Thursday, December 8, 2011

Me, Neuri, and Shiloh

Hey, It's me, Pink Floyd! I have been out and about in the wild but now that it has turned cold I have returned to the er.....den! That means my enclosure out back in the Refuge. I had an absolutely awesome reunion with Neuri and Shiloh, the other two unreleaseable raccoons here at the Refuge. They have both grown up since I have been away. They have been spayed and given an annual rabies injection. They are BEAUTIFUL! Check out all our photos and I am sure you will agree that we are all just GORGEOUS!
Why are we nonreleaseable? When we were babies we probably contracted raccoon parvo or maybe distemper. All three of us have limited mobility. We can climb just fine and just ask Evelyn about stuff we can open with our hands! But, we can't walk or run very well, so we are happy being in the Refuge. Come and visit sometime!

Friday, November 25, 2011


We have 3 flying squirrels at the Refuge. One older juvenile and two youngsters. They are very, very cute. The flying squirrel does not actually fly; it glides from tree to tree using a flap of loose skin that connects its front and rear legs. It steers with its tail and can glide up to 150 feet. It lands on a tree trunk gripping with all four feet. They are seldom seen as they are nocturnal. Indeed, they have been busy all night at the Refuge! They like to eat seeds, nuts, flowers, roots, and bulbs. Sometimes they eat insects, eggs, worms, small birds,and other small animals.
The three little guys are eating well and will be wilding up soon!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Arrivals at the Refuge

A couple of new masked faces arrived the day after Halloween. Two baby raccoons had been found cold and all alone on a neighborhood sidewalk on Halloween night. Approximate 5 1/2 weeks old, they must learn very quickly how to nurse from a bottle. A male and a female, they are looking for names! We think....."Trick or Treat!"

Friday, September 23, 2011

Elliot has left the building.....but he is in the neighborhood!

We released Elliot, a gray fox kit in early July. It was a "soft" release, meaning we kept his enclosure open for him with food and water available until he got fully acclimated to being on his own in the wild. However, we never saw Elliot again.
Until.....a picture of a young gray fox appeared in Mary Reid Barrow's Coastal Journal in the Virginia Beach Beacon recently. One of our volunteers spotted it and contacted Mary Reid Barrow, who confirmed that the photo came from a neighbor down the street from the Refuge. We believe it is Elliot....what do you think? We think he looks awesome!

Hurricane Irene: The Weekend It Rained Baby Squirrels

The last weekend in August, everything changed at the Refuge. A hurricane was coming....her name was Irene.
Irene blew through and left thousands of baby squirrels dead, injured, or orphaned. A lucky few (more than 200) came through the Refuge and our partner rehabilitators. It seemed like it was raining baby squirrels! Although the Refuge was without power for almost two days, we managed with a borrowed generator and our wonderful volunteers who stepped in to help.
Click here for a short video recapping the weekend.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Where have all the male Mallards gone?

Are you wondering where all the male Mallard ducks have gone? Read on......
"In mid-summer after breeding, the male Mallard has a complete molt, producing a dull-colored basic plumage, aptly termed the eclipse plumage. Male Mallards in eclipse plumage look remarkably like females, but their bills are light olive green, while females' are orange marked with black. Because flight feathers are also molted at this time, the birds become temporarily flightless and tend to be very secretive. The male Mallard's basic plumage is kept only a few weeks; it is soon lost in a molt of the body feathers which produces the brightly colored head and other distinctive features of the breeding plumage. The timing of this molt is related to courtship in Mallards, which begins in the fall." ~ The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Male Mallard in eclipse plumage

Female Mallard

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Go gentle into that good night....

The majority of the orphan raccoons have been released from the Refuge, so it is really quiet around here. All raccoons here are vaccinated against rabies and then they go through what is called a "soft release."
Their pen is kept open so they can come and go as they please. Bottle feeding has been stopped and human contact is limited. Food is put out at night but that's it. They gradually disappear into the wild and become wild raccoons.
But, it's been a very hot summer here in Virginia, so we still get visits on occasion. Sometimes we find them napping on top of their pens. Sometimes they climb on Evelyn's deck and peek into her sunroom!
We miss these awesome little coonies, but we know they will love being wild and free! Go gentle into that good night........