Wildlife Adventures

A lot of adventures at Wildwoods this week.

A loon recently admitted wasn’t sick, but had one of those multi-hook lures stuck in him in a couple of places, including the webbing of one foot and his nasal area (ouch!). After we cut him free, we offered him some minnows, which he chased and devoured. And then–back to the Lake! (Loons stress out and get sick with fungal infections in captivity, so we release as soon as possible if we don’t see another problem.)

Thanks to Marta, Christa, Nancy, and to the two park rangers for rescuing him. You guys rock! Thanks also to the kind folks at Chalstrom’s Bait Shop for the minnows!

And please, all you fisher-men and women–do your best to properly dispose of fishing line and to retrieve lures. Fishing line and lures are terrible wildlife traps. We also got a gosling yesterday who had both legs entangled in fishing line, and had a lure in his side. He’s on antibiotics for his nasty infection.

Barred Owlet
A barred owlet was reunited with his parents a few nights ago, after a few suspense-filled hours of him calling and no parents answering or showing themselves.

Waterfowl Adoptions
Next, the two mallard ducklings were adopted into a new family yesterday afternoon. And this afternoon, the 3 Canada goslings joined a new family as well (always a joy to behold these successful adoptions!).

Recently Released
One of the hummingbirds was finally flying well again, so we released her yesterday, and we released our first batch of bunnies tonight!

Flicker Chicks
We also tried to reunite the 7 northern flicker chicks with their parents. Their nest tree blew over in a wind storm two days ago, and they were brought to us cold and lethargic. They’ve made a great comeback, and are doing well, but we always want to get babies back with their parents if we possibly can.

Farzad built a nest box, and headed over to the remains of the tree (a fairly tall stump). His plan was to get the parents coming back to feed at the nest box on the stump. Then, if that worked, the nest box would go on to a ladder at the same height, initially right next to the stump. Then, as the parents continued to care for the babies, Farzad would gradually move the ladder with nest box a few feet at a time, until he had the parents and babies and nest to an intact tree. Then, he would attach the nest box there.

Sounds great in theory, and we’ve used this technique successfully several times over the years on nests in doomed locations (wheel well of an RV, among others). It’s a slow process and takes a long time because you don’t want to alarm the parents, so you do the move in very small increments over a fairly long period. Tedious, but it’s worked for us several times in the past, and it’s worth it to get several tiny chicks back with their parents.

So, Farzad put the nest box with the chicks in it on the stump and waited, watching from a distance. No parents. He fed the chicks every 30-40 minutes. Hours passed. Finally, the parents came! However, after a brief look inside the nest box, they flew off and did not return. Maybe they realized their summer was a lot more fun without 7 chicks to feed every 20-30 minutes? Darn. Well, we tried our best…. So, they’re back with us, and doing fine. There’s no place like home, but for now, for these flicker chicks, home is the inside of an incubator at Wildwoods.

Wild Birds Unlimited
Wildwoods was a recent guest at Wild Birds Unlimited. Photos below.

It was the week before our successful fundraiser at Hartley Nature Center.

Love our work and want to help? Make a tax-deductible donation to Wildwoods today via PayPal.  Please also take a look at our weekly column in the Budgeteer. And this recent story by Dana Thayer on Fox21.

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