Saving squirrels and other wildlife adventures with Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Raccoons and foxes and baby squirrels, oh my! This March I began an internship at the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Lyons, Colorado. And let me just tell you it is everything I thought it would be! And it puts me one pawstep closer to my dream job as a wildlife rehabilitator.

Spring is baby squirrel season, so the majority of my job is feeding these sweet, furry babies. Most of these squirrels were found orphaned because their mothers were hit by cars or caught by dogs.

Baby squirrel ready for meds

Feeding the babies via syringe

This is me at my happiest
Nothing quite compares to the cuteness of a baby squirrel burrito!

The "Jackson 5"

Aren't we cute?
Squirrels are fed a squirrel-specific formula every few hours until they are larger, when we start feeding them nuts, sweet potato, pinecones, cheerios, and mineral lab blocks. In just a few short weeks they are moved to outside cages where they will learn the skills they need to adjust to a life in the wild. Shortly thereafter, they are released.

Feeding the older squirrels through the cage

Just a few days away from being able to go outside!

As the squirrels get older, the influx of raccoons begins! The raccoon nursery can hold dozens of babies, and can be quite a handful.

But my cuteness surely makes up for it!
Here's what I think of that camera!

Raccoon slumber party
Other animals that come into the center on a regular basis are foxes, coyotes, and rabbits, for a variety of reasons, including being caught in traps, being poisoned, hurt by dogs and cats, or having broken bones. Whatever the reason, the rehabbers at Greenwood, together with the help of volunteers and interns, do everything they can to care for and release these animals back into the wild.

Young coyote being assessed

Tiny cottontail rescued from the jaws of a dog

Mammals aren't the only animals at Greenwood. We also receive an influx of wild birds and waterfowl. We are home to over 20 baby ducklings at the moment. My favorite part of caring for ducklings is changing their cage linens. They get so happy about their new linens and cutely run around all over them, nipping at them and generally rejoicing.

Happy babies
At Greenwood we do everything with love...

I had the opportunity to watch a Common Poorwill and a Ring-necked Pheasant be assessed in the bird intake room upon arrival. I had never seen either of these birds up close and personal before. The Poorwill stayed with us for a few days and we took him outside to assess his flying abilities before releasing him.

Assessing a Ring-necked Pheasant

Beautiful colors

Common Poorwill - a nocturnal insect-eating bird
Getting ready to feed the Poorwill
Flying the Poorwill
Flicker with a bandaged wing

Mountain bluebird with a possible break

I am thoroughly enjoying my time and work at Greenwood, and have mad respect for the rehabbers there, who work day and night to ensure to the best of their abilities that each and every one of these animals gets put back into the wild where it belongs! Thank you, rehabbers!!

Have you found injured or orphaned wildlife and don't know what to do? Check out Greenwood's website for tips on how to handle your wildlife situations. If you'd like to make a donation to Greenwood, you can do so here. Thanks for reading!

*All photos belong to Jennie Burns and Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center


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