At the time of writing, Wildwoods has admitted only five nestling birds this season. We know from experience that many, many more are on their way.
A familiar story: you’re getting some spring cleaning done while the kids play in the yard and suddenly you hear… nothing. Children and silence usually means trouble, so you go out to investigate. They are standing over something. They pick it up. What do they have? A baby bunny, and they want to keep it. Now what? The kids have touched it so the mother probably won’t come back for it now, right? It can’t be that hard to raise a rabbit, can it?
Normally bats would still be in hibernation at this time of year, but sustained warm weather has disrupted their internal clocks. Three little brown bats who all woke up a bit too soon were recently admitted to Wildwoods.
If you follow us on Facebook, you may know that Wildwoods has a northern flying squirrel spending the winter in our care. He had made his home in an attic where he wasn’t welcome. Many people don’t know flying squirrels exist in our region and think of them as somewhat exotic. They certainly look exotic with their flat tails and large, bulging black eyes, but there are two species that are native to North America: northern (Glaucomys sabrinus) and southern (Glaucomys volans). Both can be found in Minnesota.
Do not ever use poison. Warning: there is disturbing content in this article which may not be suitable for some readers. As the temperatures drop and winter gets nearer, critters make their way through holes into our homes. Please remember that they are just trying to survive and we have provided a fantastic habitat: safe, warm, food aplenty. Don't punish them for taking advantage of the opportunity, especially not with poison. It is a horrifying, painful and long death for them. Believe me, I've seen it.
Migration. It's a herald of change, a thing of mystery and beauty. A few years ago as I was walking along a trail in Gooseberry State Park, I heard quite a loud racket above me. I looked up and was awestruck by the number of robins flitting about the tree canopy. I'd never seen so many! A truly magical sight to behold. They were migrating south in search of more plentiful food sources.
When I first started volunteering at Wildwoods two years ago, it was run out of the backyard of a private residence. Several sheds and outbuildings had been built in the backyard, with electricity and running water, but many animals spent their time in the home's basement. Can you imagine having volunteers and staff members coming and going all day every day through your back door? Can you imagine having everything from porcupines to herons to mice and bald eagles recovering in your basement?