the symbol or mascot of Blandford Nature Center. She was truly an amazing creature who I came to know and love. She was sweet-natured girl who hated getting her medicine. She’d see Wildlife Staff coming with it and start shaking her head. At certain times of the year she would stop eating, making Wildlife Staff have to force feed. She began to fake swallowing her mouse, wait till we left and locked her cage, and then would throw it up making us have to unlock and re-enter the cage to feed her once more. She touched not only my heart with her gentleness and grace, but everyone else she met. She truly will be missed.

"Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives." -John Galsworthy

Sadly, our resident Red-Tailed Hawk Ruby is currently inside right now due to a swollen foot causing her anklet to dig into her skin. She’s on medication and is expected to make a full recovery. Warm wishes her way are welcomed!

Our volunteer Karen holds Ruby while Wildlife Staff change her bandages. You can see how swollen her foot is!!!

UPDATE: The female Great Horned Owl laid two eggs, but once Wildlife Staff put up a protective barrier she abandoned that nest and started a new one, where she laid another egg. Silly bird!

It’s Egg Time!

5 Feb

It has been a quiet week in the rehab center where we’ve only received a milk snake that was found in someone’s basement, but our permanent residents deserve some of the spotlight this week.

If you have ever been to Blandford, chances are that you know about our little Romeo and Juliet love story. Of course I am talking about our resident female Great Horned Owl and her wild mate that hangs around. One of the first birds to start breeding, Great Horned owls will begin mating in late January to early February.  They will mate for life and lay a clutch of about 1 to 5 eggs.

Our female was found on the property not flying. Every year staff catch sightings of her mate and  have even found pieces of dead animals on top of her cage that he has left for her. For the past week or so she has been on the ground at the edge of the cage digging a spot to nest. Today I went out there and she moved just enough for me to see that she had already laid an egg! This egg is not a fertilized egg so it will not hatch. You can see she wasn’t too happy about getting her picture taken.

In other news, Bob our Bobcat turns a whopping ten years old on 02/28! Make sure you come out and wish him a happy birthday! If you can, make him a card or color him a picture and we will hang it up in our wildlife center!

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