Wildlife Center of Virginia Blog

What to Expect When You’re Expecting…Turtles

The time I have spent at the Wildlife Center of Virginia over the past 12 weeks has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Growing up not far from this area, I have been familiar with the Center and its outreach since I was a child. My dad and I even brought in an injured hummingbird when I was a kid! But I had never seen the rehabilitation side of things, and as an environmental science major, interested in conservation, this externship seemed like a perfect fit.

Batty for Bats

During the summer, the Wildlife Center of Virginia rehabilitates a variety of species. One of my personal favorites are bats. During the 12 weeks I spent as a summer extern, multiple baby bats came into our care. The most common species that we rehabilitate is the Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus).

Fawned Over

At the beginning of the summer, the Wildlife Center of Virginia was inundated with all kinds of baby animals: rabbits, opossums, squirrels, and songbirds. Our youthful collection became complete when the first White-tailed Deer fawn of the season was admitted on May 24. 

Three Wildlife Myths Debunked

Before starting my twelve-week wildlife rehabilitation externship, I thought I knew a lot about the native wildlife here in Virginia. It turns out that I had an incredible amount to learn! It would be impossible to write everything I discovered about wildlife in one blog post, so I decided to talk about three major myths I believed before they were debunked during my training.

The Hitchhikers on our Patients

I would first like to start this blog with a warning: if you get a queasy stomach or are about to read this while eating, I would advise against continuing. That’s because I’m the veterinary diagnostic intern, so I spend most of my day in the laboratory looking at blood and fecal samples. I thought I’d discuss some of the hitchhikers that come in with our patients.

You Can Say That Again!

Baby season is an overwhelming time of year for many people here; the front desk staff is no exception. During our busiest time of year, I spend the majority of my day answering calls and putting people on hold to answer more calls.

Expect the Unexpected

Since my time as an education outreach extern is coming to a close, I thought I would share a few of my favorite experiences from the last few weeks of my externship– which have been extremely busy. As an outreach extern, I have learned that my job always comes with some surprising tasks.

Just last week, outreach coordinator Raina asked me to make a video to celebrate Shark Week – a weeklong television series that is dedicated to sharks. Raina’s idea for the video featured Wilson in a shark costume (crafted by volunteer Angel Cooper), so how could I resist?

Chim Chim Cher-ee

The Wildlife Center has had a recent influx of orphaned Chimney Swifts, which is pretty exciting since most of these adult birds never sit still long enough for people to get a good look at them. Adult Chimney Swifts are almost always flying, except during nesting season or when roosting [a term used for birds and other animals when they find a place to sleep]. Chimney Swifts are aerial insectivores, which means they eat in flight. They’ve even bath while still in flight by just skimming the surface of the water when they fly by.

Research Mice Repurposed For Wildlife

The animals at the Wildlife Center of Virginia are dependent on rehabilitators to provide them with care. That includes daily meals that closely resembles their natural diet. The Wildlife Center admits around 2,500 animals per year and some of these animals can be quite large with quite an appetite. During one of my last few weeks as a rehabilitation extern, we were rehabilitating four baby Barn Owls who ate around 800 grams of mice a day – which could be as many as 40 mice!


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