Friday, November 16, 2012

Blind As A Bat You Say

Most people really do believe bats are blind and see only by the use of echolocation. No blame here, we all learn these myths via many misconceptions that became reinforced through stories, the film industry, various mythologies, and prejudices.

First of all, bats are the only mammals that truly fly, rather than just gliding like the “Flying Squirrel”. The use of echolocation helps them locate insects to eat while in flight.

What is the origin of the idiom-as blind as a bat? Bats have very sensitive eyes that are pretty much useless if they try to see anything in daylight. This misunderstanding leads people to think that bats have very bad vision.

Active only during the night hours has associated bats with various dangers and fears of darkness, such as the blood-sucking Dracula.
Dracula dates back to 1922, when the first silent film version of Nosferatu, i.e. Dracula was viewed by the public and became the first stereotype of a human blood-sucking demon. These emotional and disturbing images have become embedded in our brains as fears associated with our bats.

As well, another misconception is the preconceived notion that all bats are “Vampire” bats.
How are vampire bats different from other bats? Vampire bats don’t’ suck blood. They use heat sensors to find the veins, their sharp teeth cut the skin and the bat simply laps up what oozes out. Other bats have sharp teeth but not sharp enough to bite people and animals. Only three species of bats, “Vampire Bats”, found from Mexico to South America, eat the blood of mammals or birds, often domestic animals like cows, and not humans.  Many bats eat fruit, pollen, nectar, insects and even fish.

Although, bats may occasionally fly very close to a persons face while hunting for insects; they do not get stuck in the hair.

In the United States from 1995 through 2009, an average of two people per year have died of rabies associated with bats. Be smart and don’t approach any wild animal, period.

Lastly, we need to familiarize ourselves with facts before our bat population is destroyed. Bats are essential to the health of our natural world. They help control pests and are vital pollinators and seed-dispersers for countless plants. They need our help and our support.

Author: Linda Danielson
CWRTR Chair/President
Mobile: 612-269-5926

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hang On To Those Halloween Pumpkins!

Hang On To Those Halloween Pumpkins!

Don’t throw out your beautifully carved pumpkins. Re-purpose them and let’s teach our children how to explore other more beneficial solutions instead of the garbage for these works of art.

Recycle them back into the environment. Keep them during the winter months and stash squirrel/bird seeds and nuts inside them. Pumpkins are loaded with vitamins and minerals and are 90% water. Even the rabbits will feast upon them and be satisfied nutritionally during our long winter months. Kids eyes just light up with fascination when they see a real squirrel climbing in and out of those pumpkins.

Turn it into a pumpkin birdhouse. We “Googled” Pumpkin Birdhouse, and found a fun way to build them. Click here:

Consider donating them to a local wildlife sanctuary. Sanctuaries often rely on the public for such seasonal donations of food and much more! And who knows, maybe your family will have an opportunity to tour the establishment. It’s often these acts of kindness that children commit to memory and learn to reconnect with nature in the process.

Author: Linda Danielson
CWRTR  Nonprofit
Mobile: 612-269-5926

Friday, September 14, 2012

My Inspiration

My Inspiration

A beautiful although terribly depressed Eastern Gray Squirrel inspired me to write about him and his fellow buddies. I named him Little Jake, but Little Big Jake is more like him.

Jake was seen in someone’s yard just curled up in a ball on the ground.
First of all, anytime you see this same situation, just know that there is something wrong and seek help immediately.

Who do you call? Contact your local Veterinarian, police station, your local Conservation Officer and/or your state Department of Natural Resources. Every state’s D.N.R. can be found online, and/or by calling information for the phone numbers.
Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators are listed with every D.N.R. You can also “Google” your search by adding words like the state you live in, and Wildlife Rehabilitators. That should work well for you. Our Nonprofit for Wildlife has received many calls from the public who stated they just Goggled they’re search! You will be given information on how to prepare a heat source for the wildlife until help arrives.

Secondly, in some emergency situations you may need to provide heat source. Most all “adult” wildlife does not require a heat source. Although they will need containment and protection from neighborhood pets until help arrives. A container like a box or a plastic container with a lid that has breathing holes on top with a several cloths inside so that he/she has stability some warmth and protection from prying eyes.
All infants do require heat source in order to live. Once their bodies are cold, the organs shut down. Here are a few suggestions for you to keep in mind.

Lastly in this order, place a cloth on the bottom of the container so it has stability, then a cloth on the heat source and finally include a cloth on top of the little critter for concealment and for him/her to feel safe.

1. Use a heat pad set on the low settings, place a towel over that and place your container on top of the towel until help arrives.
2. Or take a plastic soda bottle and fill with very warm water.
3. As well, you can fill a plastic Zip Lock baggie with very warm water.

Jake was fully furred, eyes open, became an orphan and apparently lost his siblings too. That is enough to seriously depress anyone! Squirrels, all wildlife has feelings just as we do. The residents who brought him in had noticed he was just lying there all curled up for a few days! Luckily he was still alive. 
When I held him up to take a closer look, his legs just hung down and his eyes closed. My heart hurt for the precious little squirrel. And with no apparent injuries I knew how depressed he was and began my rehabilitation with him. He hid inside his cage for a few days and very slowly began to “show” himself. Today he has been accepted with another small family of squirrels that I’m working with too.  He plays and eats so much food and is really growing up well and happy. It just goes to show what love and compassion can turn around.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Journey

Opportunities come along once in a while. Was I ever in for a good surprise!
My journey began one summer day while looking out the window. I noticed three ducks just hanging out for what seemed quite a while. Upon walking towards them, I noticed one duck was hoping and appeared to be injured. My response was whom do I call for help with rescuing this duck. I got on the phone and called our Animal Humane Society. They had a wildlife triage exam room, which I never knew about. The person I spoke with gave me directions on how to go about capturing it and bringing it to them. So here I go with a large sheet and a box, trying to capture this little duck. People driving by were certainly looking at what was going on and I felt like a nut out there! I made several attempts, but this injured duck was two steps ahead of me. Coming to my rescue was my niece. Within a few minutes, she caught him! I was so grateful.

Once I got to the triage room, I was just fascinated with the wildlife and had many questions. They sensed my interest and mentioned they do have volunteers, if I was interested let them know.

Opportunity came knocking and I received a free education in the process.
I learned about triaging wildlife and getting the little critters out to rehabilitators. My next thought, you’ve guessed it. I wanted to become a rehabilitator as well. Within six months, I learned how to triage and care for wildlife and became a licensed rehabilitator. As of today it has been six wonderful years of a complete labor of love for wildlife. During 2011 I began a nonprofit in order to receive help and not be limited in the numbers that I can take in. We Love Wildlife!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fall Bird Seed Mixes

Hummingbirds will migrate when it's time to go, regardless of the presence or absence of feeders. The recipe for sugar water is the same as in summer. The solution is prepared at a ratio of four parts water to one part cane sugar. Boil the solution, and then let it cool before filling your feeder.

Meal-worms attract birds that include but not limited, Carolina Wren, Northern Cardinals, American Robins and more. Shallow trays will hold the meal worms for easy access. Most pet stores sell meal worms.
House Sparrows, grackles, and cowbirds benefit from "millet mix" or cracked corn. . About 30 percent of the bird food in the fall should be white proso millet or millet mixes scattered on the ground-feeding sites. Red proso millet and milo (grain sorghum) are used much less than white proso millet, and are generally unnecessary as an ingredient of fall birdseed mixes.

Chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, and jays enjoy peanuts, peanut butter, commercial suet cakes, and suet are all beneficial fall foods that are high-energy sources. Peanut butter and suet mixes can be smeared onto tree bark, or pressed into holes that have been drilled in small tree branch sections that can be hung as bird feeders.

Pileated Woodpeckers seem to prefer suet chucks firmly attached on top of a solid feeder platform.

Bird of the Week, August 17, 2012, Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Bird of the Week, August 17, 2012, Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Amazon Watch - YouTube

Amazon Watch - YouTube

About Amazon Watch

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rehabilitating wildlife involves so much more than what it may appear on the surface of my profession. There comes a time when we all begin to wonder how to go about our lives, our work in a way that is environmentally friendly and sufficient. After all, the release of wildlife puts them right back into nature! There are so many resources out there that can provide us with new ways to explore our “Green” options. Recycling has become an important part of our organization. We recycle everything possible. Help reduce our reliance on trees/wood. Organic foods works well with all my wildlife critters. In my mind, I’ve provided the best possible food source that will help them grow into maturity prior to release. My local farmers market, along with convenient Coops work for me. A garden provides nourishment's and all means for all creatures to survive. As well, no matter where we live, we are responsible for either creating an ego-friendly yard, or not. We don’t need to use harmful chemicals to keep it weed-free. Natural and organic products are becoming more affordable and available today. Chemicals can be extremely harmful not only to our children, but also to our pets and of course to the wildlife in your area. As a planet, we can all pitch-in, take the approach to work towards a sustainable, healthy and enjoyable life style, all the while teaching our children the inherent values of our living world. Lets help to preserve our mother earth and to live in harmony within it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Did You Know: Woodpeckers with Air Pockets in their Skulls How is it that woodpeckers don’t get brain damage from banging their beaks on hard surfaces all day long? Like all birds, woodpeckers have very complex skulls full of tiny, very lightweight bones; the skull of an average bird weighs just 1% of the bird’s body weight. The woodpecker has a built-in protective mechanism that cushions the brain from the jolts of its activities: air pockets. Photo: images via: mike baird)
Did You Know: Northern Minnesota Mockingbird makes such sounds as a squeaking gate, barking dog, croaking frog and even chirping like a cricket! They are very aggressive, fearless defenders and will fly slowly around other birds or prancing toward them, legs extended, flaunting their bright white wing patches to intimidate.

Linda Danielson reports on her journey in Community Wildlife Rehabilitation..

Linda Danielson reports on her journey in Community Wildlife Rehabilitation..