Woodchucks Don’t Chuck, Chew, or Eat Wood

Centuries before any English speakers ever laid eyes on this animal, the Narragansett people of Rhode Island— an Algonquian tribe— called it a “wuchak.” This indigenous name likely shared roots with a similar Cree word meaning weasel or fisher. English speakers turned “wuchak” into “woodchuck,” leading not just to a popular tongue-twister, but a lotContinue reading “Woodchucks Don’t Chuck, Chew, or Eat Wood”

Not Snow White: Wildlife Rehab Ethics Explained

“Don’t you play with them?”“Don’t you get attached?”“Do they know any tricks or commands?”“Do they sleep in your bed with you?”“Why are they so scared of you? Are they being abused?” We hear these questions all the time in wildlife rehabilitation. While they’re coming from a good place, they’re also coming from misunderstanding. Wildlife rehabilitationContinue reading “Not Snow White: Wildlife Rehab Ethics Explained”

Raccoons Eating Birdseed: What to Do

We’ve heard people give a lot of crazy and cruel excuses for killing wild animals, but perhaps the most upsetting reason we’ve heard is, “It was eating my birdseed.” Several of our patients last year were orphans who came to us because the mothers had inconvenienced someone by nibbling some sunflower seeds. Folks, this simplyContinue reading “Raccoons Eating Birdseed: What to Do”

Don’t Kidnap Animals to Teach Your Children

Far, far too often, wildlife rehabilitators get calls about baby animals that the finders have had for weeks. Often, it’s urgent— “Something’s wrong,” or, “It cant walk right,” or, “I think it may be dying.” These animals ultimately die due to improper care by people who thought that a Google search could enable them toContinue reading “Don’t Kidnap Animals to Teach Your Children”

Babies, Not Rabies: Why Raccoons are Awake in Daytime

It’s that time of year! We’ve started getting our annual influx of calls about raccoons seen during daylight hours. Many callers are concerned that these animals have rabies. Don’t worry: unless you see other worrisome symptoms, being awake in the daytime isn’t cause for alarm. From April through August, most of the female raccoons inContinue reading “Babies, Not Rabies: Why Raccoons are Awake in Daytime”

“Mean,” “Crazy” Bird Parents

Wildlife rehabilitators get a lot of calls in the late spring and early summer about birds described with words like “mean,” “crazy,” and “dangerous.” Blue jays, mockingbirds, geese, and robins are the ones most commonly considered aggressive— and it’s no coincidence that they’re the ones most likely to be nesting near our homes and businesses.Continue reading ““Mean,” “Crazy” Bird Parents”