…we have this ever-so-slightly-late update. In my defense, I’m now on my fourth 20-hour day in a row and between picking up animals all hours of the day and night, running them to the vet (was at the clinic every day last week except Tuesday), feeding ‘em and editing to pay the bills, I’m sleep-deprived and just stretched rather thin. Been trying for four days to get this update together, too!
At any rate, July isn’t shaping up to be a slow month; I’ve already had 20 intakes for the month, as of today. I’m sitting somewhere around 128 for the year…I think. I sorta lost count after hitting the century mark. It’s easier not to think about numbers right now—if I focus on numbers or stop to think about anything other than who gets fed next, I’ll realize the sheer insanity of what I’m doing and end up curled in a fetal position under the bed, thumb in mouth, whimpering!
Lessee…the barn swallow and blue jay have been released, as have the mockers. The deer continue to grow, and I get drooled on, kicked and generally mauled daily as I feed the not-too-bright little rascals. Deer are a classic example of beauty compensating for lack of intelligence, while poor possums are neither attractive nor intelligent…
Speaking of which, I’ve added five more possums to the mix, creating what I’m calling a “passel o’possums.” The older three are very tolerant of me, of course, as I’ve had them since before their eyes opened. The younger five, four from one litter and an “only,” don’t really like me too much, as their eyes were open when they came in, so I’m getting hissed and growled at a lot these days. It’s too funny! Honestly, they’ve got “playing possum” honed to a fine art, at their young age!
The mourning doves are in the flight pen and have been offered freedom but aren’t quite ready to give up the buffet. They’ll probably be ready to head out in another week or so—scroll back down to the update with photos of them when they first came in, and then look at this photo. Amazing, huh?!
I also have another blue jay. This little guy came in last weekend, unable to use his right leg. Nothing appeared to be broken, but since it was a weekend, I had to wait until Monday to have him checked out by Peggy Hobby at Smalley’s Animal Hospital. Peggy agreed that nothing was broken, and we opted for a steroid injection, in case there was some swelling that we couldn’t see/ feel. Within five hours, the little guy was perching.
And look at this shot from today—they grow SO quickly!
Raptors continue to trickle in, as well: an immature red tail hawk was transferred to Steve Hicks of Bubba & Friends raptor rehab; a broad wing with a nasty open wing fracture was euthanized; a young red shoulder hawk awaits transfer tomorrow; and a concussed adult barred owl has spent the federally allowed 48 hours with me and will be released today—no transfer because his concussion required only quiet and observation until his headache went away. Interestingly enough, all were hit by car (HBC). The red tail bounced off a car doing 35mph and sustained a fractured hip, which Steve is guardedly optimistic can be treated. The red shoulder cracked the windshield of a car doing 50mph and didn’t even have a feather out of place, but he’s a very young bird and shouldn’t be out on his own yet, hence his pending transfer. The owl got whacked so hard that he’s got a huge bald spot on the back of his head, but no serious injuries. All I know on the broad wing is that the DNR ranger who brought her to me said she’d been HBC. Her wing pretty much looked like hamburger, so there was no doubt what needed to be done.
RED TAIL HAWK
RED SHOULDER HAWK
RED SHOULDER HAWK CLOSEUP
BARRED OWL-taken while he was still VERY woozy.
I also transferred a raccoon to Bonnie Walker, who has her Rabies Vector Species (RVS) permit. Bonnie’s a lifesaver when I get RVS : she’s taken a fox, a bat and a couple of coons from me already this year.
I also received a nestling blue bird on the 15th. On the 16th, the adorable wee one developed sudden-onset, explosive diarrhea consisting of undigested food. Most of you know that I’m a total fool for bluebirds, so I went into extreme emergency mode with this baby, putting him (or her; not enough feathers in yet to say for sure) on heat, even though the bird’s old enough not to need supplemental heat, and starting antibiotics. So far, so good—the diarrhea was cleared up by the next morning and the poop was digested food again, but we’re staying on heat and antibiotics for a few more days.
Little bitty baby blue has grown considerably in the past three days, too, huh?!
And while this squirrel isn’t one of my current rehabs, she may very well be one of my past releases. At any rate, I thought this shot of her gnawing on a bone while sitting on the tree limb was pretty neat. Squirrels gnaw everything to keep their teeth worn down—their teeth continue to grow throughout their lives and if they’re not kept worn down, they can get so long the squirrel can’t eat and dies. Bones, antlers and the like are great “teethers” for squirrels, with the added bonus of providing much-needed calcium to the little bushy-tails.
Since I actually dozed off while typing this update, in between feeding critters, my plan is to get at least five hours’ sleep tonight…maybe…