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


    ♥ Rescue
    ♥ Rehab
    ♥ Release




“Wear your committment to wildlife!”

They’re here, and what’s more, they’re for SALE!   Interested in supporting our efforts to rescue, treat, and release native wildlife? Then buy a Salem Wildlife Rehabilitation Association t-shirt, designed by wildlife rehabilitator and artist Reva Lux. These durable, washable, stylish tees are just $12 each. Not sure if you’re coming or going in your busy life? Neither are we, which is why we elected to have multicolored designs printed on the front and back! The shirts are available in medium, large, extra large, and double extra large. Now, for the important information: you can pick one up by attending our monthly membership meeting–held on the first Thursday of each month at 5:30 PM in the first floor conference room of the Acordia Insurance Building, 3501 Fairview Industrial Drive–OR by calling SWRA volunteer Trina Brown, at 503-371-0966. These shirts also make wonderful gifts, so don’t delay because they’ll sell fast!

Your support through the sale of these eye-catching t-shirts is GREATLY appreciated!

Thanks to Donna Dockery for modeling the t-shirt

Help Us Reach Our GOALS!

Non-profit organizations like SWRA exist to provide much-needed services to their communities. Most of these worthy agencies accomplish their missions on shoestring budgets– constantly researching funding sources to expand programs and projects. SWRA is no exception. We pay for the HELPLINE phone bill and wildlife medical and in-care supplies through membership dues, donations from community members grateful for our help with animals in crisis, and through generous grants from good people like the KINSMAN FOUNDATION. Thanks to the Kinsman Foundation, we met the goal to create a Supply Store, where our rehabilitators can pick up medications, nutritional supplements, and medical supplies for wildlife in care. Our newest goals are to find more financial support for the HELPLINE phone bill and eventually hire several people to staff the HELPLINE during spring and summer– our busy seasons. To this end, SWRA plans to hold six fundraising events between now and next February. We’re looking for VOLUNTEERS to organize, staff, collect, set up and clean up. This is a GREAT way for YOU to be involved. We already have a core group of people who do rehab, host the HELPLINE, and serve on the SWRA Board of Directors. Now we need YOU, our general membership, to help us realize our fundraising goals. Please contact SWRA Volunteer Coordinator Joni Brewer at 503-585-5577 or Trina Brown at 503-371-0966 if you’d like to volunteer for one of the special events described in this issue’s INSERT.

Orphaned baby raccoons play with a hammock in the rehab nursery.

We Love OurPatrons!

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

We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the following donors who have joined SWRA, or contributed above and beyond the membership dues, since the publication of our spring newsletter. We truly appreciate: Jill & Chuck Adams, Lynda Boyer, Anastasia Brown, David Burkhart (what would we do without you, David?), Holly Cooper, Diane Elder, June Emerson, Kathleen Hill, Barbara Hosier, Peggy Malloy, Patrick Markee, John & Louise Michels, Joan Nelson, Jess & Amy Palacios, Hilary & Maurice Russell, Sharon Safina, Darwin & Amanda Sandow, Pat Savory, Janice Sloan, Kate VanUmmerson, Mark Walker and Pamela Wood.

We were very sorry to hear of Ted Richings’ death earlier this year. Ted was a longtime supporter of both Salem Audubon Society and SWRA. He cared greatly about preserving and protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat, and we’ll miss his wonderful sense of humor, dedication, and support.

Congratulations to Susie Hardin for passing her mammal rehabilitator licensing exam. She is now a fully qualified Bird and Mammal Rehabilitator, and a better advocate wildlife never had.

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!!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.

At The End Of Summer, Give Your Garden To Wildlife

Leave your garden standing. While it decomposes, it will provide cover and food for many types of birds and mammals. As summer winds down, let your lettuce and spinach plants go to seed. Do the same with annual flowers like cosmos. Birds adore the seeds! Share ears of corn, squash, and beans by leaving plants intact through autumn. Leave your sunflowers for the birds to harvest. Don’t pick your fruit trees clean. Leave some of the fruit on the trees and ground for wintering, fruit-eating birds. The fruit you leave on the ground will fill up with worms, which birds relish! And as it rots, it will fertilize your ground. Nestboxes should be cleaned out at summer’s end. Leave a box or two out over winter as birds will roost inside during bad weather. For roosting, place some dry straw or grass in the box. Do not use sawdust. Remove roosting materials in the spring before nesting season. Note: if field mice nest in the boxes over winter, make sure you wear a mask and gloves while cleaning the nesting debris out of the box. Spray the box with a solution of one part bleach to 5 parts water and rinse well!! Litter’s okay as long as it’s leaves! Leaf litter is a rich source of mulch that you can easily rake under bushes and trees or on top of flower and garden beds. The rotting leaves attract worms and hibernating bugs, which foraging birds will happily consume. Don’t burn that brush pile! Birds and mammals will use it for cover during bad weather and to escape predators. Get a head start on those backyard naturescaping projects by checking with local nurseries for native trees, shrubs, and flowers that can be planted in the autumn.

Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind.
–William Wordsworth

Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta

Wildlife Wisdom

“Those who wish to pet and baby wildlife love them, but those who respect their natures and wish to let them live their natural lives, love them more.”
–Edwin Way Teale

Diversity is Mother Nature’s middle name; mankind will never finish cataloging the myriad wonders of our natural world. The word, diversity, also describes the specialized diets and habitats that all living things–from zebras to zinnias–require in order to fulfill their destiny as part of nature’s grand scheme of things. Proper nutrition is essential when caring for orphaned, injured, or sick animals. If birds or mammals are kept in captivity by people who are NOT trained, licensed wildlife rehabilitators, there’s a high risk that the animals they are ‘caring for’ will develop deformed, brittle bones, blindness, obesity, and other abnormalities. If the problem is not reversible, the innocent animal faces euthanasia. And let’s face it, wild animals are, well, wild! Wildlife rehabilitators know how to keep them wild while they’re in care, so that when they are released into the appropriate habitat, they’ll be fully equipped to face the rigors of life in the rough. An untrained, though well-meaning, citizen has neither the knowledge of proper nutrition nor the skills to ‘wild up’ and train an animal for release into the wild.

It’s our responsibility to ensure that humans, such as baby Emily Dockery, are raised by skilled, knowledgable humans and that deer are raised by their own kind or–in a pinch–by a licensed wildlife rehabilitator such as Mary Bliss, who rescued, raised, and released this fawn over summer. Shannon Jacobs, author of Healers of the Wild, says, “Some people rescue wild creatures by taking them home. They think they can care for the animals properly because they love them. But love is not enough. Caring for wild animals is very different from raising cats and dogs. Ignorance about their needs causes permanent injuries, suffering, and deaths. These (wildlife protection) laws were created to protect animals from people who steal them, sell them, or harm them by taking them home.” So be an advocate for wildlife and call us if you know of an animal in illegal captivity, no matter how well-meaning the captor may be.

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

Wildlife rehabilitation is very rewarding but sometimes formidable– due to people who fail to respect wildlife protection laws. This past summer, licensed Bird and Mammal Rehabilitator Susie Hardin successfully met the challenge of treating a young Western Scrub-Jay who had been kept in ILLEGAL captivity. The person who finally turned the jay over to SWRA was angry because the bird sat in its own feces. To counter this behavior, she placed the bird in a bowl of water! Susie says, “The jay sat in its own excrement because it was so severely malnourished that it hadn’t the strength to stand or move around.” The bird’s feet had contracted into balls, and it took months of exquisitely dedicated physical therapy to reverse this terrible situation. Happily, the bird made a complete recovery and now lives in the wild. Good job, Susie!

Raptor Rehabilitator Karen Costa would like to have a conversation with Green Heron parents. She’d like to convince them to nest closer to their feeding grounds because when the young outgrow the nest and come down out of high trees in school yards, parking lots, and other unsuitable locations, they are at risk for predation by cats and dogs or suffering injury from cars or illegal captivity. This past summer, Karen rescued juvenile herons in Dallas, Independence, North Salem, and Stayton. She put back, or advised finders to put back, a dozen or more. However, she still ended up raising seven youngsters. Green Herons eat mostly fish and insects but will consume snakes, snails, frogs, and small rodents. The fledglings can eat 40-50 minnow-size fish per day!! Herons are very shy and will hide in vegetation or, if seen in the open, will stand perfectly still until you leave, attempting to blend into their background. Anyone who has ever hiked along marshes or rivers in an attempt to spot this reticent bird rapidly acquires respect for its camouflage ability.

Did you know? Green Herons are tool users. They fish by standing very still or stalking slowly at water’s edge. They’ll throw a piece of leaf or twig as ‘bait’ into the water and spear the fish as it rises to investigate.

This 2001 fundraiser helped us get on our feet financially.

Here are the events we mentioned on Page One of our newsletter. We are looking for people to help us organize and carry out these fundraisers. Choose one or choose all, depending on your level of interest and availability. We are very grateful for your assistance, whether it’s for an hour or a day. You tell US, we don’t tell YOU what you’ll be doing. Of course, donations in lieu of labor are always welcome, too! Remember that an architect may design a building, but it’s the crew of workers that make it happen, so join the SWRA special events team!    To participate at any level (it’s up to you), please contact either Volunteer Coordinator, Joni Brewer at 503-585-5577 or SWRA Secretary, Trina Brown at 503-371-0966.

SEPTEMBER: Garage Sale, Sept. 25, 8 to 5 PM

The sale will be held in a Salem parking lot (Stay tuned for location via a postcard or flier in your mailbox. There will also be an announcement in the Statesman Journal.) Can you donate clean, good condition, saleable items? (tax deductible) Can you help us collect donated items? How about helping us set up, staff and/or dismantle the sale? Pick what you’d like to do and call!

OCTOBER: Pumpkin Patch Picking, mid-October

GOT CONNECTIONS???? We’re looking for a pumpkin farm that would be willing to donate a percentage of its profits to SWRA on a specific day. We’ll need volunteers on hand to assist people in getting their pumpkins as well as to chat about the wonderful community service SWRA provides. Can you help us find a pumpkin farm that might be willing to host an SWRA day? Could you be a pumpkin patch picking partner? (Say that five times in a row!) Pick what you’d like to do and call us!

DECEMBER: Christmas Tree Sale

Do you know of a Christmas tree farm owner who would donate a percentage of one day’s sales to SWRA? Would you like to help us organize a small lot where we could sell Christmas trees? Again, pick what you’d like to do and phone us!

JANUARY: Pizza Feed or Restaurant Night

GOT CONNECTIONS?? Do you know of a pizza parlor or a restaurant that would donate a percentage of its profits from one night of sales to SWRA? We’re looking for a coordinator for this project and volunteers to help serve and bus tables (that’s part of the deal with the restaurant.) Call us!

FEBRUARY: Silent Auction with Dessert

We’ll need YOUR help soliciting items to auction off. (All donations are tax deductible.) We’ll also need volunteers to coordinate and staff the event. Willing to give us a hand? Please call!!

Notable Quotes

“We must always remember to do what is absolutely best for the bird, not what we want for ourselves, no matter how much our heartstrings tug at us!”–Reva Lux

“Wildlife rehab isn’t a glamorous job. It can be very sad, gruesome, difficult, and require long hours, especially during baby bird season.”–Karen Costa

“I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the ‘lower animals’ (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and disposition of man. I find the result humiliating to me.”-–Mark Twain

Pesticides Kill

Rehabilitator Mary Bliss cared for 15 goslings this summer. All but four were ill because of toxins they ingested from grasses and ponds. Mary also treated eight ducklings who became ill after swimming in a pond that had been treated for algae. Super fertilizers, weed-killers, and other chemicals we use on our properties are death to the wildlife who are out there trying to raise their young. When in doubt, please, please be conservative and go organic. We have an excellent local organization that can provide you with information about the chemicals you use indoors and out. Check out the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides at www.pesticide.org or call 541-344-5044. Make safe choices for wildlife!

More Summer Wildlife Rehab Stories

This two week old downy nestling Western Screech-Owl fell 40 feet onto the dirt of a corral. He sustained a minor eye injury and had some respiratory problems from the impact. He recovered completely from these injuries. As a nestling in the incubator, he had a small stuffed animal owl that he snuggled up to. After fledging and eating on his own, he joined an adult screech owl in a flight cage. The adult was recovering from a wing injury and was a great companion and role model for the youngster, who needed to learn skills to survive in the wild.

Did you know?    Western Screech-Owls are secondary cavity nesters. That means that instead of excavating a hole, the owl uses a cavity excavated by other birds, such as woodpeckers, or finds a natural hollow in a rotting tree. Screech-owls are monogamous and apparently mate for life. They do not migrate and often reside in the same area year-round if there is plenty of food, such as voles, mice, pocket gophers, snakes, small birds, and large insects. Their nocturnal low flying hunting style makes them especially vulnerable to collisions with vehicles. The group name for owls is: a parliament of owls.

This summer, Bird Rehabilitator Sheri Fox rehabbed six Mourning Doves. One will be over-wintered as it was hit by a car and has a wing injury that is very slow healing. The others will be released together to form a flock.

Skunk Rehabilitator Darcy Toronto cared for twenty-five juvenile skunks over the summer. Raccoon Rehabilitator Melanie Smith currently is caring for thirty juvenile raccoons. Melanie recently received SWRA’s Wildlife Hero Certificate for squeezing through a narrow crawl space filled with broken glass, raccoon feces, and dirt to rescue three baby raccoons after their mother had been trapped and removed by a pest removal company. The babies had only partially opened eyes and were in danger of dying from starvation. This is a good example of why we want our community members to call SWRA’s HELPLINE instead of commercial ‘pest’ removal companies. The loss of the lactating mother raccoon nearly doomed these babies. Kudos to Melanie!!

One morning about 6 AM, Songbird Rehabilitator Tari Edmonds received a call from Sunshine Mealworms Company. They had found a baby Killdeer struggling to get out of an egg. ‘Striker’ as the Killdeer juvenile came to be known, was cold, hungry, and stuck to half of the egg shell. His right leg appeared to be damaged, and he was listless except for his urgent call for help. After several hours of rehydration, he was finally able to start trying to eat. Tari says, “For two days, he hung on to his precious thread of life with determination and not much else in his favor. I took a chance and put him in with a massive swarm of swallow babies that were about the same size, with the hope that the warmth and activity would bring him around. On the morning of the third day, I awakened to Striker’s call and discovered him bouncing back and forth chasing crickets and eating quite normally on his own. That was the turning point, and every day after that he grew stronger and more alert, gobbling down crickets and mealworms at a very impressive rate. His body was the same size as the swallows’ but he towered over them with his long legs.”

When the time came for him to be released, Tari took him back to Sunshine Mealworms. The man who had originally rescued him was there, and with much fanfare, the Killdeer was released. He puttered around for awhile, but Tari was sure he noticed that, with water close and an unlimited amount of crickets and mealworm escapees from the bins, this was a mighty good place to live! As he wandered off without looking back, he stretched up and flapped his wings as if to say, “Thanks, but I’m out of here.”

Did you know? The Killdeer is well-known for its broken wing display, which is used to distract predators from the nest. The female flutters away from the nest, dragging and flapping her wings as though one or both are broken. She will scream, roll on her side, and employ other acts of distress that keep the focus on her, instead of the eggs or young. Killdeer like freshly plowed fields where they forage for worms, snails, beetles, and other bugs. Their nest is a ‘scrape’ in the soil unlined or lined with pebbles, twigs, and grass.