|A 3 day-old Porcupine at Woodhaven Wildlife Center|
|A beaver kit "Willow" is fed from a bottle at Woodhaven|
The amount of dedication needed to rehabilitate wild animals is truly
astounding, and it’s hard to keep it up year after year. In fact, most
rehabbers burn out after only a few years of service –not just because of the
expense, but because of the difficult demands on their time and the overall
ingratitude of communities that readily take advantage of their volunteer services,
but fail to sufficiently support their operations.
|A Merlin that came in from Downtown Utica - probably injured by one of the resident Peregrine Falcons|
|A juvenile Eastern Screech Owl at Woodhaven|
Police and the Department of Environmental Conservation often
refer people with injured wildlife to wildlife rehabilitators even though the
rehabbers receive no public funding.
As you might imagine, new challenges arrive through the door all
the time, and a rehabilitator is regularly faced with animals that they’ve
never seen before. I occasionally get called in to identify –or to confirm the
identity of some mysterious injured creature.
|A very young Short-tailed Weasel being fed from a syringe|
|One of the signs up at Woodhaven|
Through my association with Judy, I’ve learned that some species are more common in the area than I thought –species like the incredibly secretive Long-eared Owl has showed up a few times at Woodhaven, even though encountering them in the wild around here is about as rare as finding a gold nugget in your backyard.
A new species for the County showed up at Woodhaven last year in the form of a
Nelson’s Sparrow. Unfortunately, that sparrow’s injuries proved fatal. Its
welcome to Oneida County was to be glued to death along with several other
sparrows, when a particularly cruel anti-sparrow campaign –likely involving glue-strips,
was instituted by one of our local businesses. In that case both the DEC and
the Federal Fish and Game folks were notified. I wish I could say that they did
If you are able to make a donation to your local wildlife
rehabilitator, please do. You don’t have to wait until you actually have an
injured animal to bring in –that is unless you bring in more than 1 a month
like I do.
|The only known Nelson's Sparrow found in Oneida County|
|A batch of Woodcock chicks come in after their mother is run over by a car|
|An immature Green Heron waits in its cage to be fed|