This year's spring National Wildlife Rehabilitators' Association Conference was held in the college town of Princeton, New Jersey. Fostering Researcher, Judy Boyd and Executive Director, Carol Kelly were asked, once again, to present. This year's request was to speak on Medicine River's research fostering orphaned mammals into wild families. The two were a big hit, presenting to a packed double room at the Princeton Hilton.
The presentation discussed how to foster when working with coyote pups, fawns, moose calves, hare and beaver kits. The presentation was created by Education Coordinator, Erin Young, and even included Judy appearing in a doe mask and tail to demonstrate the incorrect response you may see in adult deer when playing the distress call of a fawn. Making a presentation informative, interesting and lots of fun will hopefully make it memorable for the attendees.
The California Rehabilitation Association has requested a fall presentation by the ladies this November. We are so proud that our fostering project has been received so well. It puts babies back into a wild family to be raised normally, reduces time and minimizes costs. It really is a win-win situation.
Spring is always a welcome time for staff at MRWC as some patients who have overwintered with us can now be sent "home". As the weather warms up and their wild counterparts return to Alberta or become active again, muskrats, gulls, ducks, songbirds, owls, hawks, and even salamanders are set free once again. This Great Horned Owl was one of two released on a wildlife reserve where no other Great Horned Owl nests were known to exist in an attempt to avoid a fight over territory.
We are excited to welcome a new group of international interns into our summer volunteer schedule!
Spring is one of the busiest times of year for school presentations.
The sun is shining and the snow is melting! It is that time of year when the wee ones of the wild world will be showing themselves.
Thanks to several donors, the MRWC now has its own "fleet" of vehicles. A grant from the Community Initiatives Program gave us the Mazda 5 a few years ago, as winners of the Scott KIA challenge we were awarded the Kia Rio last year, and a gift from the Alberta Wildlife Rehabilitators' Association allowed us to purchase a used Dodge truck this year!
These various vehicles give us the flexibility we needed and no longer have to rely on volunteers' vehicles to accomplish our day-to-day operations. The truck gets put into use mostly during the fostering season when we are in the field or when a truck is required to complete a task. The Mazda is the education vehicle going to schools, community groups and trade shows. The most economical vehicle, the Kia, is used for errands and travelling done by the international volunteers. Now we just need the new building to park these impressive vehicles in front of!
Changes to our International Volunteer Program in 2015 could include you! Each year, volunteers from all over Europe, Australia and New Zealand have come to stay, work and learn at MRWC. Each volunteer stays between 10-12 weeks with a few leaving early and a few staying for an extended period of time. 9 are already booked to come in 2015.
Make your gifts meaningful this Christmas and donate in a loved one's name. Receive an instant, personalized and printable certificate when you donate through our website. Be sure to check "gift this donation" when filling out the online form. Makes a great teacher's gift too!
This year's AGM was held on June 12 at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre. It was a fun gathering with a presentation on our fostering project given by Carol Kelly and Judy Boyd. A new Board of Directors was voted on and we're very excited with the team that the Centre is moving forward with. Heading up the Board is President, Lois Burkinshaw, Vice President, Liana Shaw and Secretary/Treasurer, Kurt Belich. We now have 6 directors, Andrea Brack, Sharon Bright, Deb Fettig, John Caddy, Sharon MacPherson and Lorna Lansard. Ex-Officio, Carol Kelly and Recording Secretary, Judy Boyd complete the group. Thanks to our new and continuing members!
This year, in the midst of moving female ducks and their young from risky places on the streets of Red Deer, 1 Mama duck and her ducklings became separated. The Centre's staff has become pretty darn good at catching and reuniting in this situation and within about 4 hours they were back together.
Just about this time, the Centre's staff reported ducklings hatching in the incubator so it was decided to put the Mama duck and her little ones into the indoor pond for a short while to give the newly hatched babies a mother to imprint on.
Over the next few days, more and more orphans were admitted to our hospital. Mama duck happily took them on and before long she had reached a total of 42 ducklings in her care! If anyone has ever doubted that a wild duck will foster orphans, this certainly proved that they will!
After the little ones had grown enough, Mama duck and her brood were relased into our wetland.