04/17/14 2:30pm

Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.

The Nature Conservancy has been kind enough to offer to take us bird watching at Teddy Roosevelt Island again. I’m thinking early morning on Sunday May 4th. If enough folks are interested we’ll make it a go. Please let me know in the comments or email me at princeofpetworth(at)gmail if you can make it and I’ll do an updated post with details if enough folks are in.

04/03/14 1:15pm

Photo: Nicole MacCorkle/Smithsonian’s National Zoo

We knew Bao Bao might venture outside this week – suffice it to say – she’s digging it. From the National Zoo:

“Tall tale of the day: Bao Bao climbed a tree this morning. It was the highest she’s been yet!”

“The trees all have metal collars around them, which prevent Bao Bao from climbing to any height that could be potentially dangerous. Bao Bao has climbed up and down the tree in Mei’s yard successfully several times today. Although Bao Bao is enjoying her time in the tree, our keepers want to be sure she comes down before the end of the day. As part of her training, first they will call her to see if she will come down on her own. If she doesn’t respond, they will use a ladder to retrieve her. Bao Bao is perfectly safe and exhibiting expected cub behavior.”

Photo: Smithsonian’s National Zoo

04/03/14 12:30pm

Photo via The Raptor Center

Last week we learned that our Snowy Owl that was hit by a bus had been sent to The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota to continue rehabilitation. Looks like it’s going well! Thanks to a reader for sending an update from the The Raptor Center:

“The “DC Snowy” was given a series of reconditioning flights this morning to assess flight mechanics, strength, and endurance. We invited some press friends to capture this story to be shared with the many people who have expressed interest. Look for WCCO-4 and KSTP-5, among others, to air stories.”

03/26/14 11:23am


From a press release:

“The snowy owl reportedly hit by a bus in Washington, D.C., in late January 2014 recently arrived to The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota for care.

“A rehabilitation center on the East coast who had been caring for the owl reached out to us because of our international reputation for replacing damaged feathers,” said Julia Ponder, D.V.M., executive director of The Raptor Center. The Raptor Center rehabilitates more than 900 sick and injured raptors each year, while training veterinary students and veterinarians from around the world to become future leaders in raptor medicine and conservation.

The owl was in-clinic yesterday afternoon having damaged wing feathers replaced through a process known as imping. Since feather shafts are hollow, replacement feathers can be fitted, inserted and glued in by trained professionals, using a piece of bamboo as a connector between the bird and new feathers. Replacing the owl’s damaged feathers will allow the owl to once again fly with the maneuverability it needs for survival in the wild.

The Raptor Center clinic manager Lori Arent is a specialist in imping and performed the procedure. “We’re uncertain as to what caused the singed-like appearance to the owl’s feathers, but it does resemble patients we have treated who burned their flight feathers after flying over an intense heat source, such as a methane burner,” said Arent.

The prognosis for the snowy owl’s release is good. It will receive a test flight early next week and then an exercise program will be established to strengthen its muscles sufficiently for release.”

01/30/14 11:21am

Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

From the National Zoo:

“The snowy owl that has been spotted recently in the Washington D.C. area was brought to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo for care early this morning after reportedly being hit by a bus in the 15th and I St. area of the District. The owl was found by the Metropolitan Police who reported the injury to the National Zoological Police. The owl was transferred by the DC Police to the Zoo and cared for by Dr. Jessica Siegal-Willott at the Zoo’s hospital.

Upon arrival, the snowy owl was alert and responsive but subdued. There were no obvious physical injuries but there was blood on the bird. Upon further examination, blood was found in the mouth which is consistent with suspected head trauma. The owl was provided supportive care which included pain medication, Meloxicam, and non-steroid inflammatory drug akin to aspirin and provided fluids sub-cutaneously. Our team made sure the bird was comfortable and in a quiet atmosphere while waiting for it to be picked up by City Wildlife for rehabilitation. Per standard and established protocol, wild animals such as this snowy owl, are provided care and released back into the wild by a state or in this case a city-affiliated animal organization. City Wildlife Biologist Abby Hehmeyer says they will give the owl x-rays in order to determine any missed injuries, but their goal is to release her as soon as possible.

Our team of veterinarians believes the owl is female. This was determined by the size and color, since females tend to be a little larger and darker than male snowy owls.”

01/03/14 1:30pm

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

Fox5 reports:

“The window allows them [sharpshooters] to do it any night between January 2, 2014 and March 31, 2014 between 9:30 p.m. and 4 a.m. Roads will be closed when any sharpshooting is underway. Any deer killed will go to homeless shelters and places to feed the needy. The target is to kill 106 deer during the three-month window, but getting the population down to the goal of 15 to 20 per square mile will take several years.”

In March 2013 “Deer Reduction Operations” also took effect in Rock Creek Park.

Ed. Note: Earlier this week we learned of a $1000 reward offered for info leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who shot a deer with an arrow in SW.

12/31/13 11:30am


From the Washington Humane Society:

“On Friday December 20, 2013 the Washington Humane Society (WHS) Humane Law Enforcement Department discovered a male white-tailed deer severely injured from an arrow wound to the shoulder area on the 4000 block of 1st Place, SW, near the intersection of 1st Place and South Capital St., SW.

Due to the severity of his injuries, the deer was humanely euthanized and WHS is now offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

WHS Officers have reason to believe that this buck was a member of a heard which frequented the area often, likely from the wooded area adjacent to the Anacostia Freeway. The wound appeared to be approximately 1 week old when the buck was discovered on December 20, 2013.

If you have any information about this case, please contact the
Washington Humane Society Humane Law Enforcement Department:
Officer Russell
(202) 723-5730
Information will be kept confidential upon request.”

12/30/13 10:02pm

Photo by PoPville flickr user pablo.raw

From Takoma Park PD:

Gun Shots to Put Down Rabid Raccoon – Community Advisory
On December 29, 2013, Takoma Park Police responded to Sligo Creek Parkway and Heather Avenue for reports of a rabid raccoon. Based on the raccoon’s behavior and demeanor, it was deemed to be rabid and had to be put down. Animal control is en route to pick up the raccoon.”