Most spring and summer babies have been born, so there aren’t a lot more birthdays to celebrate (except mine!). Young birds have hatched, but they may just now be “fledging,” or leaving the nest and exploring the world around them. Fledglings may still have a few downy feathers on their crown (a la Bernie Sanders), but otherwise may appear to be adults. As mentioned in a previous post, fledglings have short, stubby tails compared to their parents. [Read more…]
We have few new babies of the month this time of year in Central Oregon, but you’ll definitely still be seeing babies from previous months begin to grow and leave their nests. Chipmunks born in May will finally be venturing out of their burrows and learning to forage with their families. They look exactly like their parents, but they may not be as wary of predators (like us) as they should be. Please give them plenty of space and do not feed them–this is how animals become habituated to human activity and either become pests or, more likely, an easy catch for a domestic cat. [Read more…]
Wild Babies of the Month: June
Wild baby arrivals begin to slow down in June, as hot and dry weather arrives in Central Oregon. Goldfinches will have their first hatchlings this month, as well as Douglas Squirrels, one of our smaller tree squirrel species that reside primarily in the mountains, also known as pine squirrels or chickarees. While Douglas Squirrels might get a later start than our other small mammals, they will still have time to raise a second litter in October! Another Central Oregonian who raises a second set of wild babies, the Song Sparrow, will be hatching their second nest of the season this month.
Pygmy rabbits, a scarce and vulnerable sagebrush-dependent species, are avidly digging burrows in which to raise their young. These small lagomorphs are federally endangered in the state of Washington, and a conservation focus here in Oregon. They are unique in that they dig a “natal burrow” separate from their residential burrow, but like other rabbits, they only visit their young once or twice a day to nurse. This helps reduce the chance of a predator finding the nest!
Another important mammal in our ecosystem is having wild babies this month–the bat! Although we may not have the large, charismatically fox-faced fruit bats, did you know that there are 15 species of bats native to Oregon? All of these bats feed on insects like mosquitoes, spiders, beetles, and moths. Some nest in caves, but surprisingly many nest in our plentiful lava rock and other rock formations. They form maternity or nursery colonies and even help nurse each other’s young while mothers are foraging. Hoary bats and Silver-haired bats often bear twins! Please try not to disturb these small families whenever possible. Call Think Wild’s Wildlife Hotline for guidance if you do find yourself in conflict with our native pest-controllers, at 541.241.8680.
Written by: Lindsay Magill
As many of you may already be aware, there is not currently an emergency hospital offering emergency services for pets between the hours of 12am-8am in Central Oregon at this time. In response to this change, the team at East Bend Animal Hospital has recently started offering temporary on-call emergency services for our current, established clients and their pets. [Read more…]
What is Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD)?
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease can be caused by two different, related viruses, RHDV1 and RHDV2. The current outbreak is due to the RHDV2 virus. It is highly contagious and affects rabbits, both domesticated and wild. Of rabbits that are exposed to the virus, almost all die. [Read more…]