“Baby Season” Is Heating Up: Volunteers Needed
Spring is here. Earth Day has come and gone. World Migratory Bird Day flew by on May 8th with Mother’s Day close behind. Our erratic weather has affected just about everything: flowers and trees, mammals and reptiles, insects, and birds. Only drought and wind seem constant.
Rehabilitators care for wild mammals, birds, and reptiles (all invertebrates). Mammals are warm-blooded, have live birth, feed on milk-like substance. Avian animals (birds) lay and incubate eggs, are feathered and (with a few exceptions) can fly. Reptiles: no arms or legs, cold-blooded, scaled, live birth or eggs.
In North America, almost all creatures reproduce during the spring and summer months. For wildlife rehabilitators, this time is known as “baby season”, our busiest time of year.
At Wildcare, baby season is arriving in bits and pieces. Over six weeks ago, we admitted a Great Horned Owl from Dyer, eyes closed, that hatched two days earlier. About four days later, his weight had grown from 46g to 460g and his eyes were opening! These charming owls will imprint on the first being they see. Luckily, the Ojai Raptor Center had three others the same age and he got a quick ride to Ojai.
A week after the owl was admitted, we received a Desert Cottontail Rabbit who was almost ready to leave his burrow with his mom. Yardwork had disrupted the burrow and Mom and the other babies had disappeared. Several weeks later, he was big enough to be released in good rabbit habitat.
Three days ago, six newly hatched Mallard Ducklings came in. Male Mallards had attacked their mother and driven her off. These little swimmers will need care for six weeks or more.
There are many ways to help!
Please consider supporting us through a donation. Monetary donations are just one way you can help. You can also volunteer, shop through AmazonSmile, shop our store, donate a vehicle, and recycle at Manor Market in Bishop, CA.
Volunteers Needed: Foster Parents Or At The Center
Orphaned animals need care to replace that of their mother or parents. Most songbirds are fed by both parents frequently during the daylight hours. As rehabbers, we feed them every 30 or 60 minutes 8:00am-7:00pm. (There are exceptions, e.g., hummingbirds must be fed every 15-20 minutes from 7:00am until 8:00pm.) Depending on their age, most baby mammals are fed about every four hours round the clock. Feeding frequency lessens as they get older.
At the Center: Volunteers are needed seven days a week; a workday runs from 8:00am-7:00pm; volunteers work four-hour shifts. They may feed babies, clean indoor or outdoor caging or both; do dishes, laundry, raking and more.
Foster Care: Volunteers keep the “nest” of birds in their home until the birds “leave the nest” or start to feed themselves. Mammals usually stay until they begin to feed themselves.
Training Animal Care Volunteers
Foster Care: Training for Foster Care parents will be done on a personal basis. Wildcare will provide caging, food, dishes, and so on. Staff will be available for questions and advice.
Center: Training will be done in small groups outdoors at the Center.
Other Volunteer Jobs or Projects
Pickup: Those people or agencies that rescue the patient and have it in their possession are not always able to bring it to the Center at Wildcare. Volunteers drive to the location, pick up the animal, and bring it to Keough’s.
Transport: At times, an individual patient may need specialized care from wildlife rehab facility. Transport volunteers pick up the animal at Wildcare and drive it to its destination (e.g., Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care; Ojai Raptor Center.)
Rescue: The bird, mammal or reptile may be reported as being seen along the highway, trapped in a building, hanging from a barbed wire fence, etc. Rescue volunteers may help Wildcare staff or are trained to safely rescue the animal themselves.
Other Jobs or Projects: Help with facility repairs, painting, building; screening cages; public relations, photography, make formula; board of directors, member; and more.
Wildcare Eastern Sierra
Living with Wildlife is a program of Wildcare Eastern Sierra dedicated to helping the people of the Eastern Sierra live in harmony with our wild neighbors.
Wildcare Eastern Sierra is dedicated to helping native wildlife through rehabilitation of injured, ill, and orphaned birds, mammals, and reptiles, and by furthering public knowledge and appreciation of wildlife through education.