An spring reminder of what Wild Things Sanctuary wildlife heroes have achieved, lives they've saved, and dreams they dream!
Let's Help Each Other Help the Wild Things!

McCarthy the Screech Owl
McCarthy the "red phase" Screech Owl after being hit by a car

     What's a Screech Owl to do after being hit by a car and damaging an eye and its beak? Hopefully, if found by good Samaritans, it will end up with a wildlife rehabilitator to recover and hopefully be re-released once its injuries are healed. This is how McCarthy the "red phase" Screech Owl found her way to Wild Things Sanctuary over the winter.

     We've had a number of Screech Owls come in over the years after being hit by cars. Amazingly, none of them have had broken bones, but all of them have had injuries to their eyes. If you look closely at McCarthy's left eye (so the one on the right of the picture), you'll see her pupil looks a bit strange. She tore her retina, but also her iris and damaged the muscles that assist with pupil contraction.

     With rest and medications the eye "stabilized," but unfortunately, she will never be entirely sighted in that eye. However, studies have demonstrated that  Screech Owls with one damaged eye can still live in the wild as they use their ears and their remaining good eye to "triangulate" in finding prey and are still able to hunt successfully. In fact, McCarthy's eye exam revealed that there had been previous injury to this eye and yet,
judging from her weight and body condition, she was still hunting well before being hit.

     McCarthy is now in a flight/prey-testing enclosure to make sure that she is in good shape before release. She has become increasingly unamused as the weather gets warmer: she wants out! The "cere" on her beak has also completely healed, so now just a bit of flight training and she will be on her way!

     Thank you for all in helping with her rescue and care!

Barnaby the Barred Owl
"Barnaby" the Barred Owl, recovering from an eye injury

      Here's a harder question: what's a wildlife rehabilitator to do when bills start piling up and a full-time volunteer rehabilitation job has to be replaced by a full time salaried job where animals are not allowed? This was the situation that I was faced with this year. Though many people think that Wild Things Sanctuary is a big rehab center, it is a small center run out of and around my home by me, Victoria Campbell, and a small handful of volunteers. None of us are paid for our work. Donations from Wild Things' supporters have been amazing as they have supported all of the hundreds of animals who have come through our doors, but unfortunately, rehabbers need a salary too.

     So, what was I to do? The first answer was simple: cry and feel frustrated, dejected and guilty. Where will the animals go? Will our supporters feel let down? Why didn't I do better and achieve my goal of building a big center with 24 hour care and staff??

     But that answer was just unacceptable: I still want to help wildlife in trouble! What can Wild Things do to continue helping wildlife? First of all, as Wild Things Sanctuary has become one of the few rehab centers in upstate New York who works with bats, we will continue to take all bats. And the number of bat patients is growing all the time! We will also take in other animals and
assist in rescue operations if possible. Secondly, as Wild Things Sanctuary is able to accept donations, we can help fund other rehabilitators who desperately need support but who do not have 501(c)3 non-profit status. Many of our supporters don't realize that I get a lot of help from other rehabilitators, and now it is time to help give back to them!

     Our first project has been with Marsha Zgola. Marsha has been rehabilitating birds for decades in the Ithaca area and is always available to help me and the wild things. Barnaby the Barred Owl, pictured above, is one of her present patients. Like McCarthy, he was hit by a vehicle, a truck in this instance. Marsha gives every patient a chance and she really needed more enclosures, especially before the 2013 "baby season." This winter I gave talks for the Cornell University Pre-vet Society and the Ithaca College Animal Rights Club. Both organizations, in addition to private donors, helped raise money to buy the supplies for a new large outdoor flight cage for Marsha and her patients. Generous volunteers spent an entire day putting it together...and voila! More space for patients. We hope that this will mean even more animals in trouble will be able to receive care under Marsha's expert rehabilitation skills.

A new flight cage for Marsha!
Almost finished! A new enclosure for songbirds measuring about 10'x9'x4'.   

     We are hoping to help others too! Rehabilitators are always in need of supplies and as funds permit; we hope to help purchase formula, food, and medical supplies, and perhaps fund a few more enclosures too.

     And Wild Things is far from empty! We still have a handful of patients and I never know what will turn up. Recently, a pair of severely debilitated 5 week old raccoons were found in the neighborhood. After lots of cleaning and re-hydrating, they are now safe at Wild Things. Volunteers are helping look after them during the day while I am at work. And Wild Things still has bats a plenty! We just released 7 bats who overwintered at Wild Things and I've been seeing them almost every evening just at nightfall. Six were adult females who may all very well be pregnant (they usually mate in the autumn and give birth in the spring). All of these bats were found in homes over the winter and their kind finders brought them to Wild Things. Is it wrong to hope that they keep the mosquitoes down in the neighborhood as a thank you??!

coons at breakfast
Breakfast at Wild Things Sanctuary. Who can resist watermelon & soft puppy chow covered in formula?!

Wild Things Sanctuary needs your help!

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today!

Bat pot!
Help Bats
& buy something beautiful!

100% of the proceeds from the sale of this beautiful "Raku Bat Pot" will be donated to Wild Things Sanctuary.

And that's not all!

For each NEW "Like" of the Salmon Pottery Facebook page, Salmon Pottery will donate an additional $1 to Wild Things until June 30th, 2013, up to $200.  Click HERE and "Like" their Facebook page!

"Share" this post and they will donate another $1.

Sassy the bat was found by the wonderful artists at Salmon Pottery in Trumansburg, NY and they have continued to support Wild Things and bat rehabilitation.

This wonderful studio and store has beautiful work by many artists. Classes and workshops are also offered by the artists.

We are very grateful to have their support!
Kidnapped Kestrel

Wildlife Tip: Bird on the Ground!

At this time of year many young birds are leaving their nests, a process called "fledging." In many cases they will not fly well for at least a few days after fledging. During this time their parents continue to feed them, but the young birds are very vulnerable.

If you see a bird who looks like it is young and/or is not flying away, wait and watch to see whether its parents are coming. Also, please consider keeping pets inside as pets are one of the #1 predators of young birds.

Do not capture the bird unless it is clearly in distress (e.g., injury or not moving well) or if you do not see parents around after several hours.

This young American Kestrel fledgling, in the picture above
, was kidnapped from its parents by well intentioned finders. It had clearly recently been fed by its parents, but after being taken by the finders and driven far away, a reunion with the parents was not possible. When it was old enough, this young kestrel was transferred to a licensed falconer so that it could be taught to hunt before release.

All animals are better kept with their parents who teach them the skills they will need to survive.

Click HERE for more information!

Interested in kestrels? Click HERE to watch a live nest camera following the development of four chicks in Idaho!
Wild Things Sanctuary sign
Mission Statement
Wild Things Sanctuary (WTS) is dedicated to helping native wildlife through rescuing and rehabilitating debilitated and orphaned/displaced animals until they are ready for release back into the wild. Eventually, WTS is also aiming to provide a sanctuary for non-releasable native animals.

WTS is also committed to improving the well-being of wildlife through public education; focusing on how humans can safely and peacefully coexist with native wildlife, and on wildlife’s importance to man and the environment.
Wild Things Sanctuary
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