Here at the Chintimini Wildlife Center, our staff and volunteers both look forward to and brace for BABY SEASON! Of course nursing orphaned animals and reuniting them with their parents has its rewards, not to mention the cuteness factor, but the sheer volume of animals can be very time consuming and is sometimes overwhelming. For example, some newborn songbirds need to be fed every 15 minutes from sun up to sun down! All in all though, it simply is the best and most interesting time of year at the clinic.
This March we have already gotten a taste of many of the tiny patients to come. Let’s take the time, while we have it, to introduce the first of the little ones.
The very first baby birds of the season are not so little. This past week we received a call about a Great Horned Owl nestling that was on the ground under a tree. Apparently a recent rain and wind storm had caused it to fall out of its nest. The caring property owners who had called had noticed the parents feeding him on the ground and heard their calls.
Animal Care Director Kelsey Lance went to rescue the nestling and found it was too young to be out of the nest. He was brought back to the clinic, where staff warmed it up, gave him an exam and found that there were no injuries. He was deemed healthy with a full belly of food, which indicated that his parents had fed him recently.
Like all of our patient admissions, they usually begin with a compassionate human dropping off a box with a sick or orphaned critter inside. For common birds and mammals, most people can accurately identify the species. In the case of our 100th patient, the rescuer had brought us an injured robin. Luckily he knew the bird’s story; it was attacked by a cat. Continue reading “Our 100th Patient Sustains a Very Common and Avoidable Injury”
Last year alone, we treated approximately 1,500 patients in our clinic; a new record. It might have been hard to choose, but here are some of our staff and volunteers’ favorites. From eagles to otters, we hope you enjoy these stories from behind the scenes at the Chintimini Wildlife Center as you celebrate the coming of the New Year!
A Patient Owl Never Forget
This November marked my one year of volunteering at Chintimini Wildlife Center’s Rehabilitation Clinic. Every week since I began, there have been multiple “firsts,” which can’t be said for many organizations. Whether it’s the first time seeing a tiny saw whet owl or a bobcat, or the first time waterproofing the murres, each week I come home with another exciting story. It’s difficult to pick my “favorite” patient of 2015, but one specific animal stands out immediately in my mind. Continue reading “Wildlife Stories from 2015”
Over the years, Chintimini Wildlife Center’s Rehabilitation Clinic has admitted enough wildlife patients to be able to predict seasonal trends. For example, during winter migration when coastal weather is rough we expect many grounded grebes. And summertime is always “baby bird season.” Another species we admit in larger than usual numbers during the wintertime, especially this season, is Pine Siskin.
The recent stormy weather on the coast has brought an influx of Western Grebes to Chintimini. In the last several days, 10 have been admitted and more are expected to arrive.
Grebes are great swimmers and divers but due to the placement of their feet very far back on their bodies, their ability to walk on land is extremely poor. And if that isn’t enough of a problem, they can only take flight from a substantial amount of water by “running” on the surface to get airborne.
This leaves many grebes in danger if they mistakenly land on the ground. For example, when migrating (which they often do at night) if they spot a wet parking lot or a roadway below, they may land on the pavement thinking the surface is a lake or river. Because they cannot walk or fly, they become ‘grounded.’ Continue reading “Grounded Grebes Flood Chintimini”