Critter Updates

Daily critter report from Wildwoods…

The youngest 6 mice are eating on their own at last–yay! All of the squirrels, chipmunks, the flying squirrel, and the woodchuck are doing well. The recovering injured birds (songbirds, ring-billed gulls, pigeons, and grouse) are fine.

The baby bunny who was attacked by a cat and lost part of his skin is doing great so far; he’s passed the 48 hour period when we lose most of our cat-bit wildlife, so that bodes well for him!

We got 3 little fledging sparrows yesterday (white-throated? not sure…). They were fine, but we could not convince the people who were concerned about them to leave them alone. It was finally painfully clear to us that they were going to get messed with and messed with, with the best of intentions, until they were dead.

They are a lot of work, and hard to feed because they are so tiny, but doing well. They are hard to contain–like little feathered popcorn bouncing around the room when I’m trying to feed them! Hope to have them foraging and self-feeding soon. With birds this tiny, my bifocals just don’t cut it anymore!

The geese are mowing our lawn for us, section by section, and fertilizing it, too! They’re headed out to Wild and Free tomorrow. We’ll also be sending 3 orphaned ducklings who fell down into a storm drain. Thanks to Skip and his family, and to the Duluth Fire Dept (I LOVE those guys!) for rescuing them!

The 4 baby raccoons are doing great, and we also got another tiny baby raccoon today, who was orphaned when her mom was hit by a car. She is so tiny for this time of year–about 100 g. Perhaps her mom had 2 litters?

And that’s the daily news from Wildwoods!

Wildwoods is always looking for volunteers, local business partners, and philanthropically minded Duluthians. Especially as we have grown by leaps and bounds this year, we are starting to think about a new facility. If you suggestions in any of these areas, drop me an email at [email protected].


[email protected]

about 11 years ago

Critter report:

The goslings headed off to Wild and Free today, and the 3 ducklings headed off to WRC yesterday afternoon, so we currently have no waterfowl. 

We got an injured young red squirrel today, who joins our 5 other young reddies. He fell from a tree, and has a bad headache and a bloody nose, poor guy. 

We also got a big raccoon kit who got wedged in a vent in a person's crawl space above their house while mom was moving everyone to a new den. He got stuck, and so got left behind, poor fella. He's not very happy to be with us, and lets us know it at feeding time. We need leather gloves to handle him!

One of the little sparrows we got the other day died during the night. He got pneumonia from being hand fed. 

We put the young starlings who are about to fledge in with the ones who have fledged and are self-feeding. We thought that the younger ones could watch the older ones forage and learn from them. They are learning from the older ones, so that's great. What we didn't count on was the older ones being terrified of the younger ones! For the better part of yesterday, they sat up on the highest area, farthest away from the nestlings, observing them with great suspicion. They've finally overcome their fear and hopped over to investigate, only to get pecked for their curiosity. Today, the younger ones are starting to perch on the lower branches. They are watching the older ones forage, but still need to be hand-fed.

Thanks to Ira and her children, who dug worms for the baby birds. They have disappeared down birdie gullets, with much gusto!

Everyone else is the same--no news is good news, right?

[email protected]

about 11 years ago

Critter updates (mixed--some good, some bad):

Of the 3 sparrows we got a few days ago (from the woman who would not leave normal fledglings alone), we are down to one. This one is eating well, doing short flights, and starting to grow tail feathers! You can see a pic of him below. 

Farzad built a beautiful indoor area for the convalescing injured birds, so that they can work out their wings more as they recover from their various injuries. It's great! I'll post a pic tomorrow.

After doing very well for for several days, the cat-attacked baby bunny died tonight, despite antibiotics.

Even though we sent a number of raccoons to WRC (thanks so much to WRC for helping us!), we got more, so we're up to 11 again. Thank goodness for all the volunteers qualified to feed raccoons (they've had their rabies pre-exposure vaccine series). 

Three young raccoons we got the other day smell really nice, but seem kind of sick. We don't know why they're lethargic and not eating well. Peggy listened with her stethoscope and they sounded ok...but..we don't know. We're going to ask one of our vet consultants to take a look tomorrow. The rest are doing well.

The starlings are all palling around together and learning from each other, and the older ones are no longer afraid of the younger ones. They all love to take baths, and they sure do love their mealworms and earthworms! 

The baby mice are doing great; boy do they eat a lot! They are still mostly eating squirrel milk replacer with monkey biscuit crumbs, but also starting to eat grapes and Cheerios. The other 3 mice, who are somewhat older, are about ready for release. 

The grouse is continuing to heal and regrow all the feathers she lost when the over-enthusiastic dog "retrieved" her home to his owner. And the other injured birds, including the gulls, continue to heal.

Good night!

[email protected]

about 11 years ago

Critter updates:

Wilhemina Woodchuck loves her underground lair, and loves the dandelions and clover that we're adding to her diet. Yesterday, Kelly brought Wilhemina some turnip greens with parts of the turnip still attached. Wilhemina was so excited! She grabbed them and dragged them underground with her. After that, nothing emerged from her lair but the sounds of crunching. If I were a vegetable, this would have been like a horror flick...

The injured eagle and the injured redtail in the Grand Rapids area have reportedly both found a ride, so all is well there. Thanks everyone for your help!

The young starlings are still working on their foraging skills, and have gotten much more independent in the last few days. When I was cleaning out their enclosure this morning, one escaped into the bird room and led me a merry chase. He or she flew very well--hovering, executing hairpin turns, etc. 

The grouse continues to regrow feathers over her bald spot, and is eating well, munching on greens, duck chow, seeds, and dried mealworms. Her bruising is all gone, and we're just waiting for her flight feathers to re-grow. 

We took the blackbird's wing wrap off and are watching as he works out the kinks of this long-unused wing. How will he do? Time will tell.

We got another young raccoon yesterday evening. She is missing much of her long guard hair outer coat, and looks somewhat like a possum. We'll take her to the vet for a skin scraping to make sure she doesn't have mange. 

The two raccoons who were lethargic and sick are doing much better today; fingers crossed. 

The 6 baby mice are gradually transitioning to solids, and starting to play on their wheel.

The little house finch is still eating great and growing in adult feathers. He went out to Christa's yard yesterday, which is filled with adult and fledgling house finches. We hoped that one of the adults might take an interest in him, and that we might be able to foster him into a new finch family. No luck, so he's back with us. 

Thanks so much to Officer Whitebird, who brought us a grounded loon from Fond du Lac yesterday. The bird checked out fine, so we fed him and let him go. 

Thanks so much to Paul, who brought us a crushed turtle. After consultation with a few of our vet consultants, the unanimous verdict was that the shell was not fixable, so the turtle was humanely and gently released from her pain. Thanks to Paul for his compassion for her, saving her from a slow, terrible death by the side of the road. RIP, momma turtle. 

The pigeons are doing great in their mini-flock in a playpen in the basement, and the squab loves having 5 adults to look up to and learn from.

2 of the 3 ringbilled gulls are ready for release, and Steve will be letting them go later this afternoon. Bon voyage, gulls, and stay safe!

Like what we do? Join our mission to help orphaned and injured wild animals return to the wild by making a tax-deductible donation through PayPal here:

[email protected]

about 11 years ago

Morning critter report:

We're caring for more than 50 animals at present, and we're tired...physically and emotionally. We hit the ground running at 6am, and don't stop until we fall into bed (later than we need) at night. Between day jobs, critter care, phone calls, etc., we're crazy/busy. Summer is exhausting. Thank goodness for volunteers and interns, who help shoulder the load!

If you've made a donation or gift to us, thank you so much! We're behind on thank you notes/receipts for tax purposes; critter care has pushed everything else to the back burner. Thank you so much to everyone who is supporting our work with monetary and other donations; we really appreciate you!! Thank you notes/ tax receipts coming soon...

We got several new animals yesterday, including an pine grosbeak who has head trauma from being hit by a car, an American bittern fledgling with pneumonia (picture), a tame juvenile starling with a leg band (somebody's escaped or released pet?) and 4 baby bunnies orphaned by a dog.

The juvenile grackle with spinal trauma shows increased movement in her legs, but cannot yet balance or stand. She's losing weight despite regular hand-feeding, so we have to up the amount and frequency of her feeds. The juvenile crow is still showing neurological symptoms, and not bouncing back as quickly as we hoped he would. We are also having to hand-feed/force-feed him. 

That's all for now; back to work....

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