“You can’t depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus” ~ Mark Twain


    ♥ Rescue
    ♥ Rehab
    ♥ Release




Whooo’s Who at SWRA?

Volunteers are the lifeblood of all active non-profit organizations, and SWRA is no exception. Last spring, we were very fortunate to gain volunteer Brenda Elvin. Brenda is a graphic artist, a native Oregonian, and a true friend to animals. Brenda’s family has always cared for dogs, cats, hamsters, and other domestic pets. When a cat brought an injured bird to Brenda’s back door, she started looking for advice and was referred to SWRA. Songbird Rehabilitator Tari Edmonds took Brenda under her wing and began teaching her about the life cycles, anatomy and physiology of wild birds. Says Brenda, “I was always slightly frightened of birds because they seem so delicate and fragile.” However, Brenda’s curiosity motivated her to begin a slow but steady rehabilitator apprenticeship with Tari and Mary Bliss. This past summer, Brenda raised and released pigeons, including two juveniles that were rescued after maintenance staff at Salem Heights School started hosing down the nests.

Brenda believes that one of the most important services SWRA provides to the community is education: about the laws protecting wildlife as well as what we can do to preserve wild critters and their habitat in our own backyards. Brenda was the energetic force behind our t-shirt fundraising project and created the baby bird/nest design on the front of the shirt. SWRA salutes this creative, enthusiastic, new volunteer and regards her as a terrific addition to our team!

Patience, Protocols, & Perseverance

If you’ve been reading the quarterly issues ofWild Times, then you’ve figured out that people interested in wildlife rehabilitation do not become Nightingales of nature overnight, no matter how ardent their passion. In order to receive and retain state and federal licenses, they must attend mandatory classes offered by state fish and wildlife agencies, participate in conferences sponsored by national wildlife rehabilitation groups, and take tests to demonstrate their knowledge of correct wildlife care procedures. Volunteer Brenda Elvin is interested in a wildlife rehabilitator license, and she has appreciated the honesty of Tari Edmonds and Mary Bliss, who have quietly shown her that, while caring for wildlife may sound warm and fuzzy, it’s really about hard work, long hours, and knowing when to let go of a hopeless case–through euthanasia–or a successful case–through release back into the wild. Brenda now feels that she has a far more realistic understanding of what is involved in wildlife care. That knowledge will aid her in making a balanced decision about pursuing a rehabilitator license.

SWRA is fortunate to work with the following dedicated, knowledgable, licensed wildlife rehabilitators: Mary Bliss, Joni Brewer, Karen Costa, Tari Edmonds, Sherri Fox, Susie Hardin, Sandy Johnson, Reva Lux, Melanie Smith, Mary Sterling, and Darcy Toronto.

If you find yourself in need of a few more tax deductions before year’s end, we would love to receive a donation! Our Helpline phone bill is $460 a year. Medical/in-care supplies in 2004 cost $2788.18. We are truly grateful for your help with these expenses because they are an integral part of our services to wildlife. Checks can be sent to: SWRA, P.O. Box 13868, Salem, Oregon 97309. YOUR help helps US help wildlife!

We Love OurPatrons!

“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.”

SWRA welcomes new members Barbara Hosier and Pat Savory and thanks them for donating kennels to our rehabilitators. Kudos to Trina Brown for compiling a bird identification packet for our Helpline volunteers.

Our September fundraiser rummage sale was a grand success. We raised $452, which will be used to send four people to the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council’s Basic Skills Class. SWRA thanks sale volunteers Mary Bliss, Joni, Melissa, Michael & Stephanie Brewer, Trina Brown, Karen Costa, Brian Hardin, & Charlien Tice. We also thank the donors: Mary Bliss, Joni Brewer, Trina Brown, Karen Costa, Tari Edmonds, Michelle Hands, Maggie Meikle, Mary Sterling, and Christine Volpa.

We send warmest get well wishes to volunteer Jan Williamson as she recovers from surgery.

We will be hosting a table at a holiday craft fair, to be held in the conference room of the Acordia/Wells Fargo Bldg. at the corner of Madrona Avenue and Industrial Drive on Saturday, November 6th, 8 AM to 6 PM. Come say hello and buy something. Your purchase supports wildlife! Speaking of fundraisers, our wonderful new SWRA t-shirts are available in medium, large, x-large and xx-large for only $12. Buy one at our monthly meeting or call Trina Brown at 503-371-0966 or stop by Wild Birds Unlimited at 1210 Commercial SE.

Did you know? The word, hawk, is from an old English word meaning “to seize.”

Our MEMBERSHIP MEETING is held on the first Thursday of each month, 5:30 PM, in the first floor conference room of the Acordia/Wells Fargo Bldg. at the corner of Madrona Avenue and Industrial Drive. Drive to the back of the building, and WE’LL be there to greet YOU!

Wildlife Rehab News

“All the arguments to prove man’s superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering, the animals are our equals.”     ––Peter Singer

No Name Crow

Crow Rehabilitator Mary Sterling has a new challenge. She recently received a crow that has been in captivity (ILLEGALLY) for five years. The crow was kept in the living room of a family home and is in surprisingly good shape, though it cannot fly and has one eye smaller than the other. Aggressive behavior finally drove the family to search for another living situation for the bird. The family cared for the crow as well as they knew how and were shocked to discover that it is illegal to keep a crow in captivity! Mary has another crow in treatment, and the two birds are beginning to interact. Crows require extensive socialization with their own kind in order to learn survival skills and to learn to be a… crow! Mary was amazed that the family had not named the bird, since crows are easily tamed and very friendly and humans do like naming their pets. The bird is beginning to stretch his wings and take short hops into the air. Mary has high hopes for his eventual release into the wild. Meanwhile, ‘No Name Crow’ will spend as little time as possible with Mary as she strives to “wild him up.”

Rehabilitator Tari Edmonds is currently caring for a Virginia Rail. The bird was caught in some sort of trap and both legs were broken. Tari splinted the legs and the rail is making an excellent recovery. Tari is also caring for a Cedar Waxwing, two Goldfinches, a young Golden-crowned Sparrow, and a Spotted Towhee– all with injuries that are slowly mending.

We truly value and appreciate our Helpline volunteers: Diana Bowen, Joni Brewer, Trina Brown, Judy Brunkal, Cyndi Leech, Brenda Elvin, Lisa Martinmaas & Jeanie Sloan.

Keep This Information Handy!!

If you find an animal needing assistance, please contact the WILDLIFE HELPLINE, 503-856-8242. HELPLINE volunteers will triage your call and refer you to the appropriate rehabilitator if the situation requires in-care treatment. Many situations can be resolved through triage. By law, SWRA can only treat and release native wildlife. However, we will help you find humane solutions for non-native animals in distress.

Myth Debunking, Part I by the Editor

I suppose if this were true, you’d only have to worry if you wear Dolly Parton wigs. But for the rest of us… get real! If a bat can detect a tiny insect with deadly accuracy on the darkest night, do you really think it’s going to crash into your head and get stuck in the gel you’ve used to slick back your bangs? Give the much-maligned bats some credit! They’ve got highly sophisticated echolocation, whereas we stumble around wearing geeky glasses or fogged up contact lenses and maybe, just maybe, the bats should worry about us bumbling into their furry little heads instead of the other way around!

Did you know?

Swallows and swifts eat lots of annoying insects, but did you know that a nursing Little Brown Bat can eat its body weight in insects each summer night? According to Biologist Russell Link, if a bat does fly close to you, it’s not because it’s blind (it’s not), it’s to capture insects that are attracted to your body heat. We have over 15 bat species in Oregon. For their size, bats are the longest-lived mammal on Earth. Disturbing a hibernating bat forces it to expend vital energy prematurely, bringing starvation and death.

Wildlife Wisdom

“Bats are feared only to the extent they are misunderstood.      ––Merlin Tuttle

“The only mammals which have developed their own bodies for flying are the bats. What are now wings were once their front feet. The finger bones have become long and slender and form a framework for “radar,” a remarkable means of avoiding objects while in flight. They make a series of short squeaks which are so high our ears cannot hear them. These sounds bounce back from nearby objects and are picked up the their own keen ears.” ––from Animal Friends of the Northwest by Fran Hubbard

Interested in finding out how you can help protect bats in your neighborhood? Check out Bat Conservation International, Inc. at www.batcon.org.

The Migrant Geese

“Two sounds of Autumn are unmistakable: the hurrying rustle of leaves blown along the street or road by a gusty wind, and the gabble of a flock of migrating geese. Most birds migrate in silence, but not the geese. You know when the geese fly over. First you hear the distant gabble, a faint clamor that seems to echo from the whole sky. You search the sky, and the gabble comes closer. Then you see them, flying high, marking a V almost like a dotted pencil line. They are footloose in the Autumn wind, and they follow the sun. There is something both exhilarating and faintly sad in the echo of their going. Maybe it’s the echo of another Summer gone. Maybe it’s the freedom song of the skies. Whatever, it haunts the earthbound heart.”
–Hal Borland, from Sundial of the Seasons, 1959

Did you know? Large birds like cormorants, cranes, swans, and geese use the V formation as a means of providing extra, energy-saving lift on their long migratory flights. These birds generate eddies of air as they flap their wings. By placing themselves in a position to catch that air inside their inner wing, (and they do this by forming a V formation), the birds get a bit of a free ride. The flock leader is the only bird that doesn’t benefit from this flying technique. And yes, they do take turns being the leader! Nocturnal migrants, like geese, chatter amongst themselves to keep track of one another in the darkness.