Nov 6

Odd & Unusual

The number of patients has increased once again this year with over 2000 injured, orphaned and compromised wild critters anticipated to pass through our care before the year is over.

Amongst these were several odd and unusual cases, including "naked" crows and higher numbers of some species.

  • Naked Crows?? - Read the full story here!
  • Broad-winged Hawks - In our 31 years we may have seen a total of 3-4 Broad-winged Hawks, but this year we received 4 of them within a couple of weeks. One has been released, one died, one is going to be released, and the last one will be undergoing a partial wing amputation and then on to live at the Coaldale Birds of Prey Centre.
  • Increased House Wrens – House Wrens are feisty little songbirds that can be a real challenge to successfully raise. Caring for them when they arrive as tiny, naked, little nestlings is difficult enough but the big challenge is that once they are feathered out, they must be taught to find appropriate food and elude predators. Fostering them to existing families has proved a life saver. This year we received 36 of these little guys and a lot of time was spent seeking out appropriate families. The young need to be very close to the same size as the orphans and the clutch has to be small enough to handle more in the family. Luckily we had placed numerous boxes around our own property and we have GPSed hundreds of nest boxes around the countryside. The other fortunate thing is that House Wrens naturally have large clutches. We often see 10-12 in nests. This summer we had enough international volunteers to add monitoring the new families as one of their jobs. We are pleased to report that 100% of our fostered babies were accepted and successfully raised and fledged. We did have a few that did not stabilize and died before we could foster them. These little babies have very fast metabolisms and can suffer internal organ damage when they go even a couple of days without proper food. If they have been left alone in the nest-box for several hours after the parents are killed it can be too late.
  • Three, 4 week old squirrels were brought to the MRWC this summer after repeatingly falling from their nest box. The female was there and caring for them but something seemed to be wrong. Upon arrival they were noticeably pale in colour and were severely twitching. Consultation with an Olds College veterinarian confirmed that they were suffering from Cerebellar Hypoplasia which was caused by a virus in utero. Unfortunately there is no known cure that we were able to find.

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