Our hospital receives very few Sandhill Cranes at all, and never have we received one late in October.
November 6th brings an end to our Student Volunteer Program for 2017. 12 students from Germany, Netherlands, and Austria helped run the Centre, along with 2 from Alberta. These students make it possible for the Centre to run with minimum expense as the only thing we provide is housing, scrubs, and a vehicle.
We are lucky enough to receive these students through a group called Fronteering Travel Services. This group arranges travel for their clients and matches them up with a volunteer tourism site that suits them. In return for their hard work we provide housing, thanks to rig shacks donated by Encana, a vehicle won in a contest, and as many fun "Alberta" experiences as possible. We truly are in debt to all these terrific young people.
Thank you to:
- Jana Biber
- Elena Fedler
- Laura Fritz
- Ben Giese
- Chiara Herkenhoff
- Dani Lounsbury
- Hannah Nowas
- Laura Ooman
- Olga Praznik
- Steven Pye
- Lea Reckart
- Alexandra Sabine-Braun
- Franka Schauerte
- Lea Zylla
MRWC strives to find ways that we can live better with our wild neighbours. It came to our attention a couple of years ago that a solution to beaver damage, other than trapping, killing, or relocating, had been invented and was relatively simple to achieve.
We received a call from the Winfield area on October 14. A wet, cold, and dirty owl had been found in a domestic duck pen, unable to fly. It was perfect timing as our Facility Manager, who lives in that area, would be driving to the Centre that morning.
Two of our non-releasable Great Grey Owls have found a new home at the Calgary Zoo. The first was admitted into our hospital late May from Sundre with the second arriving in July from Rocky Mountain House. Both had similar injuries, sustaining head trauma and wing fractures.
Neither owls could be repaired so were deemed permanent. As they both thrived in captivity, we started looking for a good placement for them. With one female and the other male, and after being housed together, they quickly became a bonded pair. We knew they must go to the same place, together. We were thrilled when the Calgary Zoo informed us that they had room in their owl display and were happy to give them a new home. They were transferred mid-October and are doing well.
A Great Grey Owl from the Crestomere area, after recovering from a concussion, was taken back to the spot it was found. Great Grey Owls mate for life so we feel if the bird recovers before the next breeding season it is important to return it home. The bird was taken back to the spot it was found on the road after calling the finders to take part in the release. Just as they were to release the little male, a large female swooped across the road in front of them, landing in the trees on the side of the road. The recovered bird was released into the air and it circled, then flew directly into the trees with the waiting female.
This summer we were especially successful in fostering the ducklings we received. We admitted more than 120 Mallard ducklings this summer, either found with dead females or wandering alone.
We also received calls about female mallards nesting in crazy, inappropriate places where the ducklings were unlikely to survive. One even nested up in a spruce tree at the downtown City Hall building in Red Deer. Our staff have become very good at catching both the female and her chicks! When we would receive the call about another duck, staff and volunteers were dispatched, catching every one.
But it didn’t end there. With a pond full of orphans, each of those rescued Mallards were relocated to a much safer wetland with just a few more ducklings than they started with.
Cow Patti Theatre is having a benefit in support of us on November 18! Get your ticket today!
Construction has started on a new playground, like no other, encouraging children to "be a wild animal" as they play within an owl's nest, bird box, fox den, and beaver lodge. Stay tuned for more information on the plans, details, and grand unveiling scheduled for next summer!