Wild Bunch Newsletter - September 2005
Wild Bunch wishes to give you a brief update of our activities during the month of August. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Virginia organization devoted to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of native wildlife. 83 acres in the Northern Neck of Virginia near the Rappahannock River serve as our wildlife refuge. The officers and directors are Erika Yery, Pat Crusenberry, Diana O'Connor, Charlene DeVol and Bonnie Brown.
In the past month, the refuge received 3 wrens, 4 opossums, 1 bat, 1 finch, 1 red tailed hawk, 2 bluebirds, 1 sea gull, 1 sparrow, 19 squirrels, 1 groundhog, 1 barred owl, 2 rabbits, 1 mockingbird, 3 robins, 1 raccoon and 1 grey fox. Erika received 1 juvenile raccoon, 3 baby raccoons, 4 newborn raccoons, and 3 big brown bats. There seems to be a larger than normal number of squirrel babies for this late in the season. We believe this may be due to the relatively small number of litters born earlier in the year that were a result of the scarcity of acorns last fall and winter.
Erika spoke to a group of small children at the Arlington shelter as part of a program called The World of Wildlife Rehabilitation. This was a great opportunity to teach children not only interesting animal facts but also about living with and respecting the wildlife around them. The information they were provided was enhanced by their participation in the program's other activities.
This is the time of year that we begin final preparations for the release of many of the animals that we have cared for since the spring. Although many of the birds and mammals have long since returned the wild, most of our raccoons are just now at the age when they will have the greatest chance of making a successful transition back to the wild. September is ideal for release because the weather is generally moderate and the animals will have time to establish the best territory for their needs, which are dependent upon their finding local food sources and adequate trees for dens. The babies we are now getting in are from the smaller late summer breeding season. Often, these late babies are from the first litters of young females who didn't breed earlier in the year. These babies are far too young to be able to survive in the wild over the winter so we will care for them for several more months and release them next spring.
This month's True Story is part two of Stan Polinsky's "Hooked on Wildlife". In this continuation of his story, Stan, a former Virginia wildlife rehabilitator, tells of leaving the Northern Virginia area and purchasing a 217-acre one time horse ranch in South Carolina that he is turning into a private nature preserve. In an upcoming True Story, we will feature the Osprey, large, monogamous, coastal, fish-eating birds that have made a great comeback since suffering large population losses due to chemical pollution just a few decades ago. Although considered difficult to rehabilitate, the refuge has successfully cared for and released a large number of these fascinating birds this summer and over the years. The True Story will be accompanied by photos of some of our Osprey patients.
As always, we are grateful for your much needed donations. As the number of animals we take in each year continues to grow, so do our expenses. The financial burden on Wild Bunch to provide all the supplies, food, medication and equipment that rehabilitation demands is very challenging. Financial donations can be mailed to Wild Bunch Wildlife Rehabilitation, 402 W. Alexandria Ave., Alexandria, VA 22302. In addition to financial support, we also have a great need for volunteers to help out at the refuge. If you or anyone you know is able to spend even a weekend day helping with chores, please call us at 804-313-2240. We rely deeply on your support and appreciate everything you do to help us out.