Colorado Conservation Birding

Birding and discussion: A conservation-oriented birding blog that emphasizes low-impact birding and sustainable birding practices together with the enjoyment of birds. ****This site has moved to

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

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Monday, September 26, 2005

Hurricane's impact on bird migration

Following is an excerpt from news dated 9-23-05:

By Lynn Brezosky, Associated Press Writer | September 23, 2005

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas --For millennia, fall's Gulf of Mexico hurricanes have butted gale-force winds against the southbound journeys of migrating birds. Somehow, the birds have been able to sense storm paths and survive."

Read the full story here


Hurricane damage to wildlife habitat

Following is excerpted from story on the impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on wildlife habitat and natural buffers:

". . .In Mississippi's Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, the hurricane felled pine trees crucial to the survival of the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker; Breton Island, a sanctuary for nesting and wintering seabirds and shorebirds, has largely washed away. . ."

Read the full story here


Thursday, September 15, 2005


Following is excerpted from the MSNBC website:

"By Ron Mott
NBC News
Updated: 11:54 a.m. ET Sept. 15, 2005

GULFPORT, Miss. - In an “unheard of” rescue operation, eight dolphins that were swept out of their oceanarium by Hurricane Katrina have been rediscovered hundreds of yards out at sea where trainers are tracking, feeding and caring for them."

Read the full article here



Excerpted from Defenders of Wildlife eNews on 3-14-05:

Wildlife Habitats Destroyed
Wetlands that once supported birds and other animals are now gone. National wildlife refuges covering 365,000 acres are still closed. Breton National Wildlife Refuge, which is the second oldest refuge in the country and celebrating its centennial this year, is now about half its original size. At least five other refuges in the area also suffered extreme damage.

A number of endangered animals rely on the refuges for survival. About 50 sea turtle nests along the Alabama coast and all ten nests at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge were lost. Many trees fell at Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, including those that housed endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers. Some good news though: It appears that a good number of Mississippi sandhill cranes (an endangered subspecies of crane) survived the storm, though some were lost. Untold numbers of other animals likely did not weather the storm so well though.

Read full article here



Excerpted from Reuters Alert Net--

Source: Reuters
HOUSTON, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Wildlife experts will try to rescue eight bottlenose dolphins swept from their aquarium home into the Mississippi Sound by Hurricane Katrina, a federal agency said on Wednesday.

The dolphins were spotted in the sound off the Mississippi coast on Saturday and appeared to be underweight and injured, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service said.

Because they lived in captivity in the Marine Life Aquarium in Gulfport, Mississippi, they do not know how to forage for food and are being fed several times a day from a NOAA vessel.

Read full story here


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hurricane Katrina-Wildlife update 9-13-05

This is from the Best Friend's website-September 13, 2005 : 7:17 PM ET
"Lloyd Brown, with the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (, has been combing the ravaged Gulf Coast for days, checking on the damage to wildlife centers and picking up animals in distress.

This morning he brought an exhausted white pelican, that he had plucked from the coastal areas southeast of New Orleans, to Leslie Lattimore, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in Livingston, Louisiana and also a board member of the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (

The pelican is weak, with feathers soaked in toxic, oily water. Leslie reports that he’ll need a good bath, but he is eagerly wolfing down some food, which is a great sign. He’s receiving the best possible care. Whether or not the pelican survives may depend on how much toxicity his system has taken in, but he has no injuries and stands a chance."

Read full article here


Monday, September 12, 2005

Hurricane Katrina--site for info on wildife rehabilitators

Here is the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association website update page on local wildlife rehabilitators in the Hurricane Katrina devastated areas. You may need to click on your refresh button to see if there is any more updated info after today (or just go to the main page then move to the Hurricane Katrina update page) SeEtta


Hurricane Katrina--Threatened, endangered & exotic animals

Following excerpt is from this website

Global Wildlife Center
The Global Wildlife Center in Folsom, Louisiana, home to over 3,000 exotic, endangered, and threatened animals from all over the world, posted the following on their web site on Saturday September 3, 2005: "Global Wildlife will remain closed to the public until further notice. All of our animals are doing great and we only had minor damage from falling trees. However due to the lack of electricity and fuel in the area; we are unable to open back up to the public at this time.


Hurricane Katrina-Zoo & aquarium update

This taken from the American Zoo and Aquarium Assoc website ( SeEtta

"Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
While the aquarium survived Hurricane Katrina relatively unscathed, its life support system did not; most of the animals in its aquatic exhibits were lost. However, the sea otters, penguins, macaws and raptors, leafy and weedy sea dragons, some fishes, and Midas, a 250 lb. green sea turtle all survived thanks to the care of staff who remained at the aquarium through the hurricane, flooding and civil unrest.

The Aquarium has power again as of yesterday. In addition, a new staff team staff arrived yesterday as replacements for those who have been at the Aquarium.

The Aquarium has relocated the surviving animals from its marine life collection to four colleague institutions in Monterey, California; and Dallas, Galveston, and Houston, Texas.

* Aquarium survivors to be airlifted out of New Orleans | 9/9/2005
* Aquarium Animals Evacuate New Orleans; Zoo Gets Relief | 9/9/2005"

"Audubon Zoo
The Audubon Zoo also has a fresh staff team in place today, which will allow the twelve "storm riders" to take a much-needed break.

Audubon Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species
The Center is faring well. Clean-up continues.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005


The following also comes from the Best Friends website:

"Meanwhile, since last Thursday, September 1, Becki Bolm has released eleven of her birds and has taken in a flood of hurricane victims: three Eastern blue jays, some Merganser ducks, Madagascar ducks, five squirrel babies, a red-tailed hawk, and a barred owl. The NWRA will be sending Becki a giant “care package” of food and rehabilitation supplies for birds and mammals to help with all these extra patients.

Becki is also giving instructions on emergency care by phone to a couple dozen volunteers scattered across several counties who are raising squirrel babies. Gas is still scarce, and it’s difficult to bring the babies to her center.

One of these new squirrel caregivers is an eighty-two year old lady living between Lafayette and New Orleans, Louisiana, who is feeding the baby squirrels a makeshift diet that is the best she can do in the circumstances. She insisted that she didn’t need any help herself and says that both the squirrels and she are doing just fine!

Becki explains that the newly arrived ducks and blue jays were brought out of New Orleans by a couple, Edie and her husband, as they evacuated the city. They’ve lost their house and their jobs, but discovered unexpected kindness on the part of a gentleman in Jackson, who not only invited them to be guests in his home, but who drove them both, along with the three blue jays and the little group of ducks, all in need of care, out to Becki’s wildlife center. "

Read full report here



This is a mixture of devotion, sad and heartening news about several rehabilitator facilites taken from the Best Friends website:

"September 7, 2005 : 11:40 PM ET
The saddest news, first, is that four of the people of WRANPS, the Wildlife Rehab and Nature Preservation Society in Long Beach, Mississippi, did not survive the hurricane and were found in the wreckage of their center this morning by Alison Sharpe and another wildlife rehabilitator. The four have not yet been identified, so we do not have their names.

Of the seventy or so animals also found at WRANPS, some were still alive and are being placed in the care of other wildlife rehabilitators.

The entire staff of WRANPS has done a valiant job for many years in caring for pelicans, seals and many other sea birds and mammals. They took in two or three thousand animals a year and provided a haven for orphaned and injured Gulf Coast wildlife. May peace and blessings be with them as they and the creatures they cared for travel to the shores of a gentler sea.

Also on the Mississippi coast, wildlife rehabilitator Alison Sharpe survived the full brunt of the hurricane, which destroyed her house while she was in it. In the middle of the hurricane, she and a colleague made a dash for a construction site where they rode out the rest of the storm.

Very sadly, Alison had to euthanize all her rehab birds because there was not enough food to keep them alive. She was able to save her three educational birds. For several days she shared ice cubes with the three: a great horned owl, a crow, and a red-tailed hawk, doling out to them the small amount of food available. Finally, she was able to make her way to Becki Bolm’s center in Vicksburg with the three birds, who she has entrusted to Becki for the time being.

Becki who reported this news to us, had more news as well, some happier. Since we spoke with Becki last Thursday (see previous column) their power is on, though it blinks a little from time to time.

Pat Lowrance, licensed wildlife rehabilitator and friend of Becki’s in a nearby town, was able to release eight of her birds, and is now down to sixteen hawks, owls, and Mississippi kites. A near disaster, though, was the loss all of the food for her raptors (birds of prey), spoiled because of the power going out. She was left with nothing to feed the birds.

The Jackson Zoo, in Jackson Mississippi, has come to the rescue and will be donating raptor food to both Pat and Becki! Donna Todd, wildlife rehabilitator at the Jackson Zoo arranged this donation."

Read full report here


Monday, September 05, 2005


I got the following post from Best Friends Animal Society's webpage. You can verify authenticity here. I encourage everyone to check sources of any information requesting help and especially money you find on internet as way to easy to scam people. SeEtta

September 5, 2005 : 10:27 PM ET
posted by: gianna59
WILDLIFE efforts also in progress and in need:

Generators, Wildlife rehabilitators or wildlife suppliers with food for raptors Transportation for supplies (especially within Mississippi). Because gas is scarce, enough gas will be needed for round-trip.

To help with these wildlife needs, please e-mail or call 435-644-2001, x 104, specifying that it is “for wildlife”. Please leave a clear message and your complete contact information.

Thank you for helping the wild birds and animals who were in the hurricane!



AFP/Getty Images - Tue Aug 30,12:06 PM ET

Here are two locations shelters requesting help from all levels of expertise that I took from the Louisiana School of Veterinary Medicine website. You can check the authenticity here (look on bottom of page). Always check authenticity of sources before calling, volunteering and especially giving as there are criminals who are actively engaged in trying to scam good-hearted people who want to help. SeEtta

" If you live outside the Baton Rouge area and would like to volunteer your time to work in one of the Emergency Animal Shelters, please call toll-free (888) 773-6489 (Louisiana only; out-of-state, please call (225) 925-3990) or send an e-mail to with your name and contact information, level of experience (e.g., veterinarian, veterinary assistant/technician, animal control worker, lay volunteer, etc., and please indicate any specialized skills you may have), your level of self-sufficiency, when you can travel to Baton Rouge, and how long you can stay.

Volunteers (minimum age: 16) are needed to work in the pet shelter at John M. Parker Coliseum. Please come to the Coliseum to sign up, call toll-free (888) 773-6489 (Louisiana only) or (225) 925-3980 (out-of-state), or e-mail for more information."


Hurricane Katrina-New Orleans aquarium and zoo update

The following update, some good and some bad, was reported on the online Times-Picayune on 9-4-05. SeEtta:

Some Fish Die At Aquarium
Sunday, Sept. 5, 2005 10:50 p.m.

By Jim Varney
Staff writer

While there were plenty of fires still smoldering in New Orleans on Sunday, the black smoke belching from the roof of one of the city’s crown jewels has regrettably stopped. The generator at the Aquarium of the Americas is shot.
Its demise signaled the death of scores of gorgeous animals according to stricken workers who moved through the building with miner’s lights strapped to their heads.
“These were our buddies. We did the best job we could to keep them alive,’’ said John Hewitt IV, director of husbandry and a senior vice president at the Audubon Nature Institute.
Near tears Hewitt declined to describe the watery tombs inside the aquarium. Most of the fish in the giant shark tank and the Caribbean reef exhibit are feared dead, as well as the tropical sting rays and other Amazonian fish in the aquarium’s rainforest section.
A similar tragedy reportedly has not befallen the New Orleans Zoo, another prime tourist attraction and a source of tremendous civic pride.
And all is not lost at the zoo’s watery partner at the foot of Canal Street. Hewitt identified the aquarium’s thick green anaconda and white alligators as among the survivors.
“They’re fine and frankly we’re in no hurry to move those guys,’’ Hewitt said.
Also making it through Hurricane Katrina were the aquarium’s sea otters, its bald eagle and most of its penguins. Hewitt said in the coming days the aquarium’s staff will try to find alternative homes for the fish and birds.
No decision has been made on a timetable for that move or on whether to drain the tanks before the dead fish are removed.
“We’ve had offers of help from all over the world,’’ he said. “What we’ll do now is access the health of the living animals and get them relocated wherever we can.”


Hurricane Katrina-news from wildlife rehabilitators

Following excerpts were posted on the Best Friends Animal Society website:

eptember 4, 2005 : 7:06 PM ET
Wildlife on the Gulf Coast haven't been forgotten in the wake of the hurricane.

Following hurricane Katrina, wildlife rehabilitators in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, are helping wild creatures caught in the hurricane and are helping each other.
So far, we’ve been able to reach a few of these wildlife rehabilitators, and we expect to reach a number of others in the coming days. These initial reports are from Thursday, September 1.

A hundred and twelve orphaned squirrels, who were blown out of their nests and away from their mothers by hurricane Katrina, were found by kind individuals who transported them to the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, in Baton Rouge, where Dr. Mark Mitchell, Dr. Lorrie Hale and their colleagues there care for wildlife. The baby squirrels are for the most part uninjured, though buffeted about a bit, and are doing very well.

Forty miles west of Baton Rouge, independent wildlife rehabilitator Valerie Jagneaux, reports that she was not affected by the hurricane, which passed to the east of her center. She specializes in opossums and is able to take in any mammals or reptiles, including squirrels, raccoons, lizards and alligators who may need help following the hurricane. Valerie does not rehabilitate birds, but can provide referrals for them.

In Alabama, the Environmental Studies Center, with the Mobile school district, still has no power, but is partially operational. Until next Tuesday, September 6, they are unable to take any more injured or orphaned wildlife, but they will be happy to provide information by phone on how to care for orphaned squirrels. Please see below for their contact information.
Becki Bolm in Vicksburg, Mississippi told us of ninety-mile per hour winds that battered her wildlife center for four hours, leaving her with no power, no water, and the roofs blown off of two of the three houses on the property. They are houses for people, not animals, and fortunately no one was hurt.

The bird facilities were unscathed, except for one cage. . . ."

Read full report here


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