When someone hands you a newly hatched, tiny, pink Robin, two things go through your mind: success with these little guys depends on very intense care and it's so busy during the summer that staff's time is very valuable. However, the person who found the little orphan is trusting you to do your best.

Thanks to Lawrence Lee, a Red Deer City Councillor, a new fundraising idea has been born and the best part . . . we aren’t asking you for any money!

In the middle of all our construction, 2016 has brought us a heavier than ever before patient load. Whether it was the warm spring or just a coincidence, the patient numbers are expected to be up at year’s end by 30% bringing totals to over 2500.

The Centre began accepting patients in 1984 with a mere 14 wild critters. It would have been hard to believe back then that the Centre would be accepting 2500 injured, orphaned, and compromised wildlife, answering 10,000 phone calls and offering a wide range of services to the community every year.

Despite the large number of animals and birds we have seen, the staff have done very well at managing everyone. Fostering orphans out to wild families certainly eases the workload and reduces costs, food needs, and space. It isn’t the easiest building to keep clean but the international volunteers have done a terrific job helping to keep it the best possible.

Common injuries tend to change with the season. Spring brings a large number of orphans both real and mistaken. Well- meaning people pick up what they believe to be orphans in need and after some investigation we will get those babies back home. Many of those babies are indeed orphaned and those are the ones for which we seek out new families. Late summer brings large numbers of injured young hawks and owls. These juvenile raptors venture out into the world and encounter vehicles, barbed wire, and power lines. We can always tell when certain species are migrating when animals such as Sharp-shinned Hawks, bats, or warblers begin arriving daily.

We look forward to 2017 as each year brings new experiences, new species, and new learning.

A new home and mother has been found for one Moose calf with help from local supporter, Morris Flewwelling.

We have received three calls in September about Loons caught in fishing line and pickerel rig.

Spring has arrived, and the wild babies have already started coming through our doors. In order to prepare, we are hosting a week-long baby shower beginning April 10. We are looking for supplies such as formula, feed, shavings, and medications.

To end off the week of celebration we are inviting the public to a Baby Shower gathering at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre on April 16 from 12:00-4:30pm where you’ll enjoy cake, baby pictures, games, displays, and of course a visit with the education owls, OTIS and Sophia.

Donation bins will be set up at the following businesses for you to contribute to, with special appearances by OTIS the Owl throughout the week:

  • Parkland Garden Centre - Red Deer - OTIS Sunday April 10, 1:00-3:00
  • Canadian Closet - Red Deer - OTIS Wednesday April 13, 1:00-3:00
  • Pet Planet - Red Deer - OTIS Thursday April 14, 1:00-3:00
  • Tail Blazers - Red Deer - OTIS Friday April 15, 1:00-3:00
  • Fargey's - Red Deer, Lacombe, & Innisfail
  • Mongolie Grill - Red Deer
  • Peavey Mart - Red Deer

Click here for a list of our much needed items.

NOVA Chemicals, near Joffre, kindly gave two and a half days during their Days of Caring event in support of MRWC. Two NOVA employees volunteered to spend time with our Executive Director and Board of Directors to assist in the development of a five year funding strategy. The Board plans to continue the development of this plan with the help of other professionals and keep it updated annually so it will always be current. Knowing firmly where we are going will eliminate many mistakes along the way.

Giving stocks to a charity can not only give your charity the support it needs, but also will benefit you by helping to reduce your taxes. Dorothy and Ruth Bower of Red Deer, have recently given a generous donation of shares to be sold and the profits used for our new wildlife hospital. It has prompted MRWC to open a permanent stock account and let our supporters know that this is a great way to donate.

Tax receipts for donations of stock are given at the fair market value at the time of giving and not the price at which they were purchased. Secondly, and not to be overlooked, there are no capital gains charged on the stocks.

If you are thinking of donating stocks discuss it with your financial advisors and find out the benefits for you and your charity.

We have been lucky enough to witness some fantastic kids over the past year who are eager to make a difference in our world.

MRWC has seen a few more patients this winter than in past years. These animals have been mostly owls, along with both Red and White-winged Crossbills.