Two orphaned and hairless baby squirrels

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Tiny arms intertwined with one another, the two orphaned baby squirrels lay sleeping. I gently disentangled the little girl for a feeding. So tiny they fit into one half of my hand, eyes tightly closed shut, delicate pink skin still unprotected by fur. The little boy stirred and started to protest, looking for his nest mate. They came from different mothers, different trees, in different neighborhoods, but probably blown out of their nests by the same ill wind that gusted fiercely a couple of weeks ago. Motherless, they found comfort in one another. When we got the little girl, she still had her umbilical cord attached. It was touch and go. At first she...

Two baby raccoons in an outdoor enclosure

— by Dawn Harrison — This has been a difficult week for rehabilitation efforts here at Earthfire, having more losses than wins. They warn you when you start that it won’t always be sunshine and rainbows. You won’t be able to save them all, and it can be heartbreaking. But knowing something intellectually and handling it emotionally can be quite different. Flightless Duck We received a call that a Momma duck and five ducklings were left in an intake pen at a local shelter. Momma had been injured and wasn’t able to walk well. Although it was late in the day, I loaded a crate into my car, stopped and got some feed for them, and made the hour-plus trip over the hill to bring the...

Raven with an injured wing that has been treated and wrapped with bandages

— by Dawn Harrison — It’s the time of year when rescue and rehabilitation are in full throttle. It’s painful enough to see animals coming in because they have been orphaned or injured in accidents. But when we receive animals who have been intentionally harmed by humans, it’s downright maddening. We received a juvenile raven over the holiday weekend who was suffering from a badly broken wing. He was brought to us by a lovely young couple who found us online when they were looking for where they could bring him. They were only in the area visiting for the holiday, yet they were willing and happy to drive half an hour to bring us the injured bird, which they found hopping near a...

A rehabilitated grosbeak sitting in a tree after release

— by Dawn Harrison — Last week, we received a call about an injured bird in the valley. After being taken to the vet and receiving some medical attention, he came to us for rehabilitation. While resting and healing, he was visited by the local sparrows, who never left him without company. The Grosbeak prior to release | Photo by Dawn Harrison Deciding when a bird is well enough to fly is a bit tricky, but when he gives you a look that clearly says, “Let me out!” after flying around his cage—thus showing he’s ready to take to the skies—you may just make the same call I did and decide he is ready to be on his way. The bird specialist at the local vet informed us that...

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — 11 September 2018 It seems we keep getting them younger and younger. This time it is a baby squirrel, 2-3 days old, lying quietly in my hand, tiny, soft, still. He had to be in shock---he was found on the ground, dehydrated and cold. His mother and siblings were dead, most likely from a cat. A rough introduction to the world. He has gradually been accepting the eyedropper full of milk, tiny paws waving and grasping at the hard glass, instinctively trying to knead his mother’s belly to stimulate the flow of milk in a perfectly choreographed dance. What a poor substitute we can offer! Nutrition. Safety. Warmth. Cleaning. But not a loving mother’s...

— by Susan Eirich, PhD — Although double in size and way old enough, our newest addition to Earthfire refuses to give up her bottle and move on to the squirrel version of peas and carrot. She will only accept almonds. Or maybe hazelnuts. How do you discipline a baby squirrel to eat her veggies? 2 October 2017 Dr. Susan Eirich is the Founder and Executive Director of Earthfire Institute Wildlife Sanctuary and Retreat Center. A licensed psychologist, biologist and educator, her goal is to widen the circle of conversation about conservation to include the voices of all living beings....

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