Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Requiescat in Pace, Virga

It is my sad duty to let you all know that we lost Virga sometime last night. The staff came in this morning to find her floating in the pool, dead. Needless to say everyone is quite upset and quite shocked, as she had been doing so well we were making tentative plans to release her.

The wildlife vet that initially brought her to us came over today to do a necropsy to see if he can determine just what happened. I will update you if they find anything out. However, if it comes down to the histopathology and ancillary tests, those results could take a few weeks.

Requiescat in pace, Virga, requiescat in pace...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Let the Insanity Known as "Baby Season" Commence!

Alright, I guess you can't call getting in one teensy tiny baby bird insanity, but I do consider it a portent of things to come!

Cute, isn't it? The dried stuff on it's beak and wings is food, as it's so tiny and moves around so much when trying to feed it, it ends up being a pretty messy process. Observe....

Open wide....okay, I'll settle for you just opening a little bit ...OPEN PLEASE!

At last, it has its fill and falls back to sleep!

Yes, I know it's out of focus, but this also gives you a good idea of just how tiny it really is! Now, I know some of you are saying to yourselves "But, you haven't said what KIND of bird it is!" That's because, see....we don't know!! We do know what it ISN'T, just not what it IS. In fact, under "Species" on the intake sheet, it read LBB. After mulling that over for a minute or so, I turned to Serena and asked what species that was, as I had never heard of it. She just laughed and said "It stands for Little Baby Bird. We use that when we have no clue what it is!"

I can tell you that a cat had it and our wonderful volunteer in Anacortes was surprised it survived the night, as cat bites are hard enough to treat in larger birds and mammals, let alone something this small. So it is getting lots of antibiotics to prevent it from coming down with Pasteurella from the cat bite. We immediately placed it in an incubator and it is being fed, from 7am until 7:30pm, every 15 minutes until it gets a bit bigger.

You know, maybe, as my sister Shannon said in a recent posting, it's because the weather has been messing with our heads, being warm one day and then cold the next, but it just doesn't FEEL like baby season...or even Spring for that matter. Serena told me this is one of THE slowest Aprils on record for Wolf Hollow. We checked the animal database for this same time last year and sure enough we had in TWENTY SIX animals, which included over twelve baby bunnies and a fawn. We had in THREE animals as of last Saturday; Virga, the LBB, and this incredible being....

Isn't it AMAZING?! It actually was one of 3 animals that came in two Saturdays ago and is the first Raven that I have ever gotten to work with while I have been volunteering there. One of the rehabbers made a comment to the effect that we had gotten Ravens in over the last 2 years. "None that have been alive when I came in on Saturday!" was my swift retort. They then conceded that VERY few make it, as was demonstrated later that day when we got in ANOTHER Raven that had a wing/body injury so bad you could see into it's body cavity! We euthanized it immediately.

This fella was found on Orcas Island unable to fly. When he came in his right wing was drooping a bit, but with no palpable fractures, we came to the conclusion that there must be damage in the metacarpals. So he received a lovely green Figure 8 wing wrap to immobilize the area. And because he couldn't fly, he was underweight and laden with parasites. So he's also getting antiparasitic medication.

At first, he wouldn't come anywhere near the front of the carrier. I mean, to be honest, I wouldn't have either, as who wants their picture taken when they aren't looking their best? But, when he spied the plate of juicy herring pieces I had placed in a tray, all bets were off and it was all about the food, of which he devoured every single piece in under a minute.

As of this past Saturday, they had taken off the wing wrap and placed him in the Indoor Mew to see how he fared. He hid most of the time.

He also was found to have a subcutaneous emphysema, which is air trapped between the skin and muscle, on his lower chest/abdomen area. This is usually caused by an injury of some kind and the injury causes the air sac(s) to leak. This was discovered after he started making "wheezing" noises while breathing, so he is getting antibiotics to help him cope with that. The last time I checked on him before leaving Saturday, he was sitting in the corner breathing pretty heavily, so I am keeping my fingers crossed for both him and the LBB, as they both seem to be in tenuous situations.

Let's see....what else has happened? Oh, since I did mention it in my previous post, I guess I should tell you about the Great Blue Heron we also got in on the previous Saturday, it being the third animal we did an intake on that day. It was found sitting on the ground at the water line with one of its legs sticking out in front of it.

Our new rehabber Penny picked it up at the ferry in a box that had the top folded over. We brought it into the exam room and while Penny and Nikki donned safety goggles, I stood back to watch as they went to get it out of the box. They loosened the folded top just a smidge and this bird's head flew out of the top and it lunged and snapped its beak in the direction it happened to be facing at the moment. All three of us jumped back and made comments to the effect of "OH MY GOD!" and agreed it was a PRIME example of why we wear safety goggles! I have NEVER seen a Great Blue Heron do that and it was pretty frightening, especially for Penny who, up until then, had only dealt with the small Green Heron in rehabbing. Here's a pic of the not-so-little rabble-rouser.

The photo is at an angle because I just stuck my camera inside the door and was taking the picture using the rotating LCD screen. I wasn't about to go in there if I didn't have to! It ended up being just fine and was released a few days later.

As for updates, the raccoons were finally released and Virga is still doing just GREAT! I tried to get more pics when I went out to feed her, but she justs moves WAY too fast. All my pics either ended up being blurry...

...or I just didn't get her at all. I just ended up with a picture of this brown, unidentifiable mass in some water.

So, for the first time since I have been blogging about my Wolf Hollow adventures, I present a VIDEO CLIP....of Virga! I took it on the fly with my old camera, so excuse the quality. Til next time...