October 16, 2010
The Toronto Wildlife Centre Open House
This weekend, October 16 and 17, the Toronto Wildlife Centre is holding an Open House. It is from 9am to 6pm.
I've been to the centre a number of times in the past few months. I took Bob the Pigeon in (see my August 2 and 14 blogs). I borrowed a Squirrel cage in hopes to catch my little friend Jigger (see my August 30, 31 and September 8th blogs). And, the latest being that I brought in an unidentified Warbler that had flew into the side of my parents' house.
So, while Bob was kindly put to sleep. Jigger was never seen again and I assume passed on. The story of the Warbler had a much happier ending.
See, my dad had called me this one Sunday afternoon and told me of this pretty little bird who flew into the side of the house. It was so strange because there are no windows on this side of the house. I figure something bigger was chasing him and in a split second the Warbler did a quick turn, but unfortunately collided with the wall and not made it around the house. My dad said he was going to leave the bird because at first he thought it was just a plain House Sparrow. As he picked up the bird, noticing the light shades of blue and green about it, he knew it was special and called me.
I was quite unwell that day, having woke up with a head cold. But, when called upon for such things, I am there. The bird had been sitting on his porch for the past 75 minutes or so. When I got there, he was in a box with an open lid. And, still, just sitting there. I gently picked him up and he sat on my finger for some time. He was a bit wobbly but there was no sign of physical trauma.
Long story short, I took him up to the Toronto Wildlife Centre and turned him in. They are such wonderful people there and you can tell they care so much about the creatures that we share this city with. I had no idea of the Warbler's fate until a phone message a couple days ago. It was a lengthy detailed message explaining how he was examained, kept over night, given some anti-inflamatories as a precautionary measure, and the following day was taken down to the lake with some other releasable migratory birds and sent on his way.
A small bird who needed a small amount of care. Now, one day back in the spring, someone turned in over 90 migrants in one afternoon... all collected off the sidewalks in downtown Toronto... all in need of similar treatment, if not more. There is a group called FLAP who do this quite regularly. Unfortunately, thousands are found dead each year. The urge for the downtown area to turn off the lights at night is so important but so few understand or follow it. So, as hundreds of birds are brought in through a season, this adds up financially. Now throw in litters of baby Squirrels who lost their mother, baby Chipmunks, Raccoons, Skunks, and anything else wild, furry or feathered that needs help... it is important for us citizens of the GTA, who have a love for the wildlife around us, to help one way or another. Donations of money, or perhaps items such from their wishlist http://www.torontowildlifecentre.com/pages/help/donors/wishlist.html; and if willing and able, possibly your time.
I hope to be able to volunteer for the centre in the new year. I work similar hours to the centre which will be a problem. But perhaps the occasional Saturday or Sunday? One simply cannot just walk in and pick up a broom, change a water dish or answer the phone; there is a process. But, if I can help, I hope to do so.
This Open House will bring awareness to the people who come to see the centre and learn about the numbers of wildlife that come through. The latest bit I have read about is a Beaver that I think is still with the centre, brought in from the Muskoka area... it seems someone shot him in the head and his skull is full of buckshot.
I hope some of you out there will read this in time and make the trip. I know my blogs are so spread out now. Too many reasons why. I miss blogging. I have many stories and photos to share.
Here is the address to the Toronto Wildlife Centre... 60 Carl Hall Road, Downsview Airport at the south east corner of Keele and Sheppard. They are the second driveway on the left after the railroad tracks. It is very easy to find with that last bit of information which they gave to me prior to my first visit.
Regarding the Warbler. My first guess was a Pine Warbler. Some experts have told me it is a Blackpoll Warbler. The TWC are identifying it as a Chestnut Sided Warbler. I know my guess was close but not correct. So, it is between the other two species. Warblers, especially in the fall, can look so similar. There are such fine little details. Either way, I am happy to know this little guy is alive and heading to South America.
So, I am adding this next bit as I have just returned from the Open House. It's an Open House to enlighten the curious about what the TWC does. It starts with a 15 minute presentation. You then get a 30 minute tour of the facility; what goes on behind those doors, etc. You get to meet many of the staff. You see the hospital. You see some of the equipment used. I suppose I should add that you do not get to see very many of the visitors there (wildlife). Why? First and most importantly, they are wildlife, they need to remain wildlife. It is in their best interest and safety to not be accustomed to humans. If you have a small child who might get bored with all the talking, it is probably best to leave him/her at home or in the front area with one of it's parents. Screaming babies are stressful to the patients and people like me who want to see and learn about the Toronto Wildlife Centre.