I ended up with 9 intakes for October, more than any other October previously, but usually November and December are slower months. That said, there’s been nothing "usual" about this year, so we’ll see...
In deer updates, Junior’s no longer visiting at all and Bucky’s showing up a little more often these days–I think out of sheer loneliness, since his best bud left him. There are a couple of wild-raised does around the same age as Bucks (yes, he has many nicknames) who seem to be hanging around his territory a lot lately, so maybe he’ll take up with them.
Mini and Albert (at left) are the only squirrels I have at the moment, and they’re both on the road to independence. They’re weaned now, so all that remains is for them to discover that they can go outside as they please–after that, it will only be a couple of weeks before they cut the apron strings. If they delay, though, I’ll have to overwinter them. I generally don’t release squirrels later than mid-November.
They’re both quite active little rascals and have bonded nicely although, oddly enough, Albert is the one who still allows me to touch him, while Mini ( at right) has "wilded up" as if she’d never been handled by a human before - go figure! (Below, Albert is at the top and Mini is stretched out full-length.)
The chimney swift from my last October update did have to be euthanized. With feedings every hour for 12 hours a day, she still managed to lose 4 grams in 7 days, and she never regained her ability to fly. That decision hurt a lot, because she really was a sweet bird. The dramatic weight loss, though, was the deal clincher: to give you an analogy, imagine a 100 lb. person eating full meals every hour for 12 hours a day for 7 days, and yet still losing 15 pounds in those same 7 days. That’s what she had done, poor girl.
Miss Little Dove, on the other hand, is coming along beautifully. She weighed 57g when she came in and was 124g yesterday–quite a weight gain! But remember, she’s a growing bird, so dramatic weight gain is normal for her. Her injured wing is healing nicely and she’s starting to fly in place, flapping those wings as hard as she can to test and strengthen them. I love watching pre-fledglings do that!
I had a red bellied woodpecker come in last week, a female, with a broken wing. I got her to Smalley’s about 20 minutes before they closed, and prior to the X-ray Shelley Baumann and I were hopeful that she could be saved. I really, really like red bellies; they and pileateds are my favorite woodpeckers.
Unfortunately, the X-ray showed that the break was so close to the joint that when the bone healed, it would have resulted in a frozen joint. That would’ve meant she’d’ve never been able to fly again, Adding to that, she had an open wound under that wing, so even if the break hadn’t been too close to the joint, there was no way to wrap it without having that wound get infected. The poor girl was doomed, no matter what we did.
Unfortunately, we’ve reached that time of year when most of my intakes will have injuries that require euthanasia. There will be few babies for the next few months, maybe some late gray squirrels or flying squirrels...and having said that, watch me be flooded with flyers and late grays over the next few weeks!