Tag Archives: Michigan

Baby Recieves a Free Day, the Osprey Has a New Crib, and Bob Gets a Hammock

6 Sep

It has been a crazy week in the Wildlife Education Center here at Blandford. We’ve gotten in five new rehab animals, which will be updated on the Rehab Critters page soon, and our permanent residents have been just as busy.

Dr. Whoo our resident Eastern Screech Owl is enjoying some much needed me time after his two foster babies have moved outdoors into an off exhibit rehab cage. The two babies, one a red-phase who almost has all his adult plumage in and the grey-phase who has a long way to go before his feathers are all the way in, are enjoying the fresh air. We’ll release the two birds once we know that they can hunt on their own just fine, but right now we are enjoying just how cute they are!

His adult feathers are just starting to come in on top of his head.

His adult feathers are just starting to come in on top of his head.

The little guy outside catching some sun rays.

The little guy outside catching some sun rays.

The red-phase wasn't too please that we woke him from his slumber.

The red-phase wasn’t too please that we woke him from his slumber.

Even our rabbit, Grayson had a busy day. Wildlife staff have been training Grayson to perform a few tricks. He can now stand up on his back legs and spin in circles when you ask him to. We wanted to be able to take him outside for walks and have him enjoy some fresh air so we bought him a harness. He isn’t too keen on it yet, but we’re hoping soon he’ll enjoy eating some fresh grass in the outdoors. He sure does look cute though in his harness!

Giving him treats while he as his harness on his a sure way to make him like it

Giving him treats while he as his harness on his a sure way to make him like it


Baby the Barred Owl is well known for being our diva bird and this week she proved it. While staff were cleaning her cage she flew out over top of us and hung out on top of some cages. We let her spend some time flying around the WEC before putting back in her enclosure.

What a stinker!

What a stinker!

The Osprey has finally healed enough to be in an outdoor off exhibit rehab cage!!! He is definitely happier outdoors and we love seeing him explore his new surroundings. He’s climbing up on perches, eating his food, and just all around doing amazing. We will be keeping a close eye just to make sure his stump his doing ok still. His cage still needs to be built so if you’re interested in helping out please let us know.

So happy!

So happy!

For the most part all our animals had a great week, but it seems that Bob the Bobcat may have had the best. Maintenance staff and volunteers built Bob a giant hammock made of fire hose. This thing is huge and so awesome! Bob has been enjoying lounging around on it especially after we doused it in catnip.

image_5 image_4 image_6 image_7 image_8 image_9

We hope that everyone has a wonderful fun filled weekend like our critters did this week!! Make sure to stop on out to Blandford to see all our animals in action.




22 Feb

Not only does Blandford take excellent care of our permanent residents, we also watch out for our wild ones. One of our squirrels has acquired some sweet skills for getting food in the winter. Comment to submit your wittiest caption. The best comment gets bragging rights for being one creative cookie!


Barn Owl Flying

20 Aug

Here’s a quick video of the Barn Owl flying!

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

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

%d bloggers like this: