Spring is here!
At The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center, leaves are sprouting on the trees, grass is growing tall and green and flowers are erupting into full bloom! It's a beautiful time of year. Spring is a time for new birth, not only for the fauna that surrounds us, but for the wildlife, too.
Everywhere you turn, there's the hustle and bustle of songbirds, flitting here and there, busy with their hatchlings begging to be fed. Hawks and owls that just a few weeks ago were soaring overhead in courtship are now settled on their nests. We’re waiting now for the next generation of raptors to hatch, including red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks, and preparing for the orphans that will surely arrive this year, just as they have every year before. As for owls, it's the screaming barn owlets and hooting great-horned owlets that show up first; even so, the great horned owls will end up being the species that stay with us the longest. Striped skunk kits, opossum joeys, coyote puppies, and bobcat kittens sometimes come in scared and alone - and sometimes they are brought in as whole litters of siblings. Lastly, orphaned black bear cubs without the nurturing and protection of their mother will show up later in summer.
As you might imagine, it's the busiest time of year for our Wildlife Center. Specializing in predatory rehabilitation, our 13-acre facility has large habitats that have been specifically designed for each individualized species. Volunteers and staff work side by side, busily preparing baby formulas, monitoring weights, and administering vaccines and the various medications needed to treat the sickly orphans. The days sometimes become chaotic: dishes to clean, linens to wash, enclosures to tidy, and babies to feed. New patients arrive, needing immediate attention, while recovering patients transition to their outside enclosures and the team forgets what it’s like to have a chance to sit down! After many weeks and long hours of dedication and nurturing, the nursery begins to quiet and, one by one, the enclosures empty, as the orphans come to the end of their stay. They have grown strong and we know we've done all that we can to help prepare them for a successful release.
Each year, it is our hope that we don't get to see that cute baby skunk or that fuzzy little owl. It is our hope that babies will stay with their families and grow up with their parents. In reality, as long as there is even one orphaned wild animal who needs our help, we will be there to help him or her...and then we will prepare to do the same thing all over again next year.
Thank you for caring – and Happy Spring!
Director of Operations, Fund for Animals Wildlife Center