The catbirds have been very busy in our yard this year. Since they are generally not so easy to observe, getting to see them so much this year has been a real treat. This one had a little scuffle with a robin, thus the body fluff. They worked it out. Click on pictures to enlarge.
Monthly Archives: June 2010
Baby birds do not always need our help
Baby birds are everywhere right now. Watch out for them. If you find a baby bird, do not assume it needs rescuing. Every year, good intentions separate a great deal of healthy babies from their parents. More often than not, the baby’s parents are nearby and have been feeding her/him. Cornell has some great info on what to do and what not to do.
Operation Wildlife advises if you find a baby bird and he or she is hopping, has most of his or her feathers, and has a short tail, the baby is a fledgling still learning to fly. His or her parents are nearby watching, feeding, and socializing the baby. I know it can be hard to resist getting involved. They look so vulnerable, but they need to be left alone so their parents can take care of them. If you are not sure if a baby needs help, call your local wildlife rehab. They will be happy to tell you. This is Operation Wildlife’s busiest time of the year. Donate or volunteer if you can. Join their Facebook page.
Click on pictures to enlarge.
Sunrise Ceremony at Haskell Medicine Wheel 6/20
Post the outrageous draining of May 24 by Douglas County, we have had quite a bit of rain. Things are looking a bit better today. Never make the beavers angry!
I love the rich colors of the buntings and their beautiful vocalizations as they sing from the tops of the trees. I’m still trying to get good pictures of a painted bunting, but I’ve been lucky a couple of times in getting good looks at indigo males. Click on pictures to enlarge.
Please Donate to Operation Wildlife
Well it’s been one of those days ~ we’ve been hit hard again. After literally the 45th phone call today I find myself getting cranky.
I’m frustrated with people especially the callers I’ve had today. This one lady in particular chapped my backside pretty well but I tried to “play nice”. She called saying that she had a baby white tailed deer fawn. After going thru the usual questions of where did you find it & what the circumstances were she announced that she had already had it for a week & her pre-teen kids were playing with it & feeding it. The only reason she was calling was because it was sick & had diarrhea. I told her if it had diarrhea that she needed to bring it in immediately ~ well her kids had activities & she had to work & then had to go to the store after work & there wasn’t any way that she could bring it in until maybe the weekend. I reminded her that it was sick & that since it was a baby that diarrhea was considered a critical situation & we should get it today. I finally suggested that one of our volunteers go to her home & pick it up since the kids were home with it. She conceded & I sent a volunteer. Two & half hours later the fawn arrived dehydrated & with a scalded butt from the diarrhea (the volunteer made a round trip drive of over 100 miles to pick it up). This kind of thing is really discouraging because she kidnapped this baby. Had she called a week earlier it could have been returned to its mother. Instead she decided to keep it & let her kids experience nature. She’s also one of those folks that can’t seem to find us when they have something healthy but miraculously figure out who we are after they’ve messed it up.
Or here is another one ~ this lady left an exotic Russian tortoise on the doorstep of a vets office with a two page note. Excerpts follow ~ “I’ve been schlepped around by young children who dropped me & I have a crack in my shell.” Please find me a home along with detailed instructions on how to care for the tortoise. However, she neglected to add that I have a severe vitamin A deficiency & can’t open my eyes because of it or that my shell is soft & bends because the calcium wasn’t sufficient in my diet & I’ve leached it out of my shell just in order to continue living. At the end of the note she tells us that this tortoise can live 50 years & that we should just pass it on to others to enjoy when we’re tired of it. This isn’t a great picture but you can see how swollen the eyes are.
And last but not least ~ the stubborn farmer. His hired hands found this coyote pup on land that he farms. He told them to leave it alone ~ they didn’t & ignored him & brought it to us. There wasn’t anything wrong with her & she did need to be left alone ~ he was right about that. I called & asked for a location to return her too. He won’t give it to me because his hired hands should have listened to him in the first place & so it’s just too damn bad but she’s ours now. Of course, if I want to deliver it to him he’ll call in the pack & put it back by himself. Call me suspicious or crazy but I’m afraid he’s gonna shoot it to prove a point to his help so I’m off to find another pack for this little girl.
So as you can see we’re not batting a thousand today but then there is this light at the end of the tunnel. Meet the woman that has driven three times this week from Paola ~ an hour from our facility ~ with baby skunks. She’s made a total of 6 hours travel time. Their dog killed the mother & these little guys just keep coming out of the den as they get weak & hungry. We’re up to 6 now ~ all doing well. It’s people like her that keep me going ~ giving me hope that there are people out there that care for other creatures other than just themselves. And yes just in case your wondering ~ these guys are “locked & loaded” having the ability to spray from birth.
Operation WildLife, Inc
23375 Guthrie Rd
Linwood, KS 66052
Web: www.owl-online.org to GIVE NOW
Not quite as yellow, but still darn cute. Click on pictures to enlarge.
Ducks in trees
Wood ducks are so cool. I see them often at the Wakarusa Wetlands, but I have yet to see the ducklings jumping from the nest to the ground. I think I have a pretty good idea where a nest is, so maybe I’ll get to be a witness this year. Click on pictures to enlarge.
Restoring the beaver dam
There were some very caring folks at the wetlands this afternoon restoring the beaver dam. You rock! Click on pictures to enlarge.
Help the beavers restore drained wetlands today at 4:00 PM
Saturday morning, I met another unfortunate victim of Douglas County’s draining of the Haskell side of the wetlands.
While I love all the beings who live at the wetlands, I’ve had many enchanting encounters with minks and this just really got to me. On behalf of the minks and all the beings who live there, please continue to contact the County Commission and do whatever you can to help.
Contact for Douglas County Commission:
To donate to the Wetlands Preservation Organization:
Care of W.P.O
155 Indian Avenue #4999
Lawrence, KS 66046
WPO is on Facebook
Today, at 4:00 PM, you can help the beavers restore the wetlands north of 31st Street. The WPO and supporters will be moving a pile of rocks from near the Baker wetlands entrance to the breach in the dam near Haskell Ave. Park on the south side of 31st. If you can’t move rocks, come and hold signs, or just come. Please spread the word!