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........

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Elliott is free

After some soul searching, it was decided that it was time for Elliott, the gray fox kit, to be set free. Elliott had been here since May and we had been trying to find him a foster home with some other grays, but it was not to be. Elliott's interaction with humans was very limited, in the hopes that he would regain his instinctive fear of them. It appeared to be working: he actually growled at Evelyn!
Elliott had been vaccinated against rabies and had been in an outside enclosure for a while, when Evelyn noticed he had started pacing. It was time for him to be released. The door was opened, and he was give his freedom.
Goodbye, Elliott. We will miss you. All good things are wild, and free.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Prelude to Release

This is a short video of a group of baby raccoons that came to EWR from the Virginia Beach SPCA. They were brought there by a wildlife exterminator who had trapped the mother raccoon who was nesting in someones attic and then "relocated." her. The babies were discovered several days later. They have received rabies vaccinations. The door to their pen is now open during the day. This video was filmed on the first day they were allowed to explore the great outdoors which will soon become their permanent home.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The first Raccoon babies of 2011 move outside

The first raccoon babies of the season have been moved to a spacious pen outside. They are still receiving 2 bottle feedings a day and enjoying a more natural diet. They have been exploring some small trees to sharpen their climbing skills and doing some swimming to hone some fishing skills. They have received rabies vaccinations and will be ready to be on their own very soon.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Evelyn's Wildlife Refuge

An interview with Evelyn. Please watch and consider what you can do to help wildlife, improve our environment, and save our planet for future generations.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Roxy, the Red Fox Kit

We were blessed this past week to start Roxy, a young Red Fox kit, on her road to being released back into the wild. Roxy was brought to the Refuge after being discovered on a local golf course. She was alone, possibly abandoned or orphaned, but no sign was ever found of her parents or litter mates. A compassionate animal control officer with the city of Virginia Beach checked Roxy into our Refuge.
We knew that Roxy was healthy and that for her to be successfully rehabilitated and released, she needed to be with other red foxes. We connected with a wildlife rehabiltator who specializes in foxes in Roanoke, VA. They have surrogate fox parents and siblings for Roxy to learn to be a fox with. As much as we would like to see Roxy grow up, we know this is where she needs to be. Good luck, Roxy!! Born to be wild and free!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Baby Mourning Doves

Two baby mourning doves (nestlings) have arrived at the Refuge.....and they did not have to be here. A homeowner cut down a tree, and down came the nest. Mourning doves do not build the most stable nests to begin with. Please PLEASE delay cutting down trees, ANY TREE, until late in the Fall.
We do think they are so darn cute, though! Don't you agree?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Orphaned Baby Raccoons

We have a group of orphaned baby raccoons keeping us busy here at the Refuge. Virginia Beach Animal Control had answered a call at a local residence. It seems there was a "nuisance" raccoon hanging around their property, that the folks trapped and probably destroyed. A few days later, they found the babies, and called Animal Control for a pickup.
It is not unusual for Mamma Raccoon to forage for food during the day. She is very, very hungry and will go to great lengths for her nursing babies. In this case, she looked for food on the property of some ignorant people and she paid with her life. But, these babies got lucky and ended up with a compassionate Animal Control Officer who delivered them to us. They now have a good chance of survival.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Things that go bump in the night

We put up a wildlife camera on the back of the property at the Refuge to see what was going on after dark. Here are a few pics that the infrared, motion activated camera caught.

Friday, February 4, 2011

the Crow aka Mikey

The crow was brought into the refuge by Mike, a good, or rather great Samaritan. It was around the holidays, so things were quiet. The crow had a badly damaged wing, which was set. Unfortunately, when the splint was removed not much improvement was noted. But, young crows are fairly resilient, so we are still hopeful. Even though he cannot seem to fly, he has the run of the wildlife room, and seems pretty happy. His savior, Mike, still calls to check on him. We have named him "Mikey," to honor the man who was compassionate enough to take the time and make the effort to find a wildlife rehibilitator, in order to give Mikey a chance of survival. We are trying to find Mikey a permanent home, but in the meantime, he rules the roost.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


This is Hope, our little Christmas visitor. She arrived a bit before Christmas with a seriously injured back leg which prevented her from getting food. Her dining preferences here at the Refuge are Gerber's Chicken Dinner baby food and Trix yogurt. At first we had to force feed her but now, I am happy to report that she is eating on her own. She is on antibiotics and her leg is still sore, but improving. She just loves her warm, cozy denning box and doesn't want you to bother her, unless it's feeding time!
Hope will definitely let us know when it is time to be set free!