The little gosling
Wild Things is in full swing with spring patients and it's been a busy month! Here are a few of the stories that have been going on at WTS...
A couple of weeks ago this little gosling arrived. An Ithaca couple had been watching a pair of Canada Geese sitting on their nest. The babies hatched and within hours a crow had plaucked up one of the little goslings and planned to carry it away for a tasty treat. but oops! The crow dropped this little guy in the couple's yard as it flew away.
He was in really bad shape when he arrived. In fact, I thought he was dead as he was stone cold. But after several hours on being sandwiched between heating pads and being tube fed fluids and some food, he revived! (see pictures below)
But what do you do with a little gosling that needs parents?? You find it some! Frst of all, I had to make sure the little one didn't see me as within the first few days water fowl "imprint" on whoever they see and decide that is their species. So I always fed him in disguise and made sure he had plenty of mirrors around his cage. He spent many hours sitting in front of the mirrors chirping away!
Then I had to find him some parents. I was told there were some geese with babies at the Sapsucker Woods Lab of Ornithology. So when he was strong enough, off we went. After several hours of chasing geese families, wading through water and crawling around on my stomach, he went swimming off with a new family and was last seen sitting under his adopted parents' wings getting warm.
A little Mallard Duckling also arrived at Wild Things this past week. It was rescued after a good Samaritan watched it swimming around for a while all on its own with no parents in sight. The little duckling was just as fluffy as the gosling, but about a third of the size. I wanted to find a buddy for this little one so I started calling around. A rehab friend of mine also has a little mallard. Hers was born with bent feet and has little corrective foot wear which should correct the problem soon. So the little Wild Things duckling went to stay with them until they are both ready for release. It makes such a big difference for baby animals to have a buddy of the same species!
Private Ryan, a bit straggly!
And there's been lots of other new patients as well. Squirrels, groundhogs, bunnies, bats and opossums.
The opossums are a strange case as they are about 4-5 months old, meaning that they were born in January/February...and in this part of the world that just doesn't really happen!
To the left is "Private Ryan". He and his 3 brothers arrived and were in a terrible state. They were so starved that their digestive systems had more-or-less shut down. Sadly, 3 of them passed on, but this little guy hung in there and is doing great! He is a little behind developmentally and is a bit bald in places, but he is playing and enjoying his new big sister's company!
I've actually received lots of single squirrels and have tried to match them up with others of the same size, so everyone has a snuggle partner. Everyone seems quite happy with their buddy. I love catching all the funny baby wildlife sleeping positions, as seen below!
This Little Brown Bat flew into someone's parked car's windscreen. His rescuer kept him warm until he found WTS. He appears to have bruised a wing, but he is getting plenty of rest and has been attempting short flights, so his recovery looks like it's on a good track!
Wild Things has also had lots of cool birds coming to visit this year. See below! Purple finches, Gold finches, Rosebreasted Grosbeaks, Chipping Sparrows, Cowbirds, Redwing Blackbirds (these last two are unusual as Wild Things is deep in the woods and these species are found more in fields and marshes)! There has also been a family of 3 crows that visit all the time, below is a picture of a crow helping herself to an Easter egg! The picture of the Snapping turtle was taken at Sapsucker Woods. I moved it out of the road!
Wild Things also said goodbye to dear little Runty this past month. As reported in the last blog, he had his incisor teeth pulled out due to a bad jaw and tooth infection. The infection spread to his inner ear, and probably throughout his sinuses. But he was running around having fun until the very end, and that is some relief to know he didn't suffer too much. He was a dear little Rascal who was great at making nests and loved playing and saying hello. Go well dear Runty!