After 2 days of what sounded like a fantastically fun time within my walls, the tiny squirrel has been caught! I know he looks a bit sorry for himself in this Have-a-heart trap, and I know that he was doing just fine living it up in my walls, but I have a feeling that as a licenced wildlife rehabilitator I'm supposed to have a bit more control over my residents! (The salamander, btw, is behaving very well...though at some point every night he makes a mess throwing dirt into his water bowl!)
Sorry little fellow! Btw, I'm pretty sure it IS a little FELLOW because he's a bit stinky and I think males have very active scent glands. Also, it appears at superficial glance, that he has all the male anatomy...though I didn't dare pick him up to examine him as I'm sure that would have led to him escaping again!
Meanwhile, I stopped by the Cornell wildlife clinic this afternoon to check on the patients there. Herodotus is up to 709g! He came in at just over 400g-- a normal Barred owl weighs about 800g-- completely emaciated with bones poking through his skin, so I am very pleased about his present weight. His blood work from a couple of days ago showed that his white cell count is normal, which means that his eye infection is under control. Yippee! But the vets will wait to remove this dead eye until he is in slightly better body condition- probably sometime nest week.
Sadly, but happily, Lucy Goosey will be leaving us. She is doing so well that we are sending her to a rehabilitator who can keep her over-winter until it is warmer. As she stretches and uses her wing more and more there is a good chance that not only will she fly again, but she might even migrate again. Her broken leg has healed very, very well, though she is a bit duck-footed on that side, no pun intended. At least she's not chicken-toed as that might really mess her up! :p Her persistent cough is much better, and an endoscope of the trachea confirmed that the tissue looks better and plaques that were present on the trachea walls have begun to resolve/break down.
This is another recent Cornell patient. It is a little Eastern Screech Owl. It appeared to be a bit cross-eyed and its eyes were cloudy. The opthalmology vets found that it has bilateral cataracts. This means that its vision will probably become more and more impaired. However, we found a rehabilitator who wants to put this animal on her "educational permit" (something I hope to get at some point!), so it will have a home.
We get lots of screech owls with eye problems. At the moment at Cornell 2 are waiting to have irreparable eyes removed. However, screechies can survive in the wild with one eye as long as their hearing is intact. Despite their impressive looking huge eyes, many owls rely more on their ears to hunt than their eyes, and studies of this little owl species has found that individuals hunt very well even if they only have one eye. They use their hearing to triangulate prey location- really impressive stuff, just check out any neuroetholgy text-book to learn more!