Time flies and its already time to start preparing my critters for winter…at least those that have to be overwintered. Still have hopes to release a few.
Since I last posted, I was so lucky to have another crew of helpers toting and hauling for me. Will and Lucas from the Lake Smart program took a break from their work with the Lake of the Woods District Property Owners Association and gave me a few productive hours of their time. Thank you Susan McLeod and Diane Schwartz-Williams for making this possible.
The guys hauled and spread crushed rock and gravel to line the eagle pen that still required clean flooring.
By the time they had finished, in addition to what the Ontario Stewardship Rangers accomplished, the flight cages had a fresh layer of crush and gravel in all sections.
As for the patients, I was able to successfully release the young horned owl. I had attempted a release in mid August, but it was not ready, and still making baby owl food calls, so I recaptured and held for another month, while letting it practice its hunting skills. I like my chipmunks, but the population seems much smaller once the owl became adept at its pouncing skills. Once it outgrew the food whining, Bruce and I took a drive north to an area where food would be abundant and it would not be in contact with humans. It flew into thick cover and hunkered down for the afternoon. By the time we left the area, it had flown off to parts unknown and I wish it well.
A young Broad winged hawk that had been delivered to the veterinary clinic after a vehicular collision fortunately had no broken parts. Its eye, though, was swollen shut, but when I flushed it gently with a syringe of saline, a few grains of gravel washed out. The eye was back to normal in a few days, and he too was released to hunt again.
But on a sad note, the young Canada Goose that had grown up on the pond with its dummy mummy met a sad end. I was optimistic of its success to migrate, as it was becoming an excellent flyer, and had been vocalizing enthusiastically with wild flocks as they flew over. It would be just a matter of time, I figured, until it did what geese raised here have done in the past…join a wild flock and migrate. But timber wolves had another plan.
September 10 of 2015, a lynx had taken the two geese raised on the pond during the night. And this year, same day, it was timber wolves that found the goose. I had taken the dogs out at 5 a.m. and the goose was walking around the front lawn feeding. I chased it down into the pond so the dogs wouldn’t be tempted and went back into the house. Bruce left about 6:00 am and the goose was back on the lawn. By 7 am, the wolves had come into the driveway, killed the goose and dragged it of, ripped open the raccoon pen and release two small raccoons (which I later recaptured) and left by the time I realized what was happening.
Wolves have been here almost daily now and I fear for my other critters, as well as the dogs. The pack took a neighbours dog around the same time they killed the goose.
And this morning, they managed to scare a pelican I had in care so badly, it regurgitated while pinned up against the enclosure and aspirated. The wolves gave up trying to scratch open the pen, but not before ripping off the blankets I had to protect the pelly from the wind. By the time I realized there was something amiss, the poor thing was dead.
I don’t like wolves…never have…never will…
They took down this handsome fella on the edge of our walking trail two weeks ago. This was the only buck we had seen on our property all year.
Now that I’ve vented…I guess I should get back outside and start working again. First on the agenda…breaking the beaver dam down a bit to let off the deluge of water. We have had soooo much rain lately.
But I know from experience, I will just get back in the yard, and this dam engineer will have it plugged again.
Have a great day, all!