Tag Archives: avian

Barn Owl in West Michigan?

21 May

Today I got a phone call saying that someone had a Barn Owl who was injured. I told them to bring him on in, but fully doubted that it was going to be a Barn Owl that actually walked through our doors. Though I have only been at Blandford for a couple of years, my colleague has been here ten years and never had a Barn Owl come in. Barn Owls are a very rare sight in Michigan and are listed on the endangered species list. They often nest in tree cavities, abandoned buildings, and barns from which it gets its name. They feed on small vertebrates, such as mice and voles and occupy areas of open farmland and grassland. Part of the threat to Barn Owls, besides habitat loss, are pesticides used on crops. Small mammals will ingest the pesticides and in turn poison the owl when he captures his prey.

Sure enough it was a Barn Owl! The poor guy was found in Coopersville in someone’s barn down on the ground. Due to his small size we believe he is a male. We took him to the vet and he is currently receiving fluids via IV and warming up in their incubator. It is possible this is pesticide poisoning, though we are not fully certain at this time. We will be doing all that we can in hopes to re-release him back out into the wild!

The Barn Owl before his trip to the vet. He is severally dehydrated.

With our Adopt a Rehab Animal program you are able to contribute to his journey back into the wild. For more information please email Sam@blandfordnaturecenter.org or call 616-735-6240 ext 15

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Another Happy Ending!

27 Apr

On April 25th, we finally got to release the Great Horned Owl that had been caught in the barbed wire fence. He was joined by about 50 school kids who were cheering him on. He flew amazingly well! A big thanks goes out to Westside Christian School, the Staal family, and to Tyler Sheldon whose donations helped get this guy back into the wild!

The Great Horned Owl who was caught in barbed wire fence is about to be released.

In the beginning of April we had our benefit to help support the animals of Blandford and I’m glad to say that it was a success! We raised about $1,200! We still have t-shirts available for purchase. The shirts have the vintage Blandford logo on the front and say, “I give a hoot about Blandford’s animals” on the back. T-shirts are $10 so stop in today and get them while they last!

UPDATE:  Now when you sponsor an animal your name will be placed on that animal’s cage. Some critters, like the Bobcat and the Saw-Whet owl, are feeling the love and have many sponsors. Others, like the Great Horned Owls and the Screech Owl, don’t have any sponsors! So, come on out and sponsor one of our animal’s and make them feel loved! Sponsorships start out at only $25 dollars!

 

Rehab Animal Spotlight

29 Mar

With one Great Horned Owl healed up and ready to be released, we unfortunately had another Great Horned injured come into Blandford on Monday the 26th. The owl was found caught in a barbed wire fence near Westside Christian School in Grand Rapids. Lori, part of our Wildlife Staff, went to rescue the poor guy. Unable to remove the wire, it had to be cut away from the rest of the fence.

Male Great Horned Owl caught in barbed wire fence.

Wildlife Staff, Lori Lomoro, rescues the injured and shocked male Great Horned Owl after spending a night or two caught in a barbed wire fence.

He was in shock and had to be given fluids right away.  We then contacted the vet so she could take x-rays to see how badly damaged the wing was and remove the piece of barbed wire fence in his wing. With amazing luck, the wire had only gotten lodged into the skin of the wing and did not damage any of the underlying muscle nor did it break any bones. He will be spending another week or so indoors healing and then will be placed in an outdoor rehab cage where he will work on regaining wing strength. As far as we know he should be able to fly just fine!

He is perching and eating on his own, but is still a little out of it. He'll be back to his normal puffed up, beak clacking-self in no time!

A huge thank you goes out to the students and parents at Westside Christian School and Janet, Lauren, and Anna Staal who have already raised money to sponsor this Great Horned Owl. If you would like to also help him on his long and difficult journey back into the wild please call Sam at 616-735-6240 ext 15 or email sam@blandfordnaturecenter.org.

 

The Newbie

9 Mar

On 3/7 a Cooper’s hawk came into us after it was found not flying in Grand Rapids. The poor critter has a open wound in its left wing, but luckily the bone doesn’t seem to be broken. We have put some ointment on it and wrapped its wing to his body. It hasn’t ate on its own yet, so wildlife staff will have to force feed it until it does.

Cooper’s Hawks are very high strung birds and will often die in the hands of rehabbers due to heart attacks. They have some of the worst injuries because they fly so fast and can turn so quickly that when they collide with things like cars or windows a lot of damage is done. These guys will often get out of their dressings by clawing at the vet wrap. This causes more damage because most of time they are also scratching up their skin as well. This was the case with our new guy who along with its original injury has another wound due to scratching. Wildlife Staff will be doing what they can to make sure it survives.

All dressed up and no where to go

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