Care center happenings in 2010.
December 11, 2010 Varied Thrush
The Varied Thrush pictured came from Beaverton where it was attacked by a pet cat. It is missing many of the feathers necessary for flight and is also fighting a respiratory infection due to punctures on its body from the cat’s teeth and claws. This thrush is being treated with antibiotics and is showing signs of improvement.
Most cat caught birds are not this lucky. Over 80% of songbirds that are caught by cats do not survive. A cat’s teeth cut deep and often makes contact with internal organs. Internal bleeding and infection can result from these punctures. Free-roaming cats kill millions of animals every year – including songbirds, chipmunks, squirrels and rabbits. It is in the best interest of both the cat and native wildlife to keep cats indoors.
About Varied Thrushes: The Varied Thrush is a robin-sized bird of the Pacific Northwest. It is omnivorous, feeding on insects, berries and acorns and typically inhabits coniferous forests. The Varied Thrush is a year-round resident of Oregon spending the summers at higher elevations and winters in lower regions like the Willamette Valley.
December 2, 2010 Common Raven update
After an x-ray revealed the femur fracture had healed the Raven was anesthetized and the steel pin was removed from the bone today. Unfortunately there is a lack of movement in the knee joint now and the Raven cannot extend the leg well. The bird will be given anti-inflammatories and will undergo physical therapy for a few weeks to hopefully remedy this problem.
November 10, 2010: Common Raven
In early October, an injured Common Raven was found under a large fir tree at a forested residence in Skamania, Washington. The concerned homeowner recognized the bird’s inability to walk or fly and immediately drove him to the Wildlife Care Center.
Emaciated and dehydrated, it was evident upon presentation the fracture had left the raven debilitated and unable to forage for food. After stabilizing the bird’s condition with heat and fluids, it was transported to Rock Creek Veterinary Hospital where Dr. Thomas Tsui surgically placed a steel pin in the fragmented femur in order to internally stabilize the fracture. The bird was returned to the Wildlife Care Center for rehabilitation.
While the cause of the injury remains unknown, it is clear the bone was split into multiple shards and the fixed fracture is slowly healing over time. The animal’s general body condition is also improving as he regains lost weight. As prodigious scavengers of carcasses in the wild, this raven has exhibited a particular affinity for large rats and quail and also enjoys other non-meat items such as walnuts, egg, and even mealworms.
Unlike their cousin the America crow, the Common Raven’s distribution is more limited to less (human) populated, heavily wooded areas.
Western Painted Turtle
This adult Western Painted Turtle was found in early September in a residential area in Tigard. It has a fractured shell, probably a victim of a car. Turtle shells take a very long time to heal and we suspect this turtle will be with us for 1 ½ to 2 years before it’s ready for release.
Here in the Portland-Vancouver Metro Area we have two species of native turtles: the above mentioned Western Painted Turtle and the Western Pond Turtles. Both of our turtles are listed in Oregon as Sensitive Critical Species due to their declining numbers.
The decline of our native turtles is due to the loss of their critical wetland habitats and from the introduction of invasive species. Our native turtles spend most of their time in shallow streams, lakes and rivers. They prefer slow-moving water with soft, muddy bottoms and not only need intact wetlands but they also need adjacent terrestrial landscapes for breeding, nesting, traveling and wintering. They also rely on the connectivity of their habitats in order to survive and for populations to mix. In urban areas there are also many hazards and many turtles can be roads and other impassible barriers.
Invasive animal species are another major threat against our native turtles. Many of the turtles you might see and find in our local wetlands are actually invasive turtles from the East that where introduced to the Pacific Northwest from the pet trade. Red-eared sliders and snapping turtles where introduced and are now widespread and common throughout the area and contribute to the decline of our native turtles.
Bullfrogs are another major threat. Young Western pond and painted turtles are particularly susceptible to predation by bullfrogs. In some areas bullfrogs can eat almost 100% of the baby native turtles! That in combination with the fact that it takes Western pond turtles 10 – 15 years to even reach sexual maturity makes it incredibly important to try to protect these young turtles.
September 2010: Western Grey Squirrel
Sept. 23: This young Western Grey Squirrel has been in the Wildlife Care Center since July 17, 2010. He was found on the side of a road near Mollala, presumably hit by a car. The squirrel had a broken left leg and his right pelvis was fractured. After several months in the hospital he's now rehabilitating in a large outside cage where he can run, climb, and jump.
Sept. 24: This squirrel was released near where it was found in Mollala.
For information on our area squirrels, see our Living with Wildlife brochure.
Red-tailed Hawk Injured on Marine Drive Rescued by Multnomah County Deputies
Mid afternoon August 9 Multnomah County Deputies brought an injured Red-tailed Hawk into the Wildlife Care Center. The three deputies rescued the bird from NE Marine drive where it had been observed flopping across the road. Presumably the bird had been hit by a moving vehicle.
An initial examination revealed the bird’s legs were paralyzed and he had a cut on one shin. Additionally, the crop (an outpocketing of the esophagus or feeding tube) was full so the bird had eaten recently. The bird was stabilized in an intensive care incubator and given fluid therapy and anti-inflammatories. Due to the paralysis a spinal trauma is suspected.
Case Update 8/10/2010: Unfortunately the Marine Drive Red-tailed Hawk is not better today. We monitor reflexes to see how he’s healing and there has been no improvement in the related reflexes we can check. We’ll continue to treat with anti-inflammatories and supportive care.
Case Update 8/11/2010: The Red-tailed Hawk declined throughout the day yesterday and regrettably died last night.Our wildlife veterinarian, Deb Sheaffer, performed a necropsy (like an autopsy) on him and found extensive swelling of the lower spine which would have caused the leg paralysis. There was additionally internal bleeding which most likely contributed to his death.
This young Bald Eagle did not leave the nest for days after its sibling had. Once on the ground, it was captured and brought in to the Wildlife Care Center for care. The bird was very weak, anemic and emaciated. It has extensive feather damage – the feather shafts are crusty and eaten away. We suspect the bird was debilitated by a heavy lice infestation. Although the eagle is gaining weight and getting stronger, only time will tell if the damaged feather shafts will delay its release and for how long.
Baby Barn Owls
The Care Center is currently caring for 13 young orphaned barn owls. Many are currently at a large off site flight cage (100x60) learning to hunt for live prey and develop flight coordination. Raising barn owls isn’t cheap! Each one eats about 4 mice a day and the mice cost $.55 each. That’s $2.20 per day for up to 3 months! We are often able to release these owls into local natural areas at public releases.
These owls were released on September 24 on Sauvie Island.
We are able to provide a place for these and thousands of other injured and orphaned wildlife to recover. If you would like to, please specify your donation is for the Wildlife Care Center.
*Orphaned baby crow. How can you tell if a crow is an adult or a
youngster? Baby crows have blue eyes – adults have black eyes. photo:
*Fledgling Anna’s Hummingbird. This tiny bird is now eating on it’s own and learning to fly! We hope to release it soon. photo: Chelsea Lincoln