Newsletter Archive

Wild Bunch Wildlife Rehabilitation Newsletter -- July, 2003

Wild Bunch wishes to give you a brief update of our activities during the month of July. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Virginia organization devoted to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of native wildlife. 83 acres has been developed the Northern Neck of Virginia near the Rappahannock River to serve as our refuge. The officers and directors are Erika Yery, Pat Crusenberry, Diana O'Connor, Charlene DeVol and Bonnie Brown.

In July Erika received 3 raccoons. To Diana at the refuge came 5 ospreys, 3 flickers, 2 doves, 13 robins, 1 box turtle, 1 quail, 1 killdeer, 36 chimney swifts, 1 baby mallard, 3 ducks, 1 mockingbird, 1 crow, 4 blackbirds, 1 wooduck, 2 opossums, 2 pigeons, 10 raccoons, 3 woodpeckers, 1 rabbit, 1 wood thrasher and 1 fawn.

Fortunately, July was not as busy as the previous months of May and June. While the babies are still arriving, the numbers are not as great. We do expect the second "baby season" in the upcoming month and must prepare for that. There is also the current release of many of our bird, mammal and reptile tenants that are old enough and strong enough to join their place in the wildlife population. We are especially excited about the release of five ospreys that have spent the last several months in a large outdoor flight cage practicing their flight skills and proving they are ready for the world.

Although the mammal population such as opossums, raccoons and squirrels are arriving with less frequency, the birds are in great supply. At this time of year chimney swifts make an appearance, and it is not uncommon to have 30 or more in residence. Imagine trying to feed all those hungry mouths. And they are not quiet! Diana has affectionately called them bat birds, and with good reason.

Because we have been so busy caring for animals there has been very little time to do anything else. As things start slowing down in the fall we will work on cage repairs and overall maintenance. Diana will be the featured speaker at a meeting of the Westmoreland Bird Club on September. 11, 2003.

This month our website is featuring the beloved groundhog in True Stories. Erika has written a very informative article entitled "The Groundhog -- Our Underground Architect". This is the time of year we receive many calls regarding groundhogs that are foraging into gardens and denning under houses, porches or outbuildings. This situation usually poses no problem and in the rare event that true damage is being done to the homeowner's dwelling or land, there are many courses of action available to encourage the animals to move elsewhere, without causing any harm. In every event, exclusion should never take place until the young are weaned, which is usually late summer. As with all wildlife, it is always advisable to find every way possible to co-exist with these animals. An excellent resource for more information on living with groundhogs can be found in the publication Wild Neighbors, by the Humane Society of the United States.

We would like to thank all of you who have contributed to our organization in countless ways. We are grateful for everything that is provided us to help continue to care for these orphaned and injured animals. As the only wildlife refuge within a 50 mile range we are continually asked to take in greater numbers of a wider variety of species. We are currently trying to raise funds to build a new outdoor flight cage. It is imperative that large birds of prey have proper caging or they will not survive. As more and more raptors come into our care we are in tremendous need of more cages.

Please visit our website at to find out more about our refuge and the work we do, as well as how to contact us and make donations. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. If you would like any friends or relatives added to our list of newsletter recipients email us at The more people that know about us and can find ways to contribute to the well being of our native Virginia wildlife the better for all.