Florida Wild Mammal Association
Dedicated to the Rescue and Rehabilitation of Injured and Orphaned Wildlife
198 Edgar Poole Road Crawfordville FL 32327
By Chris Beatty, Director
This year has been one of the hardest years FWMA has ever had. The sagging economy has made it difficult for us, many businesses and a lot of families. Costs are up and donations are down. Times like these bring us back to our priorities and make us realize there has to be another way to do things. There has to be a way to generate income – a way to continue to do what we love to do, which is care for injured and orphaned wildlife.
When we first started FWMA, our goal was not only to rescue and rehab wildlife, but to educate the people in our community as well. The two go hand-in-hand. That’s the reason that over the last five years we’ve been trying to find land suitable for establishing a Wildlife Education Center that could be open to the public. A Wildlife Education Center would give our community a place to visit, learn and interact with our wild neighbors.
If we had 20 acres, we would be able to open a Rehabilitation Center separate from the Education Center, and over time, we hope the Education Center would generate enough income to provide a major portion of the funding for the Rehab facility. Because rehab is what it is – taking care of wildlife - there is nothing to sell. It’s solely based on our love and commitment to taking care of these animals and returning them to the wild; and when they cannot be returned to the wild, those animals that could not survive on their own would find permanent and safe sanctuary in the Education Center where they would become ambassadors for their species.
It is almost absurd to think about getting land and building a center at this point in time because of the way the economy is and how tight things are – but I believe this is precisely the time to think to about it! We need to be able to generate a steady ongoing income so we may keep caring for the ones who so desperately need it. Without a steady and long-term income, the future of Florida Wild Mammal Association is uncertain. Being the only rehab center serving our coastal community, it’s a scary thought – but what would happen to all the injured and orphaned animals if FWMA were not here? The possibility of that happening is very real.
If we are to leave a legacy for our children, our grandchildren and our wildlife, we need some help and we need it soon. Is there anyone out there who can help by donating 20 acres to FWMA to help make this dream come true?
The best chance for survival of a baby animal is to be raised by its own parent, but if you find an animal that appears to need to be rescued:
• Place it in a box (with air holes and towels).
• Keep the box in a warm, quiet, dark place.
• Do NOT feed it anything!
• Do NOT give water or fluids!
• Call a licensed rehabilitator – if you are in the FWMA area, call 850-363-2351.
BINGO!! It’s a blast! Come join us on Thursday nights from 6-9 pm at Hamaknockers Oasis in Panacea for good fun and cash prizes! Bingo to benefit the animals! A wild time is guaranteed!
Upcoming FWMA Events
Sep. 24 - FWMA Fall Yard Sale
Oct. 10 - 2nd Annual WoodStork Festival and Silent Auction
Nov. 14 - 2nd Annual FWMA Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair
Nov. 20 - Christmas Trees for Sale
Call or email for details.
Essay Contest Winner
by Judy Cooke
Congratulations to Melissa Starbuck, winner of the FWMA Online Essay Contest! This was a great contest with excellent entries - only 1 point difference in the judging between the top three places! The entries can be read by going to:
Melissa also wins an FWMA tee shirt which I know she will wear with pride! Special thanks to our judges, Melody Griggs, Jeff True, Jessica Beatty and Marilyn Van Dusseldorp.
Congrats, Melissa on your winning entry!
by Melissa Starbuck
am a gardener and a birdwatcher from way back. During the 90's, I lived in a small townhouse in Tallahassee. My yard was tiny, but there were lots of woods around and it was prime bird habitat. I gardened every chance I got. I soon noticed that when I was gardening, there was frequently a brown thrasher on a low branch of a small tree in the middle of my yard. After working in one spot, as I moved on to another area he would land on the ground where I had just been, feasting on worms, grubs and bugs that I had exposed as I moved the dirt and mulch around. For a while he kept his distance, flying back to the low branch if I came too close. But he slowly got used to me, and would hop around on the ground following me. Before long, he'd hang out a couple of feet away and charge in for a tasty morsel as soon as I dug it up. This went on for a couple of years.
One spring day while I was raking the front yard, he flew over to me and landed on the ground right beside my foot. He started hopping and hobbling toward my neighbor's yard, dragging his wings and watching me over his shoulder. He'd hop a few feet away, dragging his wings and watching me, then fly back and start this behavior all over again, always moving away from me in the same direction. I stopped raking and watched him intently, trying to figure out what was happening. He did not seem to be hurt, but he was acting strangely. I knew that birds used this behavior to detract predators from their nests, pretending to be injured to lure the predator away. But I was not a predator, and he knew that. Additionally, there was no nest in my front yard. He repeated this behavior over and over, getting more frantic each time. I began to wonder, could it be that he wanted me to follow him? So I did. He kept hopping and hobbling, dragging his wings; but when he realized I was following him this time, he kept going and picked up speed, heading for a large shrub in my neighbor's yard. He kept looking over his shoulder, seemingly to be sure that I was still following him.
Nearing the shrub, I realized there was some commotion going on in there. Then I heard the emphatic "SMACK!" of his mate's alarm call coming from inside the shrub. He hopped right up to the shrub, turned and watched me and sat very still on the ground. Looking into the shrub, I realized it contained a nest AND a large white oak snake trying to get to the nest, being slowed down a bit by a very upset mother. My brown thrasher had actually come to get me, knowing I would help! Using the rake, I got the snake out and put it in the bag with the leaves I had raked up earlier. I checked on the family and all were safe and sound, and not at all concerned that I was so close by. I then relocated the snake a few miles away. I am still amazed that this bird not only trusted me to help, but also figured out a way to communicate to me what he needed. It still awes me, and brown thrashers will always have a special place in my heart.
Is It Really Orphaned?
If you think a baby bird is orphaned, observe it for 2 hours before rescuing it. If you have found nestlings that have fallen down, with little or no feathering, and a lot of pink skin showing, they can be returned to the nest. It is an old wives tale that if you touch baby birds the parents will not come back! If the nestlings are cold they must be warmed first. An obviously young feathered bird with a short wings and tail, found on the ground is probably a fledgling. Most songbirds fledge (leave the nest) before they can fly well, and end up on the ground. As long as there are no apparent injuries, the bird should not be rescued. The parents will be away gathering food so you may not see them. If the young bird is calling loudly and often with no parent responding, it may be orphaned; observe for 2 hours before rescuing it. Unfeathered nestlings will need an artificial nest (small bowl lined with tissue), and need to be kept warm with a heating pad. Place fledglings in a ventilated shoe box lined with a towel, and keep warm.
Do not put anything in their mouths or in the container. If a baby is fed improperly, or given fluids, death could result.
Good-bye and Good Luck, Eddy
by Judy Cooke
In the fall of 2008, Edward came to us. The initial examination showed an injury to his tail. After treatment and weeks in the med room, Edward was transferred to a flight cage outside. Without the use of his tail, he was incapable of flight. The US Government keeps an eye on its national mascot, and normally, injured eagles must be transferred to facilities with 100 foot flight pens. FWMA does not have a pen this size, but the US Fish and Wildlife Service allowed us to keep Eddy for a three-month evaluation period.
At the end of three months, there had been tremendous improvement and Eddy was able to make short flights. FWMA was granted another three months. Those three months have come and gone and Eddy improved only slightly during that time. Late in May, he was transferred to the Audubon Bird of Prey Center in Orlando where he was re-evaluated and placed in the larger flight cage.
As we all had feared, Eddy’s injury is a permanent one and he will never know free flight again. So, as sad as we are that this great bird cannot be returned to our skies, we rejoice in the fact that he is alive and will spend the remainder of his life in an education center. It is our belief that he will excel at this new challenge because Edward, beyond any doubt, is truly one of the most magnificent examples of his species! Good Luck, Eddy!
It is not enough to understand the natural world, the point is to defend and preserve it. ~ Edward Abbey
Returned to the Wild
by Judy Cooke
The one thing any non-profit organization can count on, above and beyond everything else, is that their need for funds never diminishes! Money goes out faster than it comes in – especially in difficult financial times such as we are having now. Fundraising for any organization is a never-ending challenge and the key to successful fundraising is finding a variety of different and fun things to do to keep people interested. What one person will participate in, another won’t. You cannot please all of the people all of the time and even trying to please just some of the people some of the time can be a daunting task!
The curse of most non-profits is that they have no goods to sell. They must rely on the goodness in their supporters’ hearts, and in hard times, no matter how good a person’s heart is, sometimes the money just isn’t there. At the end of the day, it’s the house payments, kids, gas, food and many other things that bite the family budget; leaving pockets near empty.
Adding to empty pockets is the preconceived notion that donations need be over a certain dollar amount before they can be of any help. People tend to think that a buck or two can’t possibly make a difference, so they don’t donate. But I beg to differ – I know there is power in just one single dollar bill!! I’ve seen it.
Before I moved here, I worked with several other non-profits. They were national organizations, and much of their fundraising was done on-line, so of course they had a much larger base. One of their greatest projects was called the Buck-a-Month Club, or ‘BaM’ for short. Once a month, people were asked to simply send in one dollar. A reminder notice was emailed out on the 10th of the month asking people to be sure to mail their ‘BaM’ by the 15th of the month. And people did – raising hundreds and hundreds of dollars a month!
Why did they do this? When a single dollar all by itself can’t buy much of anything? They did it because they came to realize there really is power in a single dollar bill. When I take my dollar and join it to your dollar and those two dollars to his dollar; and that to theirs, it soon becomes more that just a dollar! Before you know it, it becomes $10.00 – and that, my friend, will buy bleach and paper towels! The more people that participate and send in their dollar, the more powerful that dollar becomes.
I don’t know if something like this would work for FWMA, but I am willing to give it a shot. If you want your name added to an e-mail reminder list, I will send a message out on the 10th of every month asking you to send in your dollar. How hard could it be? An envelope, a stamp and a buck – and a way to help the animals at FWMA without breaking a sweat!
Recommended Wildlife Reads
by Barbara Armstrong
Animals in Translation
Temple Grandin, Catherine Johnson
Temple Grandin draws upon a long, distinguished career as an animal scientist and her own experiences with autism to deliver an extraordinary message about how animals act, think, and feel. She has a unique perspective which allows her to offer unparalleled observations and groundbreaking ideas. Grandin is a guide into their world, exploring animal pain, fear, aggression, love, friendship, communication, learning, and animal genius. Animals in Translation will forever change the way we think about animals.
“I do know people can learn to "talk" to animals, and to hear what animals have to say, better than they do now.”
--From Animals in Translation
The Emotional Life of Animals
Karine Lou Matignon
Animals have far richer and more intense emotional lives than many of us have been led to believe. They love, fear, suffer and remember. Karine Lou Matignon distills scientific research and the experiences of those who work most closely with animals to arrive at an indisputable conclusion: The birds and mammals with whom we share the planet are feeling beings worthy of our care and respect. The book has remarkable photographs depicting the emotions discussed., which are powerful testimony.
“It has long been thought that to be interested in animals is to turn one’s back on people, but I believe that, on the contrary, knowing and understanding animals can help us develop more fully as human beings. It also helps us to become aware of the impact of our behavior on our surroundings and so to protect our natural environment that is so fragile and yet so important to our survival.”
--From The Emotional Life of Animals
In all things of nature, there is something marvelous. ~ Aristotle
Interesting Wildlife Stuff
Dr. Norm Griggs: http://shepherdspringanimalhospital.com/
Judy Cooke Blog: http://blognow.com.au/FWMA2/
Wildlife Rehab Info: http://www.tc.umn.edu/~devo0028/
Newsletter Distribution Points
These newsletters are made available to the public at the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla Springs State Park Lodge, The Inn at Wildwood, Myra Jeans, Wakulla Animal Hospital, Panacea Welcome Center, Wild Birds Unlimited, Native Nurseries, Taylor County Animal Control, Ashley’s Feed, and Shepherd Spring Animal Hospital.
Businesses That Help FWMA
by Judy Cooke
Over the years, many local businesses have supported FWMA with donations of discounted or free goods and services or by sponsoring or holding benefit events, raffles or auctions. We at FWMA are very grateful and would like to show our appreciation by asking our readers to visit these businesses. While you are there, please take the time to thank them for the way they have continued to show support for FWMA!
Hamaknockers Oasis – Hosts Bingo every Thursday night from 6-9pm. This is a great place! With great food and a friendly staff, it is the perfect place to spend an evening of fun! Occasionally the owners donate a ‘Free Steak Dinner’ as one of the Bingo prizes and it’s a prize everyone wants to win! Thank you, Hamaknockers! Hamaknockers Oasis is located in Panacea at 460 Coastal Hwy 98. Ph. 850 984-8130
The Wilderness Way – In the last year, The Wilderness Way has helped FWMA several times and we appreciate them so much! Stop in and see the new building and check out their great kayaks. Kayak rentals and adventures are available and, if you go, please tell them thank you for helping FWMA! The Wilderness Way is located at 3152 Shadeville Road in Wakulla Station/Crawfordville. Ph. 850-877-7200
Just Fruits and Exotics - Although they are closing from July to Sept to become a ‘greener’ and more environmentally friendly business, Just Fruits has consistently helped FWMA over the years. For plants, trees and shrubs grown with love and care, please visit this quality nursery! Let them know how much we appreciate their support. Just Fruits is located at 30 Frances St off Hwy 98 in Crawfordville. Ph. 850 926-5644
Ace Hardware - Over the years Ace Hardware has been one of the places selling the FWMA Christmas Trees. This has been a huge help to us at a time of year when donations are typically down during the holiday season. They have also provided us with plants and shrubs to sell at our booth during festivals and have donated many great items to our auctions and raffles. Thank you, Ace Hardware!
The Inn at Wildwood - To the management and staff of the Inn at Wildwood, thank you for contributing prizes to our auctions and raffles and for providing such a wonderful venue for our events. Great management, a friendly and efficient staff, and a beautiful setting - we so much appreciate your support!!
Coming next issue: The Purple Martin, Gatortrax, Shepherd Spring Animal Hospital and more!
Animals have the right to run if they have legs, swim if they have fins and fly if they have wings. ~ Gretchen Wyler
A Chimney Swift Lesson
Marilyn Van Dusseldorp
Chimney Swifts are amazing birds and do just about everything in the air. They feed on the wing by catching thousands of small flying insects every day and even collect nesting materials in the air by snapping small twigs from branch tips.
These sleek, elegant little birds range throughout the Midwest and Eastern U.S., and into southern Canada. They arrive in North America in March and return to their winter range in the Amazon Basin of Peru in October and November. These 5-inch black birds have been clocked at level flight speeds of 145 miles per hour. Before Europeans arrived in North America, chimney swifts nested in the old giant hollow trees of the forest. When land was cleared for agriculture and development, they moved to houses with stone and mortared brick chimneys. Their nests are small and cup-shaped, constructed of twigs and glued to the chimney wall with saliva. The brooding and raising of young occurs between June and August. As they prepare to migrate south in the early fall, swifts congregate, sometimes in the hundreds, to use a single chimney as a roost. They dart back into the chimney at dusk with an uncanny synchronization. They bathe in flight, gliding down to water, smacking the surface with its breast, then bouncing up and shaking the water from their plumage as they fly away.
Swifts are easily recognizable in flight, with their grey, cigar-shaped bodies, constant wing beats, and distinctive chattering, twittering vocalizations. However, few people ever see them at rest. Chimney swifts are so specialized in their ability to cling to vertical surfaces that they cannot perch or stand on their legs in the way that most birds do. Their unique feet have four grappling, hook-shaped toes with claws that can hold onto a rough surface and partly support them. The stiffened tail feathers, with their exposed spiny tips, bolster them as well. Swifts are among the most aerial of birds, flying almost constantly except when at the nest or roosting at night. . The fast, erratic flight of the Chimney Swift is characteristic of small swifts. It gives the very distinct impression that the swift is beating only one wing at a time, alternating wings.
Many of the chimney swifts that go into rehab are found after heavy rainstorms, which dissolve the saliva causing the nest to fall down. Young swifts can also lose their grip on the small nest and fall. They require a large flight cage to practice their flight and a real chimney for them to roost in and fly in and out of. Chimney swifts learn from other swifts; therefore they need to be released at a roosting site so they have other swifts from which to learn. It is critical to complete the rehab process in time for the fall migration.
by Judy Cooke
Baking and decorating cookies and cupcakes, manning booths, running the FWMA Photo Contest and designing and editing this newsletter are just a few of the things Marilyn Van Dusseldorp does. Being a photographer herself, she has donated many of her photos to FWMA for auctions and raffles raising countless dollars. Building bird houses and nesting boxes for sale at the FWMA booth is another special talent she possesses - and her single-handed Christmas tree decorating in 2007 generated significant funds for FWMA.
Barbara Armstrong has a strong desire to see that injured and orphaned animals in Taylor, Madison and Jefferson counties receive the care they need. She teams up with Marilyn to be on-call to transport animals to FWMA. They have been known to make that drive twice in one day. Their dedication and love of all animals pushes them to help the animals not only at FWMA, but with several other organizations as well.
These are two special ladies who don't know how to say no to FWMA needs. Whether it’s off to Lee to pick up Christmas trees in the fall or to Georgia to pick up a dog for Jessica, or doing the weekly grocery run for FWMA, these two ladies have logged many miles over the last few years for FWMA – driving their way into our hearts! Thank you, ladies! You’re the best!!
The baby birds are still arriving, so you are invited to either a virtual baby shower (donate via Paypal on the website), or a drive-by baby shower (deliver donations to the facility).
Items these babies need most are:
Heavy-Duty Paper Towels
Science Diet Canine Growth - small bites
Yogurt (with LIVE Cultures)
Applesauce, Fruit Cocktail
KMR Kitten Milk Replacement
Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacement Fresh Fruits, Greens
Nuts and Berries
Electric Heating Pads
If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals. ~ Albert Einstein
Norm Griggs, DVM
If I had a nickel for every bug bite I have had this year, I really don’t think I could carry all those nickels. I absolutely love living in Wakulla County, and I understand that some bad always comes with the good. In this case I have to balance the refuge, the forest, the marsh and a bunch of really nice people, with three types of really offensive bugs. Can you guess which three would be on your list? Hands down, mine are ticks, mosquitoes, and those *&%@$! No-see-ems.
We had ticks and mosquitoes back in Tennessee on a scale approaching these, but we didn’t have the Asian Tiger Mosquito that actually rips your clothes open to have a clean shot at your veins. The ticks here are of a magnitude that I honestly don’t know how any living creature can make enough blood to survive outside. Fortunately, the tick season here only lasts from early March to late February. But then there are these "no-see-ems". If you are like me, if you could actually see one up close, you imagined it would look like a huge jaw, filled with razor-sharp fangs supported by two tiny wings. In concert with that, the little beast has an insatiable thirst for human blood rivaling any vampire on record. But, for your education, I can accurately report to you what a "no-see-em" looks like up close. One day I went outside the clinic to walk a dog; when I came back in, one of the despicable little beasts was engaging in a blood-sucking ritual on my left arm. I carefully snatched it up and promptly positioned it on a microscope slide to satisfy my curiosity. To my surprise, they look very much like a mosquito. We might as well call them Pigmy Skeets. I just thought I would share a scientific observation with you. At least now you can associate a face with the ones you swear about.
I had to mention those three because they combine to keep all of us "outdoorsy" types a bit itchy and a little greased up with DEET on the weekends. But throughout the workweek since the middle of May, I have never seen the likes of the fleas our pets face in this county. These are not homeless dogs mind you. They are best-friends kind of dogs and they are being pierced and sucked like a McDonald’s milkshake. So why do we have so many fleas and why all of a sudden? The answer is two-fold. First, the flea population exploded when the warm weather brought the humidity. The weather change causes the flea pupae to emerge from their cocoons and about 50% of all fleas at a given time are in that life stage, patiently waiting for the optimal time to hatch. About 45% of the rest are eggs or larva. That leaves only about 5% at any give time to be the blood-sucking adults. The second reason has to do with the number of hosts upon which the fleas have to feed.
We enjoy an abundance of wildlife and, as you may know, they almost all have fleas and lots of them. As a matter of fact, the only mammal that normally has no fleas is the armadillo. Many animals share different kinds of fleas but they all suck blood as adults. Yum! So, you might ask, "How the heck do I get rid of all these fleas?" I wish I could tell you a simple, 100% effective answer, but it is not that simple.
The biggest problem with controlling the fleas on a pet is controlling the population in the area the pet visits each day. I hear every single day that Frontline or Advantage doesn’t work on someone’s dog, but that is not true. It is working, but often there are so many fleas in the dog’s environment that the dog is continually being re-infected. These products are not force fields. The bugs need to be in contact with the dog’s coat for a while in order to be killed by these products. The people who enjoy the greatest benefit from these products are the ones whose dogs are not running through the woods or living in a flea infested yard or pen. Squirrels are loaded with fleas. They take seed from your bird feeders and leave you fleas in exchange. Lots of them! Also, one female flea can lay 2,000 eggs, and just one flea can multiply to 1,000 in your home in just 21 days!
To control fleas inside your home, experts agree that your best weapon is to vacuum thoroughly every 3 days, it has been shown to be over 95 % effective because you are ridding the environment of eggs, larva and pupae before they can mature into the blood-feeding adult stage. Understand that only 5% of the fleas at any given time are adult fleas. The rest are in a life stage that may not be as easy to kill. My best advice is to treat your dogs and cats year-round with quality products. You should also be aware of the boundaries of your pet’s home range. If they roam, they are going to bring home fleas and ticks. You are going to have to be extra diligent in fighting those infestations. I have found the Frontline spray to be the most cost-effective way to deal with both fleas and ticks on my six dogs.
If you are fighting fleas, I hope this helps. If you are at wits end, call your veterinarian or call me or my staff at the office and we will try to help you. Just don’t give up! Your dog is as miserable as you would be with those "Pigmy Skeets" chewing on you all the time.
The male is on the left and is distinguished by large, hairy antennae and long palps. No males take blood, rather they feed on nectar from plants. Females blood-feed to obtain a protein source for eggs.
Move over LOL cats! Here comes the FWMA 'Caption This' Contest! Check out 3 pictures and submit your funniest caption for a chance to win an FWMA t-shirt! Details fwmanews.wordpress.com/
ATTN.: PHOTO PHREAKS!!!!!
This newsletter originally published on August 22, 2009.
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