Here are some things you can do to help the birds
in your backyard/patio/balcony year-round and those migrating south:
- Put out a bird bath, especially with water motion. A Water Wiggler will do that. (Wild Birds Unlimited) Keep the bath clean and add fresh water as needed.
- Keep your cat indoors. A bell will not help because most birds don’t notice it.
- Clean out old nests if they are dirty.
- Clean your feeders! This will help keep birds healthy and your view pleasant. You can take them to Wild Birds Unlimited. They will clean them for $10 and that money benefits SBWR birds.
- Some of our hummingbirds are with us all year round. It is VERY IMPORTANT to keep your hummingbird feeders clean and free of bacteria that can make hummers sick. Use 4 parts boiled water and 1 part plain white sugar, no dye.
- Reduce window strikes by putting WindowAlert translucent decals on the outside of your windows. These reflect UV light so the birds can be aware that the window is not the sky. These are static cling, so you can remove them for window cleaning. They should be replaced twice a year if north-facing, 3 times a year for other facing. Another thing that works is mylar ribbons which can be purchased at some nurseries, again outside the windows.
Note: If you wonder why I keep mentioning Wild Birds Unlimited, they and their customers have been very supportive of South Bay Wildlife Rehab every since they came to the area almost 24 years ago. Their address is 1886-1/2 S. Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach. Please come join us for their 24th Anniversary on Sept 22, 2019. We will have our Education Ambassadors and lots of neat things to buy, as well as their “Opportunity Drawing” with some fabulous items.
A Busy Summer
Bat Rehabilitation Team
“Milo,” a juvenile California Myotis from Lake Forest in Orange County (above)
A Busy Summer for SBWR’s Bat Rehabilitation Team
It’s been one year since SBWR volunteers Amy Spencer and Chumi Paul learned the basics of bat rehabilitation at Bat World Sanctuary in Texas. Since then they have rescued and released numerous bats from the L.A. metropolitan area and beyond.
“We have taken in about 25 bats representing 7 local species so far this summer,” says Spencer. “In June we received mostly orphaned bat pups. Now we are focused on releasing our patients to rejoin their colonies before fall.”
The bats fly in SBWR’s new 16’ x 20’ flight cage to ready them for release. The cage is covered with 1/4” netting to allow bugs in.
“We have a both white and UV lights hanging in the cage to attract different types of insects,” says Paul, “and a skimming pond so bats can practice drinking on the wing.”
Bat flight cage (above)
SBWR’s Bat Team has received “patients” from a wide geographic area: Big Bear Lake, South Orange County, Riverside, Simi Valley, Malibu, Pasadena, and many other areas. “We are lucky to have transporters who pick up the bats and bring them to us,” says Spencer. Some transporters are wildlife biologists who donate their time to SBWR.
An unexpected patient arrived in early August, a Pallid Bat. Pallids are unusual bats who hunt large insects like scorpions and centipedes on the ground. Their numbers are declining in Southern California and they are rarely seen in metropolitan areas. Pallids are classified as a “California Species of Special Concern” because their population is at risk.
“Pedro,” a Pallid Bay (above), was found on the ground close to death near the Santa Susana Pass in Ventura County.
“Our Pallid came in with a puncture wound and neurological problems. We don’t know what happened to him,” says Spencer. “He has made tremendous progress, but he may not be releasable. If not, he will become an “Ed Bat,” and help us at public outreach events.”
Long Beach Animal Hospital’s Dr. Elizabeth Wood, DVM, donates her time to help SBWR’s bat patients. She evaluates their injuries, dispenses antibiotics, performs X-rays, and even vaccinates them for rabies.
A Canyon Bat from Fontana is examined at Long Beach Animal Hospital (above).
Spencer and Paul receive guidance and support from seasoned bat rehabilitators from Project Wildlife, Cynthia Myers and Kristy Cambone. Project Wildlife, now part of the San Diego Humane Society, has been rehabilitating bats for years. “When we receive a bat with mysterious symptoms or an injury we haven’t yet dealt with, we reach out to our mentors,” says Spencer. “We’re lucky to be be able to benefit from their experience.”
In San Diego, animal control officers take bats directly to wildlife rehabbers. According to Paul, that’s not happening In L.A. and Orange Counties. “When an animal control officer picks up a bat up here it is euthanized and tested for rabies, healthy or not, even if there was no contact with a human or a pet,” says Paul. “It’s disheartening. Bat populations can’t afford this rate of loss.”
All SBWR Bat Team volunteers are rabies vaccinated. Rabies is estimated to inflict less than 1% of wild bat populations at any given time, and only about 2 people in the U.S. die of the disease every year. “There is a high level of fear of bats in this country because of rabies, way out of proportion to the actual risk they pose,” says Paul. Nevertheless, Paul says unvaccinated people should never touch a bat with bare hands. “If a bat is touched it has to be euthanized and tested for rabies, period.”
There are about 1200 bat species in the world. Bats are critical to our ecosystems for insect control, pollination, seed dispersal and more. California is home to about 24 species, and many of them are in decline. White Nose Syndrome has just been detected in our state, so pressure on bat populations are likely to increase further. South Bay Wildlife is proud of its new focus on helping bats. “Very few wildlife rehab organizations take them in,” says SBWR Director Ann Lynch, “We’re currently the only one in Los Angeles County.”
Written by Chumi Paul
If you have any questions or if you are interested in helping SBWR’s Bat Rehabilitation Team, please send an email to SBWR.email@example.com
BENEFICIAL BATS! Learn more about our local bats and SBWR’s efforts to help them on October 19 at Wild Birds Unlimited in Redondo Beach.
September 22nd, 9am – 4pm
Anniversary Celebration at Wild Birds Unlimited
South Bay Wildlife Rehab will have education birds of prey on display – All Day!
Annual HUGE opportunity drawing to raise funds for South Bay Wildlife Rehab
October 9th, 8 – 10pm (Monthly: 2nd Wed. of each month)
The Birds of Madrona at Madrona Marsh
Take a walk through the wilderness of Madrona Marsh with birder, Bob Shanman
Discover and learn about native and migrating birds living at or visiting The Marsh,
and possibly your backyard!
October 5th, 5:30 – 9:00pm
Moonlight on the Marsh at Friends of Ballona Wetlands
14th Annual Moonlight on the Marsh, Centerpointe Club in Playa Vista
An inspirational gala and annual fundraising event to benefit restoration, education, and advocacy at the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve.
October 19th, 10:30am – 12pm
Bats, Bats, Bats at Wild Birds Unlimited
South Bay Wildlife Rehab will have an educational discussion on different types of Bats and their intriguing ways.
Become more aware of Bats around us and the species that are endangered.
Featured Bird: How RTH A33 Became Ayla
We have a new addition to our educational raptors…Meet Ayla! This female Red Tailed Hawk Ayla is currently in training with Stacey.
We received Red Tailed Hawk (RTH) A33 on March 22 of this year from Long Beach Animal Hospital, where she had been taken after being found at LAX. She had head trauma.
We moved her to a mew at the Ranch on March 25, and to Ultra on April. We noted that she didn’t seem to want to fly, and preferred to hop on the ground. As we observed her in Ultra, we noted that she was able to fly, but just didn’t seem to want to. She also seemed less afraid of a feeder being near her than she should have. We didn’t think at that time that she could be a candidate for release. I also remember her seeming inhospitable to a new Peregrine Falcon who was taken to Ultra, chasing him off a perch!
After a month in Ultra, she started to look like a possible candidate for release, flying the length of the flight and looking beautiful doing it. But, again, her preference for hopping on the ground kept us from thinking her survival chances would be good.
Other Birds At The Ranch…
Good news the for the female Cooper’s Hawk in mew G1.. After months of rehabilitation she will be ready to be released back into her original location later
The Great Horned Owl, A36, will be released much later than originally expected because of an eye problem that could potentially cause blindness in one eye.
Once the eye is healed, she will need to be kept alone in a mew for us to determine whether she is able to hunt for live food. And, A36 is a cutie, as all owls are!!
At The Ranch is written by Wendy Watson
Your sponsored support is the reason that we are able to continue to rescue,
rehab and release these beautiful birds back to where they can thrive again
and soar freely.
New new T-shirt designs, shown above in photo, and tote-bags will be available at our upcoming events for purchase:
Anniversary Celebration on September 22, 9am – 4pm, AND
Bats, Bats, Bats on October 19, 10:30am – 12pm at Wild Birds Unlimited.
Check out our ongoing T-Shirt styles available in STORE on our website.
These are great for gift-giving, as well as, comfortable and durable.
Most importantly, YOU are helping feed and treat our beloved feathered rescues
with each purchase.
Carrie Martin’s Life-long Devotion to Wildlife Conservation
How long have you volunteered with SBWR and in what roles? I’ve served 2 years in the following roles: Release coordinator, Education Team, Feeding Team, operations and system enhancements at the Ranch.
What’s your favorite part about volunteering with SBWR? My favorite aspect of volunteering is the raptors of course, Owls being my favorites, yet I also met some amazing people which for me was a pretty big deal upon our transfer from Georgia 3 years ago. Made my first “California Friends” thanks to Ann and South Bay Wildlife Rehab. South Bay is my 3rd rehabilitation center to serve. I have cared for exotics animals, reptiles, raptors and mammals of all kinds.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself outside of being an SBWR volunteer? I’m in a pretty magical marriage of 37 years as of May 29th! Mom of three grown kids that are our best friends which is also pretty magical. They all married incredible people that we adore. We have one granddaughter who is 14-month-old. She loves the outdoors and animals so she is off to a great start. We have two fur babies that are senior dogs who have crossed the country twice now in a Jeep Wrangler! I am a lover of all thing’s nature related. My first job was in a pet store (that my dad owned!) I had a 25-year career in live production and event planning. I’ve led an Astronomy Club and Mountain bike race team and still enjoy both hobbies immensely. Love to hike and kayak. Travel is very important to us as it expands cultural perspective and breaks down barriers. I’m a member of the Sierra Club, IWRC, Nature Conservancy and the National Park Foundation.
What’s your personal statement about SBWR’s mission or your own personal mission to help and learn about wildlife?
“Through the rehabilitation and education of wildlife, my calling is to empower the community and the NEXT GENERATION in conservation, responsible stewardship of wildlife, and habitat protection locally and nationally.”
SBWR thanks you, Carrie, for your all of your
dedication and service!