Sunday, October 11, 2009

I'm Still Here! I'm Still Here! Part 2

I'm not gonna bore you with excuses. Let's just get started...shall we?

When we last left off, I spoke about some "firsts" for Wolf Hollow. Well the first "first" I will tell you about is this wee one!

It's a baby mink! We know this because someone actually saw the mother crossing the road with it in her mouth when it was hit by a car. The mother died and this guy was sent to us. He came in pretty badly bruised and with two incisions in his neck where mom must have bitten him when she was hit. I know we have had an adult mink come in, but never a baby.

He was eating pretty well and, what with minks being the hearty animals that they are, we were hoping that he would make it. Unfortunately, it didn't.

The other "first" is this!!!!

Care to take a guess at what this is? Anyone?! It's a squirrel of the flying variety!! We got in 3 of them from off-island after the tree they were in was cut down. Again, as with any being this tiny, we always hold our breath, hoping they will do well but expecting the worse. And, since we have never had flying squirrel babies in, it made it extra touch-and-go there for awhile. But thrive they have!

Their eyes opened up and they started eating better. Their cuteness level, as they got older, went off the charts!

They are now at the stage where they are eating solid foods...

...and are very close to adult weight, which means we will be saying goodbye to them soon. What a trip, and a treat, it has been having them and watching them grow!

This has also been the summer of the Kingfishers.

I believe we have gotten more in this past summer than we have in all the years I have been volunteering combined. Isn't it just a gorgeous bird?!

This has definitely been a very odd eagle year for us. It's almost like word got out in the eagle community about the new Eagle Flight Cage being finished and therefore it was okay for them to start getting sick/hurt, as we could now properly accommodate them. We have just been slammed with eagles, including this beauty.

This juvi eagle was found on the ground and it was so weak that it couldn't stand up and was pretty skinny. After force feeding it for a week or so, it started eating on its own. Things just got better and better, soon it was moved outside....

...and it now resides in the Eagle Flight Cage! It should be released soon.

Alright, let's chitty-chat-chat about the seals. Seal season has been a relatively quiet one this year.

We've had some skinny ones come in this year. Almost all have needed some kind of fluid given when they first came in.

And all have needed to be tube-fed formula.

And then of course is the sucking. The sucking on anything and everything for comfort, the tub being the first thing that's tried out...

...and if nothing else, one can always make do with a flipper in a pinch.

And then there is bath time.....

...which, over time, becomes pool time!

It's at this stage that we start trying to convince them that fish are yummy and good for them!

All of this leads to fat and healthy seals...

...some of which are fat enough to release this upcoming Saturday!!! WOOHOO! For me, that's when it officially feels like "baby season" is coming to a close...when we start kicking their furry butts back out into the open ocean.

I told you about the Wood ducklings we had in and I tagged along with Jenn and Kailee for their release.

About half of the ducks looked like they might be trying to start having bumble foot, which can be caused by many things but the main reason is a bird standing on a surface for too long that it shouldn't. So, before they got released, this group got inspected...

...and had a bit o' the balm put on their feet before being released.

But really, just them being in deep water and off their feet like they are supposed to be most of the time, is the fastest cure.

I always find it funny how different each bird's reaction is to being released. Some take off like a shot while some are content to just paddle, albeit quickly, away.

And then there are the ones who obviously feel like they have been defiled and will bathe themselves for a minute or two before flying off.

It was, of course, right after we released the last of them that I heard Jenn gasp. "What?! What's wrong?!!" I asked. "Look across the pond!" she said. So I did.

? Is? That? OH MY GOD, BETTY!

We COULD NOT believe it!! But more importantly, as Jenn quickly pointed out, was did it have one of our newly released ducks in its talons and therefore was it about to eat THE MOST expensive meal of its life?

Saying nice things to my new camera with its 80x combined zoom, I aimed, maxed out the zoom, and...

...NOTHING! Whew! We all expelled a breath we didn't even realize we had been holding! I mean, we all know that once they are released back into the wild they are fair game...literally...but still...yeesh!

Well, that's all for now. In my next post I will tell you all how we are trying to teach the otters not to be so "crabby." Til next time...


Ann Callin said...

Wow...Ruey stood over my shoulder while we read this latest posting. Loved it! Question: are all baby seals spotted?

Again, Wolf Hollow rocks and so does their photographer!

Shannon said...

Kingfishers are so pretty!

I think it would be interesting to make a graph of the numbers of different types of birds that you get every summer and then try and correlate it with the weather, etc. To see if there are reasons why you get an influx of one type for a summer. I mean, why kingfishers this year? Was it weather related?

Laura said...

Loved the update and the pics. Oh, the flying squirrels! And the seals! And I just love Kingfishers, too!

Keep up the great work! :)

Joy said...

It was so great finding your updated blog tonight. Thanks for some great information and pictures. Can't wait to see another installment!

LANCE said...

Great pictures your very talented.
Enjoyed them very much. please
keep up the great work!!