Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Red-Tailed Hawks Coming In Starving

by Catherine Greenleaf

With springtime comes bees and flowers, but it also brings starving raptors. Eagles, Merlins, Sharp-shinneds, Broadwings, and of course, Red-Tailed hawks are coming back to the New England area after spending the winter down south. Usually by the time they return to New Hampshire they are well below standard weight, with some losing their flight capabilities due to reduced muscle along the keel.

The photo above shows the fifth Red-Tailed hawk that has come in this spring, this one found along the roadside in Lebanon, N.H.. Most of them are immatures, just getting ready to spend their first full year as an adult. The Red-Tail above just needed several weeks of rest and lots of fat, juicy mice before being released back to the wild.

If you see a hawk standing on the ground along the side of the road, chances are very good they are suffering from extreme emaciation, especially at this time of the year. Call me at 603-795-4850.

Copyright 2016

Sunday, May 1, 2016

It's Baby Squirrel Time

by Catherine Greenleaf

Mid to late-April is the time when the telephone calls start coming in about baby squirrels. Usually it's a call about an Eastern Grey Squirrel in trouble, but we do occasionally get calls about Red Squirrels and Flying Squirrels that are orphaned or injured.

This year, many of the babies that came in for treatment were the victims of cat bites and dog bites. The cat or dog's teeth puncture the skin and sometimes rupture the internal organs. In one instance, a logger cut down a tree and an entire squirrel nest came crashing to the ground, filled with babies.

The total rehabilitation time for baby squirrels is 14 weeks. They need time to learn to scamper, climb, jump from branch to branch, and hunt for food. They progress from being hand-fed a special formula for several weeks, to being weaned, to learning to eat food on their own, to being placed in outdoor cages to learn the "way of the squirrel" before being released in a safe area.

Copyright 2016