Monday, November 15, 2010

Raccoon babies

Things are finally slowing down here at the Refuge. We have two little raccoon babies in the nursery.......Little Rock (everyone names coons "Rocky") and Scout (after a Boy Scout working on his Eagle Scout Project here). Both babies had bite injuries, probably from adult raccoons in the colony. They were brought here to the refuge by a couple of caring humans who found them suffering. I love people who will take the time out of a busy day and try to save a wild life!
Evelyn and Jim have been nursing them and giving them the very best of care. I am happy to report they are doing quite well. They are very, very shy and won't let anyone take a picture, so here is a recent pic of me, Pink Floyd, when I came by to check on the new arrivals.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Driving with Wildlife in Mind

It's that time of the year again. The days are getting shorter, the sun is setting earlier, and wildlife is out and about.
Scan the road as you drive, watching the edges for wildlife about to cross. Not only will this help you to avoid harming or killing wildlife, but it will also make you more aware of other hazards such as bicyclists, children at play, and slowly moving vehicles.
Be alert!
Be especially watchful for wildlife at dawn, dusk, and in the first few hours after darkness falls. Many species of wildlife are most active at these times.
Edges of roads that border agricultural fields or natural habitats are places to be particularly watchful for wildlife.
Assume that animals do not know to get out of your way. Young animals, in particular, do not recognize cars as a threat.
Lower your dashboard lights slightly. You'll be more likely to see your headlights reflected in the eyes of animals in time to brake.
Every apple core, french fry, and smelly sandwich wrapper tossed out of a car attracts wildlife to roadsides—often with fatal results. Never throw litter from your car.
Remember that where there is one animal crossing, there may be more, young animals following their mother or male animals pursuing a mate.
Try to slow down, especially after dark. Many animals needlessly become victims simply because people drive too fast to avoid hitting them. Speed poses a risk to human safety as well.

- What to do if you injure an animal.
Do not put your own safety at risk. Unless you can move the animal from the road in absolute safety, do not attempt to do so. Use your hazard lights or emergency road flares to warn oncoming traffic of the injured animal. Never attempt to handle a large animal, like a deer, or one that could give a serious bite, like a raccoon.
Call someone with the proper training and equipment. When you need assistance, call the non-emergency number of the local police department (it's a good idea to have this number programmed into your cell phone, if you have one) and describe the animal's location. Emphasize that the injured animal is a traffic hazard to help ensure that someone will come quickly. Stay in the area until help arrives.
If you try to rescue a small animal yourself, remember that the animal doesn't know you are trying to help and may bite or scratch in self-defense. Use heavy gloves to protect yourself or avoid direct handling. An old towel is helpful if you need to move an injured animal. Gently coax or place the animal into a cardboard box and transport him/her to a shelter, wildlife rehabilitator, or a receptive veterinarian. If there is a delay, keep the animal in a dark, warm, quiet place to minimize fear and stress.
If you accidentally kill an animal, try to move the animal off the road—providing you can do so in complete safety. Otherwise, report the location of the animal's body to the local police department, and it will arrange for it to be removed. This will prevent scavengers from being attracted onto the road and eliminate a potential traffic hazard.

~The Humane Society of the United States

Thursday, September 2, 2010


With the approach of Hurricane Earl, we are preparing for a possible influx of many, many baby squirrels. Very young babies, called "pinkies" are especially vulnerable.
What to do if you find a baby squirrel?
1. Keep the baby warm. Put it in a box or other small container with ventilation, in a quiet place, away from children and pets. Put a heating pad under the box and maintain a constant warm temperature.
2. Do NOT feed the baby!! This is very important. Many well intentioned humans feed baby animals milk or infant formula. Resist the urge, as this will kill the baby.
3. Find a licensed wildlife rehabilitator here AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! If you cannot locate one in your area, take the baby to your local Humane Society, SPCA, or a veterinarian. None of these organizations will pick up the baby; you must be willing to transport it yourself.
In Virginia and most other states, it is illegal to hold wildlife. Again, DO NOT TRY TO SAVE THE BABY YOURSELF. Get it the proper care it deserves. Please.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Birdwatching by Evelyn

Part of our mission here at the refuge is to educate the public about our native wildlife. Did you know that bird watching is one of the fastest growing hobbies and is an excellent way to learn and appreciate these wild creatures? In these financially stressful times, it is also a great way to spend enjoyable family time together on an inexpensive outing.

Identifying birds is often challenging, but the more practice you have, the easier it will become. Invest in a field guide, such as The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America by David Allen Sibley.

Here are a few things to remember when observing birds.

1. Keep your eye on the bird; don’t immediately go to your guide.

2. Listen to the bird’s calls (short vocalizations) and song (longer, more melodious). It is one of the best identification tools.

3. Estimate the bird’s general size and shape. Compare it to other birds you know well. Is it bigger than a crow or smaller than a robin?

4. Make note of any facial markings -- stripes or patches of colors -- and look at the characteristics of its bill – long or short, curved or straight.

5. Look for bars on the wing and remember the shape of the tail. What color is the bird’s belly and back? Is the tail forked, squared off or rounded?

6. Observe the color of the legs, as well as their length. Does the bird have talons or are its feet webbed?

7. Study the bird’s movement and its flight pattern. How does it walk? When in flight, does it swoop up and down, or glide smoothly?

8. Try to determine its feeding habits. Does it dig at tree bark looking for insects or does is forage in your lawn.

9. Remember where you saw the bird. Is it in a wetland or woodland?

10. Record your observations, noting the date and time of day.

You are now ready to get started on this popular pastime. Take a long stroll and keep your eyes opened. Our feathered friends are everywhere.

~Reprinted from Pet Tails Magazine

Friday, July 30, 2010

Baby bird update

It's a cardinal! It's a female and is getting fat and sassy. She is hopping around and getting ready to fly. Compare the first pic to this one and see what a difference a week makes!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What to do if you find a baby bird

If renesting the baby is not an option:

- Place the baby in a softly-lined covered box with ventilation.
- Place the box in a warm, dark, quiet indoor location away from all humans and pets.
- Do Not attempt to give it food or water, no matter how much it begs!
- Contact a wildlife rehabilitator immediately. You can find a state directory by clicking here.
Please DO NOT try to raise the baby bird yourself!! They need special food and special care around the clock. Again, contact a wildlife rehibilitator as soon as possible.

New bird arrival

One of our own new volunteers brought a very tiny baby bird in this morning. She found the bird on a morning walk with her dog. The baby bird was on the ground, under a tree, and appeared to be unharmed. She could see a nest far up in the tree, but it was empty and hanging at a crazy angle. No way could she return the bird to the nest. So, she put it in a shoe box, kept it in a warm, dark, quiet room, and brought it to EWR. Evelyn quickly assessed the baby and put it in a tiny, knitted yarn nest. It is now in a cage, in that nest with some older baby birds, and Evelyn will be starting the bird on baby bird formula. Paws crossed for this little baby bird!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Raccoons out and about

The first batch of raccoons are now out and about. They have been immunized and are now free to go out during the day to explore and learn life skills for raccoons. They don't go too far yet as some remain focused on the bottle. But, they will wean themselves off soon and become wild things once again. It has been so hot here in Virginia, some of them don't stay out for long as they want to come back to EWR for a cool bath or a good hand wash session!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hoppin' down the bunny trail......

Well, not exactly hoppin'....not yet anyway! A couple of very tiny, baby bunnies came into the refuge nursery this morning. They are being fed round the clock. Sleep and eat, sleep and eat...but hopefully they will be hoppin' down the bunny trail very soon!!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mi Mi LePew, the baby skunk

Mi Mi is a sweet baby skunk who was brought into a local Vet office and Evelyn has agreed to take her into rehab. Since skunks are not native in Virginia Beach, once Mi Mi is ready, she will be transported to the western part of Virginia, where there are plenty of skunks for her to interact with.
Skunks only spray when they are threatened, so we are very careful that Mi Mi always feels safe and secure!! She is a joy to be around. She loves to play and to be cuddled and fussed over. Evelyn is happy to oblige!
photo courtesy of Mary Reid Barrow

Mimi is now with another wildlife rehibiltator in western Virginia who specializes in skunk rehab. Good luck, Mimi!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Welcome from Pink Floyd

Hello everyone!! I am Pink Floyd and I am a raccoon. I live full time with Evelyn and Jim here at the Refuge.
I have been here about a year now. I was dropped off by a caring person who found me all alone when I was only about 3 weeks old. I had been on my own for a while and had not developed the skills to survive on my own. I had been sucking on anything I could find to stay alive, like rocks and sticks, and my lips were pink and raw from the skin being worn off. So, Evelyn and Jim named me "Pink." Since I was a baby boy, they added Floyd to make it more masculine.
So, why am I still here? Well, I contracted the raccoon version of Parvo. Most baby raccoons who get Parvo die from it, but I was one of the lucky ones. It did leave me partially paralyzed, though, and limited my ability to function as a wild raccoon. I just don't have the skills I need to be released, like climbing, so I hang out here at the Refuge and keep the other animals company.
I am especially fond of being "Daddy" the the orphan raccoons that come through. These little babies are so distressed at losing their moms, they cry for at least 2 days. Evelyn, Jim, and I try our best to comfort them. They must learn to get nourishment from a baby bottle, and I must say they are quick learners!!
That's my story. I have a great life here and I am proud to be the mascot of Evelyn's Wildlife Refuge!