Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Now that I have the picture issue resolved, I can catch all of you up. Let me start by saying that I did miss two Saturdays since my last posting, but this will be a combination from the last two times I volunteered. So get ready for a LONG posting with a LOT of pictures!

Baby season has kicked into high gear, especially with the birds. We have all sorts of baby birds in right now, from baby sparrows (at least we think they are sparrows)........

to baby blackbirds and starlings..........

to baby robins.

Thanks goodness everyone is eating well and is therefore easy to feed.

We also have birds of the larger variety in. We got in an older great horned owlet. He is big enough to be outside in one of our smaller flight cages.

They can be pretty intimidating to the newer interns, what with them clacking their beaks and puffing up and all.

We also got in a great blue heron that is outside in our heron cage.

We learned an interesting factoid and I have been meaning to look this up. A marine bird specialist came in to do a lecture and informed everyone that more people die from blue heron attacks each year than are killed by lightening. Now, I don't know about you, but I have NEVER heard "And in the news at 10, a local man was killed by a great blue heron." But he stands by it. They go for the eye and the beak goes straight into the brain if the strike is hard enough. Needless to say, safety goggles are mandatory when dealing with these and a few other aquatic birds.

As for the mammals, we had, last time I heard, THREE fawns. Last time I was there, there were two. We had to get some of our outdoor mobile pens ready, as we put the fawns outside and away from people during the day, if the weather is nice. Now, one fawn is already too bonded with people. So to get him to come out of his carrier into his new surrounding was easy. Too easy.

The other fawn was a completely different story. I opened the carrier and waited...and waited some more. Finally I leaned over the back of the carrier and aimed my camera into the carrier to see what was going on.

Uh...yeah. We had to go in after him. And even after we did, he just tried to hide in the grass. They stuck them both in together after a day and last I heard they had been joined by the third one and they were all doing just fine.

We also got in a baby otter. Upon hearing we were getting another one in, you can imagine I had mixed emotions. I glared at the incubators we had left, even though they were NOT from the same manufacturer. Serena stopped me in mid-glare and said nope, he was too big for an incubator. I think everyone was relieved to hear that.

And how did we know it was a "he"?

Ah, the indignity of it all. Although he kind of looks nonplussed by the whole thing, doesn't he?

After he got examined and we put him back in his crate, he started to make the cutest chirping noises. While everyone was talking about how cute he was, I suddenly realized that one of our baby sparrows was "talking" to him. I started laughing and everyone asked me what was going on. So I got everyone to be quiet, pointed at the otter when he chirped and then pointed at the sparrow when it "answered" him. They sounded VERY similar. It was funny, but also a bit sad, as I was just SURE he thought one of his litter mates was nearby but couldn't see him. We got another older otter pup in later that night and they put them in together, so he has company now.

As a final
thought, I am seriously considering changing the name of my blog to Hollow Happenin's, since all my postings have to do with Wolf Hollow. Just an FYI!

Well, that's it from my end. It will be VERY interesting to see what awaits me this Saturday. Til then.....


annelynn said...

YAAAYYYY!! I really need to get a digital camera so I can take pictures at "my" sanctuary.

These photos are awesome! All the gaping birdlet mouths crack me up. Too, too cute. And of course the owlet... the fawns... the otter!! You're so lucky to be able to work with them. Just awesome. Keep up the good work! I'm totally there with you in spirit.

Incidentally, when I went to OSU, there was a vet student who lost an eye to a great blue heron. I think they see the flash of an eye just as they would see the flash of a fish or a frog in shallow water, and BAM. This student was wearing safety glasses, but the bill went right through them; no brain damage though. Rather intimidating, eh?

Thanks again for the terrific post!

l said...

Oh, yay - you're back online! Thanks for sharing your pictures and stories. It's so heartening to see how people are caring for these critters. I would have loved to witness the chirping exchange.

How did you get involved with Wolf Hollow? Do you have a degree in marine biology or something related?

Heather said...

Anne- You have completely freaked me out with your "missing eye even though safety goggles were being worn" story. I will have to share that with everyone on Saturday.

Hi I- I moved here about 2 years ago from Seattle and had been wanting to volunteer at an wildlife rehab place but there was no place in or around Seattle that didn't have a HUGE waiting list, especially if you could only volunteer on the weekends. I was suprised and pleased when WH said they needed help on saturday mornings. And my friends were even more suprised when I said yes, as they all know how I like to sleep in on the weekends. :) No experience or degree needed. Being reliable is enough. You learn as you go.

sher said...

Ahhh, those gaping mouths of the birds are very familiar to me. You see a lot more variety of animals than the rehab center I volunteer at. They whisk anything like owls or herons, coyotes, or fawns to different places that specialize in them. We pretty much deal with "regular" birds--and squirrels. I too have a hard time understanding how blue herons can be that dangerous. Maybe the incidence of people who die from lightening is so low, death by blue heron surpasses it? Naw--I'm still having a hard time with that!!!!!!