Monday, April 11, 2011

Wildlife Rehabilitation

I am so privilege since I have the opportunity to volunteer at a local wildlife rehabilitation facility. Springtime is baby bird season (and a few mammals). It is both a fun and sad season since animals really do have the best possibility of survival with their parents. If you do see a baby bird on the ground, it is best to either place the baby back in her/his nest, or in a cardboard box in a tree as close to the test as possible. The same is true for mammals, except you will not want to handle them with your bare hands. Birds can't smell (except turkey vultures) but mammals can.

A baby barn owl demands food.

A recently hatched bird, opens his mouth wide, awaiting food.

Baby brush bunnies were a delight to feed.

Just out of the shell nest of baby birds whose mother had died.

You know this is a baby crow due to his blue eye color.

A baby killdeer is just the cutest thing on earth.

A baby hummingbird is fed special nectar. You can see how small she is compared to the person's finger.

A young swift clings to a towel, since they cling rather than perch. He is waiting patiently for worms, since swifts are insect eaters. Usually when I see babies in the care center, it means the annual month-long event of the swifts entering a local school chimney (quite the sight!) is happening soon.

Two western screech owls look at my with annoyance.

Using a stuffed animal as a surrogate fooled this cute little finch. She begs it for food and even though we are the ones feeding her, she still doesn't associate humans with feeding her.

An older fledgling cedar waxwing helps out by feeding a younger one. This was precious to witness but we had to make sure the older one fed herself enough as well.

By the end of duckling season, the volunteers are not so excited by the cuteness. Mostly they can just think about the messy clean up involved in their care. At a pond, they are still super cute!