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Last Minute Christmas Shopping?

Hi, Yesterday was our EVW Christmas Basket Luncheon. A great success. Old and new volunteers attended and the kids were enthralled with Lisa’s critters and Barb’s two big tortoises. The baskets, exquisite creations by Darlene, are being delivered today by our delivery elves. The baskets go to our professional supporters, like the veterinarians who are so kind to us throughout the year. I wanted to suggest that this year many people are using not for profit donations as a way to give a gift…a gift for those who have everything! You can make a gift a charity in the name of someone. What a wonderful idea, since it really gives TWO gifts, one to the person who receives the gift notification and the other to the charity. If you visit our website you will see a place to give a donation to East Valley Wildlife…if you think that one of your friends or loved ones would like to know that a gift has been given in their name to a wildlife rescue group. There are other wonderful charities out there who need help also. A site that you might want to visit for your holiday shopping is the animal rescue site. They have an extraordinary collection of gifts for everyone…many of them with animal themes. One of my favorites are the kittie slipper socks. And all are at bargain prices with free shipping… if you order a certain amount. A grand way to let your fingers do the shopping this holiday season. I will be posting some pics soon!

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If You Love It…Let It Go

Often the public wants to help out by raising the baby bird they have rescued.  As tempting as this might be, an orphaned bird’s best chances of survival are with a rehabilitator.  A rehabilitator has been trained to provide the appropriate diet (at all stages of the bird’s development) and the proper care and housing. There are also legal considerations to raising wildlife – most wild birds are protected species, which means that a person is required to have a permit to keep, raise and rehabilitate the bird. The main pitfalls of trying to raise a baby wild bird (or an injured bird) are trying to do it without the proper training.  Injured birds require even more intensive care and certain species, like hummingbirds, need constant care and a highly specialized diet. The five major aspects of wildlife rehabilitation are Diet, Housing, Sunlight, Imprinting and Release.

In another posting we will cover in detail each of these five requirements.  Remember, it is never a good idea to try to raise any wild animal without the proper training and one of the main reasons for not keeping and raising a wild bird is imprinting.  A tame bird that is released into the wild will not survive.  It does not have the necessary skills to fend for itself.  A trained rehabilitator offers the best opportunity for a bird’s future survival in the wild.

If you want to learn how to raise baby birds, consider becoming an East Valley Wildlife volunteer.  We will be happy to teach you.  Visit our website for more information, baby bird identification and articles.

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Birds of a Feather…Often Have Problems

Captive birds incur damage when tail and wing feathers continually brush against the sides of wire caging or the wall of too-small enclosures. A bird’s survival can depend on the condition of its feathers. Broken feathers with ragged edges will impair the ability to survive when the bird is released. Birds in rehab need an environment that is comfortable, offers enough space with several different branch sizes, plus places to hide. (Yes, birds like privacy also!) A balanced diet that closely matches the bird’s natural one is most important for proper feather development. If a bird with damaged feathers is released, he likely will need to be rescued again. Damaged feathers diminish his ability to fend for himself in the wild and escape from predators. Good feathering is necessary for flight, for insulation and for waterproofing. Some feathering problems that we see on rescued birds include: White feathering – feathers that are unnaturally white in areas where they would normally have color. This may be due to a genetic albinism. However, it is more likely that white feathers are a result of a nutritional deficiency. White feathers are not as strong as “normal” ones and the shafts can easily break. Stress Marks – feathers that have a definite mark across one area indicate the extreme stress of a nutritional deficiency has occurred at a certain point in the feather development. The feathers across one area of the tail, wings or body may have a serrated appearance due to stress. Lack of waterproofing is another problem that occurs in captive birds – this may be due to nutritional problems or an injury the prevents the bird from normal preening.
This article appeared in Bird Tracks 2010 edition and was written by Nancy.

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Banfield Trust Grant Opportunity

The great folks at Banfield are offering another grant opportunity.  It is not for wildlife, but as I often mention…we love all animals!  The Banfield Charitable Trust is based in Portland, Oregon.  They are offering grants in amounts ranging from $500 to $10,000.  These grants are not for individuals, they are for not for profit registered 501(c) organizations.  The deadline is October 31.  To qualify, the not for profit organization should have an innovative program that offers a direct solution for helping people to avoid surrender of their companion animals.  The qualified organizations would be involved in work with companion pets, companion horse feeding programs and hospice patient/pet support.  The idea is to keep people with their pets through difficult times, including some kind of disaster situation.  Read more about how a group might qualify for a grant by going to the Banfield site  www.banfieldcharitabletrust.org and reading the RFP which is the Request For Proposal.  As with all grant awards there is a very specific way to apply for the funding.  It usually means that the organization complete the applicationform,  and offer supporting documents, one of which might be the manner in which the group intends to utilize the funds.  Good luck with your applications!

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Big Blog Changes Coming

Have spent some of the hot summer days reading about other blog sites.  After much self education, this blog is taking a new direction.  Along with relevant blogs we are including a list of categories that a reader can access for more information about common wildlife questions.  Think of it as a “seminar” in wildlife.  Well, perhaps that is too expansive a phrase, but the individual categories do include lots of helpful hints about topics that are near and dear to rescue and rehab workers.  Such nifty titles as Dove Rescue 101,  Waterfowl Forum and Crash Course in Bunnies will be included.  New postings will have more advice about wildlife identification, stories and yes…education to help us achieve our mission…the rescue and rehab of animals.  Stay tuned.  Our first “seminar” will be about Doves.

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East Valley Wildlife now on LinkedIn

It’s been the early beginning of a long, hot summer here in Arizona.  We have already experienced tragedies in the form of recent wildfires, along with temperatures soaring over 100 degrees (early in the season for such heat).  But we are a sturdy group and the work of wildlife rescue, rehab and release carries on.  If you are reading this blog, please remember to provide some relief to our native birds.  A backyard bird fountain provides a source of water in these hot months.  Just remember to Please…keep that fountain clean, since dirty water can act as a source of disease to those birds you are trying to help.  Locate the bird bath in a shaded area, if possible and in an area that is protected from stray cats.  East Valley Wildlife is now on LinkedIn, so anyone can join in with a pertinent discussion.  I will be moderating the group…called  East Valley Wildlife…catchy name.  You will know us by our logo.  Please join in on the new LinkedIn site and start a discussion on a topic that might help all of our volunteers.

our "critter" logo

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Easter Basket Fund Raising Event – GET STUFFED!

Our thanks to the wonderful people of Epiphany Church for letting us sell our Easter Baskets at their church again this year. Special thanks to church member Karen for organizing/helping us.  The Easter Basket Bonanza (as well call it)  is not only an important fund raising event for East Valley Wildlife, but also it helps the church’s Children’s Crisis Center.  The congregation buys baskets for the Crisis Center children and EVW donates baskets as well to the Center.  Definitely a win-win situation!  One of the reasons for the baskets also is to encourage people to GET STUFFED….that is to buy stuffed toys/animlas for children as Easter gifts…not real baby ducklings and chicks.  Yes, we know those little live  bundles of fluff are irresistable, but remember they grow rapidly and are NOT low maintenance.  Ducklings needs lots of proper care to survive and can be quite messy for such a small bird! If they survive to adulthood they need plenty of space to roam and forage..they will not thrive if kept in a cage.  If you are tempted to “give the bird its freedom” onto a local lake or pond – they will not survive.  Those tame birds are destined for a horrid death through starvation (they do not have the necessary skills to forage for themselves and are bullied by wild ducks) and often fall prey to animal (or human) predators.  So think twice about buying a live animal for Easter and GET STUFFED!!!

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Ostrich Festival in ChandlerArizona

For family fun you can’t beat the 25th annual Ostrich Festival in Chandler, Arizona.  Today, Sunday, is the final day, but the events go on into the evening.  There are, of course, ostrich races; also trick riding and roping; dog antics; rides; a petting zoo and a carnival-like atmosphere with great food.  Look up Ostrich Festival Chandler using your search engine to get more details.  This is the 25th hear for this popular event in Chandler!  I am blogging about it because Lisa’s Creatures are due to be one of the attractions at the festival again this year.  Check out the East alley Wildlife website   www.eastvalleywildlife.org for Lisa’s Creatures Facebook page to see her exotic animals.  See you at the Ostrich Festival!

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Hawk Visits Condo

On a recent visit I made to my niece’s condo in Colorado, I was delighted to see a rare visit from a hawk.  My niece’s condo is on the eleventh floor of a large hi-rise condominium building in Denver.  The hawk seemed unfazed that he was only two feet from the terrace door window! The bird has been an “irregular” visit to the condo for months.  The railing perch gives him an uninterrupted view of the large park across the street from the building.  Likely the hawk finds that perch a perfect location to do his hunting.  My niece is hoping that he does not find a mate and build a more permanent nest on her terrace. 

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EVW Board Meeting Scheduled

East Valley Wildlife is a registered not for profit with a Board of Directors. Board  meetings are held during the year to deal with the weighty issues of running an all- volunteer animal rescue and rehabilitation group.  The next  Board Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 17 at the home of the Director of EVW.

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