Tuesday, February 15, 2011

working hard

Never underestimate the good feelings of working hard. I mean the kind of work where once you’re done your whole body aches and you’re so tired that all you can think about is taking a nap when you get home. Now imagine that kind of work and not getting paid for it. That is what volunteering at the wild life place is like. Today I was all alone, well not alone but the only wildlife care giver, both the two rehabbers and the two vets were there.  Maureen I my fellow Tuesday morning wildlife caregiver is going to be gone for three weeks while she has to cover for a co-worker’s vacation.  It was kind of lame having to be all alone, and everything basically fell onto me. But I am now experienced enough to know exactly what I am to be doing and how to do it independently. Too bad for me that we had a million random patients to take care of today.

First off it was sad to learn that our songbird aviary as been attacked by a respiratory virus and the 8 birds in it are now in quarantine. They have all become ill and hopefully they will recover. See this is the downside of rehab work. Sometimes you do everything right but one bad bird brings something horrible in and all your hard work goes to hell. But hopefully all 8 birds will recover  quick and able to be released soon.  Next off we had 8 birds to tube feed. We currently have 4 seagulls with various issues hanging out. Two have broken wings, one was found oiled, and one is ataxic with some sort of neurological issue. They are now in a run all together and so far doing pretty good. If you do not know it seagull poop is by far the grosses stuff on the planet. It’s really thick and smelly and seeps into your pores, hair, and clothing lingering with you all day. I got to do the tube feeding on these seagulls today. They were not being very cooperative and bit me multiple times as I tried to pry the beak open but I got the job done.

the aviary

one of the birds here.

Pigeon just hanging out

Next I went to clean the mallard duck that has been hanging out since last week.  He was brought in being hit by a car along with his mate. He wasn’t able to stand up when he first arrived but now is doing better and able to waddle along in his cage. His mate ran away unscathed which is kind of sad cause mallards ducks are life long maters and so now she is all lost out in the world with out her male counterpart.  Hopefully he will be able to be released and find her again, but the likely hood of that is doubtful. We also had a lone adult opossum in the ward. He or she was also hit by a car last night and seems to have a few scrapes but otherwise doing OK. Since it was the daytime I didn’t have to do very much with it, because it was trying to sleep.  Sometime tonight it will get its treatments and food because we want to try to keep these animals on as much of their regular schedule as possible.   We also had a Canadian goose that was also covered in oil. I and two other rehabbers got to give it a bath. It seemed to like that part and only hissed and bit at us rarely.  When he was done he got to move outside and seemed much happier out of the cramped kennel. He will likely stay a few days for observation and then get released.
sleepy opossum
after his bath (they let me take this picture)

Outside on the hill there were the same things as there was last week. A bird or two that were not in the aviary with the disease, the squirrels (some still hibernating some not), and those super cute baby pigeons.  They were just talking today about how the baby pigeons are starting to become a little bit too friendly and they are worried that they are walking that line of too much human intervention and not enough wild instincts. So one of the things I had to do today was to set up an outside run where they get to have real trees, perches, and try to get them back to a more natural habitat and see if it helps. If not they can always release them into Pioneer Square where it might benefit them to be people friendly because then more bums will feed em.
the babies move so much its hard to get good pictures
they are so ugly they are kinda cute.

The highlight of my morning was that I got to release a robin back to the wild.  It was easy to catch seemed to be fairly comfortable during the ride down to Seattle where I let it go at Matthews Beach. It’s a nice park right on Lake Washington, where I’m sure its going to find some friends and lots to eat.  When you drive down to the release site they ask that you drive slowly, turn off the radio so that there is the least amount of stress on each bird as possible, and make no stops. You have to have some official paperwork in case you get stopped or harassed by anyone at the park, and they want you to find the quietest place possible to open the kennel and let them go.  I kind of snuck into this part that was roped off , opened the box , and he instantly flew away. He perched on a tree right in front of me and started to chirp to the other bird in the area. I watched it for about fifteen minutes, just perched on that branch chirping away,  I guess just figuring out its next move.  I left because it was rainy still and by this time I was really tired.  He never left that perch but I was happy that he had that freedom again. The freedom to go where ever he desires and do whatever he wants.  As I drove away I gave a silent prayer to the universe to take care of him and hope that we never  have to see him again.

hanging out

totally unsuspecting were going to grab him
The robin before we caught it.

This isn't the one I released, this from the Internet. but this is how he looked when I left him
 Well after all this hard work I went to the gym. I swam for about 30 minutes and then had an awesome soak in the spa letting my muscles loosen and relax. I am now home, exhausted,  and very ready  for a nap and some food.

1 comment:

  1. I loved the story and pictures! Keep it up OK