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March 6, 2007 > Baby season is here again

Baby season is here again

Ohlone Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center invites you to join us at our annual open house

By David Anderson, OHS Wildlife Center Mgr.

With the arrival of spring, all the birds and mammals are diligently preparing to raise a new generation of wildlife. It also means that the volunteers and staff at the Ohlone Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center are making preparations for another busy baby season.

In 2006, we had 1,190 animals come through our doors and into our care. That is a lot of hungry mouths to feed. Many songbird species require feeding every half an hour for 12-14 hours a day. Needless to say, being a volunteer at OHS Wildlife requires a commitment and passion for injured and orphaned wildlife.

During the off season the phones are monitored daily and the focus of our care changes to injured wildlife primarily. This past winter season had many success stories. On a windy winter day a Great Egret was blown into an office building but suffered only a bruised ego and was released several days later. A Northern Flicker, a brilliantly colored member of the woodpecker family, presented with head trauma unable to even sit upright. After supportive medical care the Flicker was released near Ohlone College.

An American Bittern which was emaciated, rendering him too weak to fly, was stranded in the backyard of a house in Union City. This bird is a member of the family of birds I like to call the "Stealthy Stalkers". Although it may be less noticeable than Egrets and some of the larger Herons, its amazing plumage provides the Bittern camouflage from predators and prey alike. Once hydrated the Bittern quickly achieved a normal body weight and condition was released a week and a half later.

An impressive female Red-Tail Hawk after having a collision with man via a building or automobile and suffering from multiple wounds to the head, legs, one of her talons and a broken wing, was rescued with the help of many. Once healed, she was allowed to soar once again and experience the true meaning of freedom.

Last but not least a young male Peregrine Falcon, an endangered species, finds himself in downtown Oakland stranded on a roof top from a soft tissue injury to his wing. Escaping the first rescue attempt, several hours later he was recovered in a stairwell and in the process became a star on the web based "You Tube."

All these success stories and the many to come this spring are made possible through the generosity of
public donations and support as well as the combined efforts, compassion and hard work of our volunteers and staff.

Just a few useful reminders and tips for the coming season. Wildlife does not make suitable pets. It is actually illegal and punishable by law to possess wildlife unless you possess a permit issued to you by the California Department of Fish & Game and/or US Fish & Wildlife.

Every species has a unique diet and care guideline that must be applied in order for it to have the best chance at survival. This can be best achieved by the natural parent. Often times we may perceive an animal to be orphaned when it merely investigating the world around it or has been strategically left in the location by the parent animal while it is off feeding.

If you come across a baby bird or mammal that appears to be orphaned, take some time to observe the situation from a distance unless the animal is in immediate danger. If you are certain the animal is injured or has been abandoned then you can place the animal in a box appropriate to its size.

If you find a bat, fox, skunk, raccoon, bird of prey, heron, egret or other animal you are unsure of please contact us or animal services as these animals can be dangerous and some of these species can carry rabies and other disease. Please keep the animal away from domestic pets and human disturbance until you can transport the animal to our facility or another licensed rehabilitator in you area.

Once a year at our Annual Open House, we invite the public to take a behind the scenes look at our facility. This allows the public to gain a better understanding of the wildlife we care for in our area, and the service we offer to the community and the creatures. This year, Open House takes place on Saturday March 24th from 11 a.m. -2 p.m.

We look forward to meeting each of you. We invite you to come for light refreshments, children's activities and crafts and a look behind the scenes at our center which is located at 37175 Hickory St, Newark off Thornton Avenue between Don Edwards SF Bay Wildlife Refuge and Willow St.

Don't miss out!

To help us prepare for the season ahead of us we ask that each person bring an item of their choice from our wish list. Please join us and help us celebrate the beginning of spring and the start of the baby season. We greatly appreciate the support and involvement of the community. On behalf of the wildlife we would like to thank you for your compassion and concern most of all.

Wish List Basics: (A Complete Wish List will be provided at the Open House if you would like to contribute at a later time)

* Unscented toilet paper
* Paper towels
* Ziploc freezer bags of all sizes
* Bottled drinking water
* Distilled Water
* Medical Supplies
* Unscented bleach
* Canned Cat Food
* Copier paper
* Gift Card for Gasoline (used by volunteers to transport animals)
* Peanuts/Walnuts in shell Almonds (NOT SALTED)

* Grocery Gift Cards used to purchase produce/fruit for the animals)
* Hardware Store Gift cards(used to buy supplies for maintenance, improvement to building and enclosures)

Volunteers Needed:

The center is in full operation and in need of volunteers from April 1st through September 1st. It is during this time we are at our busiest. Orientation and training for new volunteers starts in March. If you are 16 years of age or older and are interested in volunteering please send an email to our volunteer coordinator at ohswildlife@yahoo.com, or leave a message at the Center.

OHS Wildlife Rehabilitation Center services the Tri-City area of Fremont, Newark and Union City. If you have questions regarding wildlife or concerns please feel free to call the center at (510) 797-9449. We will do our best to answer your questions, address your concerns, provide you information or direct you to a source that can help you with these matters.

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