Blog Archive March 2006

Go shopping and help Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation

Posted on 30 March 2006 by Dawn Keller

Like to help Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation? Go shopping!

That’s right, go head and buy something for yourself –– a new CD, the latest bestseller, essentials like toothpaste or vitamins, even a computer. But first join www.iGive.com/flintcreekwildlife. Every time you shop at one of the over 600 name-brand stores in the Mall at iGive.com, we’ll receive a donation of up to 26% of each purchase you make, at no cost to you.

Remember, donating to Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation won’t cost you a thing. But we’ll miss out on a lot of extra funding, if you don’t join. So visit www.iGive.com/flintcreekwildlife now. Membership is free and your privacy is guaranteed.


Click here to join (www.iGive.com/flintcreekwildlife)

Northern Goshawk Returns to the Wild

Posted on 25 March 2006 by Dawn Keller

Here are a few images from Saturday's Northern Goshawk Release. To view more images click here. I'll post the details shortly of this amazing release. I hope you enjoy the images.

Dangerous Bird Feeder!!!

Posted on 23 March 2006 by Dawn Keller

Last month, Kane County Animal Control brought us a squirrel that was seriously injured after becoming stuck in a bird feeder (Second Nature Fly-Thru Platform Feeder manufactured by Backyard Nature Products, Inc.). The squirrel became stuck in the feeder when its toes were entangled in the twisted metal structure supporting the feeder's roof.

Frantic to free itself, the squirrel chewed off one of its own toes in a futile effort to escape. Sadly, despite his efforts, he remained stuck because toes from three of his four feet were also stuck.

The homeowners called animal control to intervene. They cut down the feeder and Animal Control brought the feeder back to their offices. (The featured picture shows the squirrel entangled in the feeder after the feeder was cut down). After tranquilizing the squirrel, Animal Control was able to remove him from the feeder.

Unfortunately, by the time that Animal Control was called, one toe on each of three feet had already suffered from major damage. One was completely missing. Two others were damaged beyond repair.

The good news is that, despite the permanent injuries to his toes, the squirrel has adapted and has regained full mobility. He is lucky that he will be able to return to the wild.

This experience reminds us that even products marketed as nature products can, if poorly designed, have inherent dangers.

We are contacting the manufacturer and hope that they will either discontinue or redesign this product in order to improve its safety. We will keep you posted on the outcome.

Flint Creek Wildlife and Chicago Park District Press Release Regarding Northerly Island

Posted on 23 March 2006 by Dawn Keller

Below is the press release issued jointly by Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation and the Chicago Park District regarding Flint Creek Wildlife's satellite location at Northerly Island. We are truly excited about this new location and will post blogs to keep you abreast of these developments.

Here it goes....

Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation, Chicago Park District Announce Bird Rehabilitation Center at Northerly Island

Injured birds will have a place to go for help in Chicago thanks to Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation. The suburban-based organization is opening a bird hospital at Northerly Island on April 1, the only center of its kind within city limits. The center will treat injured birds of prey and songbirds from across the city.

“The Chicago Park District is proud that the Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Center will be located at Northerly Island, one of Chicago’s newest parks,” said Timothy J. Mitchell, the chief executive officer and general superintendent of the Chicago Park District.

Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation recently finalized the agreement with the Chicago Park District to allow them to run the rehabilitation center at Northerly Island, 1400 S. Lynn White Drive. The center will be located within the visitor’s center, formerly known as the terminal building.

Flint Creek Wildlife's Northerly Island location will be a satellite location to Flint Creek Wildlife's primary location in Barrington, Ill. This new location will accept injured birds by appointment. Rescuers with injured birds may contact Flint Creek Wildlife at (847)602-0628.

“The opening of this facility marks an important milestone for birds in the Chicago area,” said Dawn Keller, Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation's founder, president and executive director. “Flint Creek Wildlife's Northerly Island location will be the first bird rehabilitation center located just minutes from the Chicago Loop. Its location will allow birds to get medical care earlier, thus improving their chances of survival.”

Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation is working to organize a variety of fundraising events to support the new facility.

Flint Creek Wildlife

Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation is a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 corporation dedicated to the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife with the goal of returning fully rehabilitated wildlife to their natural habitat. Flint Creek promotes respect for wildlife and wildlife habitats through public education programs. Flint Creek also supports efforts to repopulate endangered and threatened wildlife species.

Established in 2003, Flint Creek Wildlife operates from a property along Flint Creek in the greater Barrington, Illinois area. Flint Creek is seeking a larger property that will support its longer term growth.

Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation relies solely on public funding and graciously accepts donations in order to support its lifesaving work. Donations are tax deductible. For more information, please visit the web site at http://www.flintcreekwildlife.org/.

Northerly Island

In 2004, the Chicago Park District returned Northerly Island to the people of Chicago, lauding the importance of increasing the city’s recreational space and parkland. The 91-acre peninsula relinquished its status as a small municipal airport in 2003, and has since undergone a series of landscaping and construction projects to convert the site into a park befitting of renowned architect and planner Daniel H. Burnham’s legendary 1909 Plan of Chicago. Phase two of the public meetings will continue this year to generate ideas for the park’s future use.

For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 7300 acres of parkland, 552 parks, 32 beaches, ten museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, 10 bird and wildlife gardens, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please visit http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/ or contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY or 312/747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312/742.PLAY.

Media Coverage Regarding Northerly Island

Posted on 23 March 2006 by Dawn Keller

What a whirwind couple of weeks! The response regarding Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation's new Northerly location has been overwhelming!

The Chicago Park District and Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation issued a joint press release (see post that includes the actual press release) and, before I knew it, the phone was ringing off the hook.

It is clear from the response that the Chicago Park District and other project advocates (chiefly Robbie Hunsinger of CBCM and Bob O'Neill of the Grant Park Conservancy) were correct in their assessment. The people of Chicago want a bird rehabilitation center at Northerly.

So, back to the media....

The Chicago Sun Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Journal, Associated Press, Daily Herald, Daily Southtown and Skyline News have all run stories on the opening of the Flint Creek Wildlife Northerly Island facility. It has been covered by several radio stations and was even discussed at length on the Jonathon Brandmeier show.

Of course, even the most meaningful projects have critics. In a letter to the editor at the Chicago Sun Times entitled "Bird Hospital is Ridiculous" the writer erroneously criticized the bird hospital for being a waste of taxpayer dollars (even though Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation receives no government funding).

Regardless of the letter to the editor, the vast majority of people have embraced and applauded the concept of a downtown bird rehabilitation center as they recognize the genuine need for such a facility. Thank you to all of our supporters!

Dawn

Baby Squirrels are Back! and Don’t Feed the Wildlife!

Posted on 14 March 2006 by Dawn Keller

Last month, Kane County Animal Control brought us a squirrel that was seriously injured after becoming stuck in a bird feeder (Second Nature Fly-Thru Platform Feeder manufactured by Backyard Nature Products, Inc.). The squirrel became stuck in the feeder when its toes were entangled in the twisted metal structure supporting the feeder's roof.

Frantic to free itself, the squirrel chewed off one of its own toes in a futile effort to escape. Sadly, despite his efforts, he remained stuck because toes from three of his four feet were also stuck.

The homeowners called animal control to intervene. They cut down the feeder and Animal Control brought the feeder back to their offices. (The featured picture shows the squirrel entangled in the feeder after the feeder was cut down). After tranquilizing the squirrel, Animal Control was able to remove him from the feeder.

Unfortunately, by the time that Animal Control was called, one toe on each of three feet had already suffered from major damage. One was completely missing. Two others were damaged beyond repair.

The good news is that, despite the permanent injuries to his toes, the squirrel has adapted and has regained full mobility. He is lucky that he will be able to return to the wild.

This experience reminds us that even products marketed as nature products can, if poorly designed, have inherent dangers.
We received our first baby squirrel of the season on Sunday, his arrival which was earlier than normal by several weeks. He is a boy - hairless, eyes closed, about 10 days old. He weighed 29 grams upon admission.

A concerned couple rescued this little guy on Saturday morning. They correctly left him at the base of the tree for several hours hoping that his mother would retrieve him. Sadly, when nightfall came, he was still unclaimed, and now, he was also cold.

As the couple told me their story of trying to care for this helpless creature, I cringed when I heard the next words...."We read on the internet to give him Pedialyte." I think I responded with a "(Moan) You didn't feed him, did you?!"

Well, unfortunately for this little guy, his rescuers DID feed him. And, like 85+% of the public who try to feed baby wildlife, despite their careful and well-intentioned efforts, they fed him incorrectly and aspirated the baby squirrel.

When babies are aspirated, it means that fluid or food gets down into their lungs. They generally develop pneumonia and die. Although we have saved baby mammals and birds that have been aspirated, many more arrive past the point of help.

This is not a criticism of the people who brought us this squirrel. In fact, I feel horrible that they tried so hard to help him and caused him harm in the process. It is unfortunate that so many people see advice on the internet that doesn't warn against risks and advise how difficult correct feeding can be.

What the internet should tell people is NOT to feed wildlife that they find! When you find an animal PLEASE remember that many more animals die because of people feeding them incorrectly than because people don't feed them while they locate a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Obviously, you need to locate a licensed rehabilitator as quickly as possible, but a few hours or overnight very rarely causes an irreversible problem.

So back to Sunday's squirrel....

He's hanging on so far. He's a real fighter and is responding well to antibiotics. Let's hope that he pulls through!

Oh, and I'm back to my schedule of no more than two hours of sleep in a row so that I can feed every two hours, 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. (YAWN)! the manufacturer and hope that they will either discontinue or redesign this product in order to improve its safety. We will keep you posted on the outcome.

Swan Release

Posted on 12 March 2006 by Dawn Keller

What a beautiful day for a swan release! I couldn't be happier that Spring is almost here!!

Last May, we took in a baby Swan with a broken pelvis. He was cold and covered in mud. He had been abandoned by all of the other Swans at the pond. Fortunately, a nice couple from Palatine, Mike and Kelly, rescued him and brought him to us at Flint Creek Wildlife.

After cage rest followed by physical therapy, the Swan made a full recovery. (The baby pictures are of one of the Swan's first physical therapy sessions.) He was not ready to leave, however, before local area lakes started freezing over, so we decided to provide him a safe home for the winter and release him in the Spring.

In December, another juvenile Swan arrived. This one had an upper respiratory infection. After he recovered from the upper respiratory infection, he joined the first Swan. Now both waiting for Spring, they became fast friends.

Yesterday was their big day....

We contacted a wonderful couple, Allan and Debbie Anderson, who kindly agreed to let us release the two Swans at their lakeside home. We had previously helped, and ultimately released, an adult Swan that the Andersons brought to us.

We went down on the Anderson's floating dock and I lowered each Swan to the water. The older Swan that came to us in December immediately flew off and, within ten minutes, had hooked up with another Swan on the lake. The younger Swan approached his release a little more gingerly. He floated around then started intermittently flapping his wings and dipping his head under the water. He seemed to want to take it all in before catching up with the other Swans on the lake.

Sometimes our work is so long and hard...emotionally, physically and, above all, financially. Yet in moments like this, I know that it's all worth it!

Good luck Swans - long and safe lives to you both!!

All pictures are courtesy of the very talented Phil Hampel at Game Time Images (www.gametimeimages.com). Thank you, Phil, for documenting these beautiful birds for us.

Northerly Island Agreement Finalized

Posted on 7 March 2006 by Dawn Keller

We are pleased to announce that Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation and the Chicago Park District have finalized an agreement for a bird rehabilitation center at Northerly Island. Now that the agreement has been fully executed, Flint Creek Wildlife is finalizing plans for its April 1 start up of the new facility.

The opening of this facility marks an important milestone for birds in the Chicago area. Flint Creek Wildlife's Northerly Island location will be the first bird rehabilitation center located just minutes from the Loop. This convenient downtown location will allow birds to get medical care earlier, thus improving their chances of survival.

Flint Creek Wildlife's Northerly location will be a satellite location to Flint Creek Wildlife's primary location in Barrington. This new location will accept injured birds of prey and songbirds. Since Flint Creek Wildlife only accepts animals by appointment, persons with injured birds should contact Flint Creek Wildlife at (847)602-0628.

As many people are aware, the culmination of the agreement comes as the result of hard work by many people. Our thanks goes out to Bob O'Neill of the Grant Conservancy, Robbie Hunsinger of Chicago Bird Collision Monitors, Arnold Randall and his staff at the Chicago Park District and Dawn Keller, Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation's founder, President and Executive Director.

Watch for future postings about our upcoming fundraising events to support Flint Creek Wildlife's new Northerly Island location as well as the existing Barrington facility.

If you would like to make a donation to support our work, please either click on the link on our blog, send a check to the address listed on our blog, or click on the link on our home page at www.flintcreekwildlife.org.

You can now subscribe to this Blog

Posted on 3 March 2006 by Dawn Keller

Finding out the latest information just got easier. Subscribe to this blog via RSS or email and the blog will be ready for you in your RSS reader or email shortly after we make a new posting. To subscribe you can use the links in the side bar.

The RSS feed is available at http://www.flintcreekwildlife.org/blog/feed/

Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Launches New Blog

Posted on 1 March 2006 by Dawn Keller

It's here!!! Our new blog is up and running. We are very excited to be able to provide more information on the activities of Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation. This blog will be a place where you will find updates on the progress of some of our patients, as well as news on what is happening around the center.

The blog will give us an opportunity to talk about all the exciting things that we have planned for 2006. We will be updating here on the status of our new satellite center at Northerly Island (formerly Meigs Field) in Chicago, the progress of our new flight chamber and mews, our search for larger facility and of course our fund raising activities.

You will get an opportunity to meet our founder Dawn Keller and our rehabilitation specialist Becky Buzenski. They will provide you with insight on the progress of some of our patients, as well as ways to live in harmony with the wildlife you come in contact with everyday.

Running a wildlife rehabilitation center is a huge undertaking. We could not do this without the unbelievable efforts of Dawn and Becky but more importantly our medical staff and volunteers. We are fortunate to have some of the most amazing veterinary doctors working with us. Dr. Barb Stapleton and her staff at Barrington Animal Hospital, Dr. Peter Sakas and his staff at Niles Animal Hospital, Dr. Steven Sisler and the staff at Eye Care for Animals and Dr. Deb Teachout combined provide more than 10 veterinarians with a wide variety of specialized skills for handling our medical needs. Our volunteers are the best, they are all hard workers willing to do whatever is needed (no matter how dirty and disgusting) to make the center run smoothly.

In 2005 we treated over 1,100 animals. Besides being a labor of love, the cost of providing quality care is extremely high and now with 2 facilities the funding needs are even greater. In order to continue to provide the highest quality care and meet the ever increasing needs for care we will need your help. We are currently formalizing our fundraising plans and will provide more information here on how you can help us. If you would like to make a donation click on the PayPal Donation link on the right side of this page.

So we hope you will enjoy this blog and check back often to see how things are going at Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation.