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Nature – I love nature!

Nature – I love nature!

I LOVE NATURE – WYE MARSH

SAVING THE ANIMALS – HOW YOU CAN HELP

by Kim Hacker, Executive Director

Here at Wye Marsh we receive a number of calls and emails each week regarding injured or orphaned birds, mammals and reptiles. Here are a few ideas that we suggest to those looking to help.

BIRDS – We get two types of calls about birds – baby birds and injured birds. In the case of a baby bird, if it has feathers, it is likely a fledgeling – a baby who is learning how to fly. In most cases, these birds should be left alone. Likely they are still being fed and cared for by the parents. Do not remove the bird from the area. If the bird does not yet have feathers, it is a nestling and likely did fall out of a nest. In this case, look around for the nest and try to put the bird back. Birds do not have a good sense of smell, and they will not reject babies that smell like humans.

In the case of an injured bird, keep it warm in a dark place, wrapped in a small blanket in a box with air holes, and call a wildlife rehabilitation centre. Wye Marsh IS NOT a rehabilitation centre – we do have some rehabilitated reptiles and raptors, but we do not have the skills or equipment to tend to injured birds – we simply provide a permanent home to those who have been rehabilitated and cannot return to the wild.

If you see an injured bird of prey (hawks, owls, eagles, falcons) or an injured swan, please do call us at Wye Marsh at 705-526-7809 as we are connected to teams who can pick up the bird and deliver it to a rehabilitation centre. Please do not bring the bird to Wye Marsh.

You can also call Shades of Hope in Pefferlaw at 705-437-4654.

MAMMALS – If you come across an immature mammal, do not think that it has been abandoned by its parents. Likely the parents are foraging in the same area but are wary of your human presence. Leave the baby and check on it occasionally from a distance.

If you find an injured mammal, be very cautious as pain and sickness can make animals aggressive. Be sure to protect yourself first. Keep all cats and dogs away from the area and call a rehabilitation centre for more advice. Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Rosseau takes mammals, as well as birds and reptiles, and can be reached at 705-732-6368.

REPTILES – We get a lot of calls from people who have found a snake in their house. We are not exterminators, and we cannot help in this situation, except to perhaps help you identify what type of snake you have (if you can see it well enough).

Similar to birds and mammals, the best advice if you find an injured reptile is to call a rehabilitation centre. A great resource for turtles is the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre in Peterborough at 705-741-5000.

Sometimes the best way to help an animal is to do nothing. Although we want to help, in most cases, nature does better without our assistance.

by Kim Hacker, Executive Director

Here at Wye Marsh we receive a number of calls and emails each week regarding injured or orphaned birds, mammals and reptiles. Here are a few ideas that we suggest to those looking to help.

BIRDS – We get two types of calls about birds – baby birds and injured birds. In the case of a baby bird, if it has feathers, it is likely a fledgeling – a baby who is learning how to fly. In most cases, these birds should be left alone. Likely they are still being fed and cared for by the parents. Do not remove the bird from the area. If the bird does not yet have feathers, it is a nestling and likely did fall out of a nest. In this case, look around for the nest and try to put the bird back. Birds do not have a good sense of smell, and they will not reject babies that smell like humans.

In the case of an injured bird, keep it warm in a dark place, wrapped in a small blanket in a box with air holes, and call a wildlife rehabilitation centre. Wye Marsh IS NOT a rehabilitation centre – we do have some rehabilitated reptiles and raptors, but we do not have the skills or equipment to tend to injured birds – we simply provide a permanent home to those who have been rehabilitated and cannot return to the wild.

If you see an injured bird of prey (hawks, owls, eagles, falcons) or an injured swan, please do call us at Wye Marsh at 705-526-7809 as we are connected to teams who can pick up the bird and deliver it to a rehabilitation centre. Please do not bring the bird to Wye Marsh.

You can also call Shades of Hope in Pefferlaw at 705-437-4654.

MAMMALS – If you come across an immature mammal, do not think that it has been abandoned by its parents. Likely the parents are foraging in the same area but are wary of your human presence. Leave the baby and check on it occasionally from a distance.

If you find an injured mammal, be very cautious as pain and sickness can make animals aggressive. Be sure to protect yourself first. Keep all cats and dogs away from the area and call a rehabilitation centre for more advice. Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Rosseau takes mammals, as well as birds and reptiles, and can be reached at 705-732-6368.

REPTILES – We get a lot of calls from people who have found a snake in their house. We are not exterminators, and we cannot help in this situation, except to perhaps help you identify what type of snake you have (if you can see it well enough).

Similar to birds and mammals, the best advice if you find an injured reptile is to call a rehabilitation centre. A great resource for turtles is the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre in Peterborough at 705-741-5000.

Sometimes the best way to help an animal is to do nothing. Although we want to help, in most cases, nature does better without our assistance.

 

Bearbells and Beagles

by Leslie Noonan

The Ganaraska has a side trail that starts right here in our own backyard.  Starting from the bridge at the Wye Marsh in Midland, the trail follows the Tay trail before crossing highway 12 and following the old CNR rail line.  I used this trail as my training for the main event.  Hefting my pack I followed this trail until the gorgeous Copeland forest.  The route is typical for the Ganaraska trail; rail trails, country roads and little used bush paths.   It is important to note that often the trail will be following a well-used trail, then veer off abruptly into dense bush with little visible trail.  Often I would be blissfully hiking along until I noticed that my white blazes had disappeared.  There is nothing more annoying than having to backtrack to find the proper trail; except black flies and mosquitoes, they are definitely more annoying.  This trial run made me aware of how much I may have overestimated my ability to travel long distances.  Without my pack it was usual for me to do a four hour hike of 18-20 km.  This would be over rough terrain and with a lot of different elevations.  That changes, drastically, once you throw on a pack weighing close to 40-50 lbs.  Basically, it would take me twice the time to go the same length.  I was now wondering if I could really do a 500 km solo hike.  As a last trial, I again hefted that pack and did another side trail, from Wasaga Beach to the Tiny rail trail into Penetanguishene.  I consider this the easiest of the trail, as it is a clear path along the rail trail.  It is also where I have one of my most horrible memories.  As I was coming to Balm Beach road in Perkinsfield, a beautiful cat was drinking from a puddle next to the road.  My bear bells startled the poor fella, and he ran into the road and was hit by a car.  I was devastated, especially when the car didn’t stop.  I now hold and silence my bells whenever I am nearing a village, or see any animals on the trail.  Lessons learned too late. Finally I embarked on the last side trail with my daughter Lauren and her partner Ryan.  This was a real test of my ability.  The Devil’s lake side trail is about a 10km return trip wilderness trail near Moores Falls.   It requires hikers to traverse down a small cliff face and then onto a challenging route through the Canadian shield and multiple marshes.  It was on the return that I became ill, very ill.  I began to feel nauseous, with a headache and vertigo.  I was well hydrated, but unable to walk straight.  Ryan took my pack, hoping that would help, but it didnt’.  By the time we returned to the car I was unable to walk unaided.  I was delirious. On the drive home I eventually came around, but was lost as to why I had such severe symptoms of what seemed like heat stroke.  The answer would come to me once I headed out on my own on the trail a week later.  I was going to do this…I was going to do a 500 km hike on my own.

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