Friday, December 12, 2008

Red Shouldered Hawk

Finals have begun, so all of the WMC volunteers are really busy. A few Red-tailed Hawks and a Red Eared Slider are still here in the clinic. We are also treating a Red-shouldered Hawk in the ward. Red-shouldered Hawks are related to Red-tailed hawks (they're in the same genus) but are found less commonly in Illinois. We don't see them very often at the WMC, so we're excited to treat this one.

Red-shouldered Hawk with a Hood
Red Shouldered Hawk Pelvic Fx
After the Hood is Removed
Red Shouldered Hawk Pelvic Fx
Giving Oral Medication
Red Shouldered Hawk Pelvic Fx

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Clinic Update

A lot has been going on in the clinic lately. On Monday, Pistol, Noel, Penelope and Nokomis went to Robeson elementary school to visit a classroom. The students asked great questions and the birds enjoyed getting out of the ward. On Sunday (12/7), some of our education birds will be at Lincoln Square Mall for a holiday shop fundraiser. They will be there for a few hours in the afternoon, so stop by and say "hello!"

With the semester coming to an end, all of our volunteers are very busy with school. This doesn't keep them from keeping up with cases, though! Right now in the clinic we have several red tailed hawks, a screech owl, red eared slider and a gull. Though we typically have fewer cases during the winter, the patients usually need more intensive care.

We're also beginning the organization for our annual fundraiser Doodle for Wildlife. Doodle will be on March 7th, 2009. If you would like to donate items for the silent auction, please contact the clinic! We already have some awesome celebrity doodles coming and and will let everyone know when tickets for Doodle go on sale.

Screech Owl

Red Tailed Hawk

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Robin Release!

Last week Team 10 released their robin, affectionately known as Spaz. The robin came in with Knemidokoptes, a mite that can affect a bird's legs and beak. The mites were his only medical problem, so he often escaped his cage and flew around the clinic. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) occasionally bands robins for one of their research projects, so when the time for Spaz's release came, we gave them a call. They came out, took some measurements of Spaz, banded him and put a transmitter on his tail feathers (with heat shrink tubing). Hopefully, they will be able to track him for the next few months.

Banding the Robin's Leg
Transmitter Attachment
Robin Transmitter Attachment
The transmitter attachment is completely finished!
Tracking Antenna on a Car
Robin Release!
Robin Release

Thursday, October 30, 2008


At the WMC, we have many of the diagnostic tools of the teaching hospital at our disposal. Our cases often get radiographs (x-rays), bloodwork and dermatology, opthamology and orthopedic consults. Yesterday, Spicy Burrita, a red tailed hawk, had an endoscopy. An endoscopy is a diagnostic test that allows us to see inside of a patient and take biopsies of tissues. Spicy Burrita's team found a suspicious mass on her radiographs and suspects that she might have a fungal infection, aspergillosis. With the endoscopy, they were able to look for the fungus and take a biopsy of her mass.

Dr. Mitchell helps Team 9 with the endoscopy



Monday, October 27, 2008

Case Report- Dark Princess

Dark Princess is a red tailed hawk who presented over the summer. She came in with several problems, most notably an injured digit. The digit had to be amputated, but otherwise she healed well. We were recently able to release Dark Princess and hope she is doing well back out in the wild.

Dark Princess in her run
Dark Princess in Ward

Close up of amputated toe
Dark Princess Foot

Happy in a tree after release!

Monday, October 6, 2008

More Turtle Treatments!

Another red-eared slider is still in the clinic. This turtle came in with a fractured shell. The shell repair is going well and hopefully this turtle will also be able to eventually be released.

Giving Fluids to the Turtle
Ear Eared Slider Fluids (Team 8)

Turtle Shell Repair
Red Eared Slider Shell Repair

PR Event Update!

The resident birds have been really busy lately. On September 27th and 28th, they went to an event at Prairieland Feeds.

Prairieland Feeds
Prairieland Feeds

This past weekend, Nokomis, Pistol and Noel went to the Mahomet IGA, while Odin and Penelope had an event in Monticello. Thanks to everyone who came to visit the birds!
Mahomet IGA
Mahomet IGA

Turtle Releases!

At the beginning of the semester, we had more turtles in the clinic than usual. In the last two weeks, two of those turtles were released! First, a red-eared slider affectionately named Seabottom. She came in with a hook through her esophagus and some problems with the bottom portion of her shell (called the plastron). We removed the hook and treated her shell for about two months. Two weeks ago, we were able to release her in Crystal Lake park.

Kerry Packing up Seabottom
Kerry and Seabottom

Seabottom just previous to release
Seabottom Release
The second turtle release happened this past weekend. Team 7's box turtle came in with an injured leg. The leg had to be amputated, but the turtle was able to get along fine without it. She was taken back to where she was found in Indiana and released. Thanks for the pictures Team 7!
Box Turtle Amputation Surgery

Box Turtle After Recovery
Box Turtle Post-op

Box Turtle Release
Team 7 Box Turtle Release
Team 7 Box Turtle Release

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Prairieland Feeds

The residents were at Prairieland Feed's event in Savoy today. They all enjoyed being outside in the great weather. Odin had a particularly good time and didn't want to get into his carrier at the end of the day! We'll be there tomorrow from 11-4, so come say "hi" to the birds!

Orphaned Bunny Release
Bunny Release (Jessa)

Box Turtle
Box Turtle

Thanks to teams 7 and 9 for the great pictures of their cases!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Clinic Update

Last week, the pager team got an unusual call. Animal control brought in a raccoon that had gotten stuck in a sewer grate. They weren't able to remove him from the grate when they found him, so they brought in the entire sewer grate! The grate itself probably weighed over 70lbs, so we had to wheel it (with the raccoon still stuck) down to the ward on a gurney to attempt to get the raccoon free. After some shaving, pulling, pushing, twisting and lots of lubricant, we separated the raccoon from the grate. The animal seemed uninjured, but we kept him under observation for a couple days to make sure he was fit to go back to the wild. We released him over the weekend after determining that he had sustained no injuries from his ordeal.

Raccoon in Grate 2 Pictures, Images and Photos

Raccoon in Grate Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, September 8, 2008

Settling into the School Year

Life in the wildlife ward has settled down a bit since school began. All of the teams have been assigned, team leader training is over and now we're back to just concentrating on treating our patients. We have orphaned squirrels and bunnies in the clinic, as well as several turtles (more than usual), a goose, a woodchuck and an orphaned jumping mouse.

The residents are doing well. Nokomis has taken to hooting as everyone who walks into the resident room lately. The birds we supposed to go to Oskee Bow Wow last week, but unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate. They have two events coming up, though. First, on September 21rst, the will be going to the opening of a forest preserve (more details to follow). Then, on September 27th and 28th they will be at Prairielands Feeds in Savoy. We hope to see some of you at an event soon!

Orphaned Jumping Mouse (only 4.5grams!)
Goose with external fixator receiving foot treatment
Red-Eared Slider

Cleaning up an orphaned squirrel

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Welcome Back!

Students have returned to school (and the wildlife ward) this week. Team leaders have already taken over cases, and the first mandatory WMC team sign up and orientation meeting is on Wednesday, August 27th at 7pm.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Clinic Update 6/4

The warm weather has brought quite a few patients to the clinic in the last two weeks. We've seen robins, grackles, red-tailed hawks, an orphaned mallard duck, a young Canada goose, bunnies, squirrels, raccoons and a woodchuck! Many have already been treated and released or sent to rehabbers, along with the snapping turtle and turkey that had been with us for awhile. The most interesting current cases include a red-eared slider with a fractured shell, two fawns (one that had surgery to repair a fractured calcaneus!), and a juvenile bald eagle.

The resident birds also attended an event at Washington Early Childhood last Saturday. The school had a carnival themed open house, and lots of students and their parents stopped by to see Nokomis, Noel, Pistol and Odin up close. As always, we enjoyed coming out and talking about the birds and what we do at the WMC.

Feeding an Orphaned Fawn


Juvenile Bald Eagle
Juvenile Bald Eagle in Radiology

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

First Week of Summer

The first week of summer has been pretty quiet in the wildlife ward. Some orphaned sparrows, raccoons and rabbits have come in, but not many new injured animals. The turkey is still here and doing well. The residents are enjoying the nice weather and have been spending their days out in the flight cages.

Flight Cage

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Finals Week

Everything in the clinic is a little hectic because first and second year students have finals this week.

The orphans are still steadily arriving. 22 orphans were sent to rehab on Thursday! With such a high number of incoming orphans, it's important to remember to make sure that any orphans you find are really in danger before you bring them into the clinic.

The residents had an all day event on Thursday as well. We went to St. Joseph Ogden High School in St. Joseph to talk to a science class about the mission of the clinic, how to handle injured wildlife and the place of raptors in the ecosystem. The students were great and got to see the birds up close, as well as examples of casts and feathers.

Orphaned Killdeer

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Clinic Update 4/29

Things have been running smoothly in the clinic this week. The third years have officially moved on to clinics, and the first and second year students have stepped up to help their teams.

The weather has been great, so the resident birds have been able to go out to their flight cages. They are very happy to get out of the ward for a few hours everyday. They also went to Petstravaganza on Saturday and helped introduce more community members to the WMC are our mission. On Thursday, they will be headed to a high school in St. Joseph.

Orphans are coming in and being shipped off to wildlife rehabbers regularly. 5 orphaned raccoons and 4 orphaned rabbits left the clinic for rehabilitation this afternoon. Make sure orphaned wildlife really needs help before bringing it to the WMC!

We also have several interesting cases in the clinic. Currently, we are treating a mallard duck with a right wing injury, a red-tailed hawk, an opossum, a turkey, and a snapping turtle. Lucy, the goose, has finally gone off to a rehabber.

Snapping Turtle

Mallard Duck

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Doodle for Wildlife

Doodle for Wildlife, the WMC's annual fund-raiser, occurred last Saturday. Guests had a great time bidding on the silent and live auction items, as well as honoring important contributions to the clinic. All of the resident birds attended the event (including Susie) and their paintings were the hit of the live auction.

Thanks to everyone who attended the event! The Wildlife Medical Clinic sincerely appreciates you support!

Julia with Odin, Pistol, Penelope, Nokomis and Noel
Bidding on the Silent Auction Items

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Now that it's warming up, we are getting a pretty regular stream of orphans into the clinic. Remember, our recommendations are to call us when:
1) you know the parents are dead (evidence of a dead parent nearby)
2) the animal is obviously injured, weak, thin, very cold or sick
3) the animal is covered with flies or insects , or
4) the animal is in unavoidable, unnatural danger.

Parents often leave their young unattended for most of the day and will still care for them if they've been handled by humans. If the "orphan" is fat, bright eyed and apparently healthy it is probably best left alone. You can return the animal to its nest (if you can find it) or move it out of the way to a safe location. If a baby bunny's eyes are open or a baby bird is completely feathered, they are typically old enough to fend for themselves.

Michelle and an orphaned squirrel

Orphaned Mourning Doves
Don't forget to buy your tickets for Doodle for Wildlife! The event is Saturday night. We met last night to put together packages for the silent auction, and we have some amazing items!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rounds 4/8/08

Every week, the clinic volunteers get together for rounds. This provides us an opportunity to learn about important topics and occasionally practice our clinical skills. For today's rounds, we practiced suturing on bananas. Everyone had a great time!

Stacy helps Kelly with her suturing technique