Rescued Gray Fox Recovering Well

3 weeks ago, a Gray fox was brought to our clinic with a hard plastic cup stuck on her head (read story here). Her ears were badly wounded by the cup, flattened to her head, and rubbed raw and furless with open sores. Her wounds and ears were filled with maggots (fly larvae). She was also extremely thin. ,After removing the cup, she was given antibiotics for a week and fed an easy to digest diet of canned cat food mixed with salmon oil and egg.

She is now recovering well. Her wounds are nearly healed, fur is growing back in and she’s eating lots of food that is perfect for a fox – rats, birds, some insects and vegetables – and well on her way to being released back to her free and wild life.

Here’s a short clip taken immediately before performing last week’s weekly check-up exam.

Thank you for your support. Your donation goes directly to the care of all our patients, from this Fox whose luck has turned around, to the dozen Common Murres in care and the two dozen orphaned racccons. Want to help? Click on the donate button! Every little bit helps! Thank you!


Gray Fox Rescued!

This morning at Humboldt Wildlife Care Center we had just finished bringing food to all our patients, we’d administered the medications and had settled into our morning meeting to discuss the day’s tasks and to update volunteers on our cases, when in walked four people carrying a fox.

Now, people walking in with an injured wild animal is a pretty normal occurrence at a wildlife hospital, but an adult Gray fox with a bright red cup around her face looking somewhat like a veterinary cone isn’t ordinary.

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The folks who brought her in had been camped in a vacant lot behind a local trailer park. One of them, a young man who said his name was Pocket Trash, was able to catch her as she ran. He told how he’d nearly had her, but she got away, and how he strategized his next move, putting himself where she was headed, and how once caught, she calmed down and allowed herself to be carried, limply, as  they made their way to our clinic.

It was quite a story, but a familiar one to any who has tried to capture an injured wild animal. Success is always surprising and Pocket Trash, who didn’t want to use his “government name,” was still amazed that he’d actually caught her.

Upon examination, the first task was to get the cup off. She had deep cuts, mostly healed over, around her neck – most of her head was covered and we had no way of knowing what lurked beneath.

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gray fox cup 2015 - 6What we found after geting the cup off!

After getting the cup off, it was obvious that she’d spent a long time in this predicament. Her ears were flattened to her head, rubbed raw and furless, and in the final insult, her inner ears were filled with hundreds of maggots.

Needless to say, we went to work clearing the maggots out.

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gray fox cup 2015 - 9Cleaning maggots (fly larvae) from the Gray Fox’s ears. This work can test your gag-reflex!

Her wounds, although serious, do not appear to be life-threatening.  We treated her with a mild pain reliever and antibiotics. She’s very thin. Right now she’s resting more comfortably with an easy to digest diet of fish, eggs and canned cat food. She’s not out of the woods yet, but thanks to the quick and good action of Pocket Trash, she is out of the trailer park and out of the cup.

And thanks to you, we are here, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, to provide care for injured and orphaned wild animals. Your support gives people who’ve found an animal in serious trouble, like this fox, a place that can help. Please support us during our late Summer fundraising appeal. Thank you for being a part of this life-saving work!

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After treatment, now healing can begin.

[The second week of our Late Summer fundraising drive begins tomorrow. Please help us reach our goal of $3000 by September 15! We’re almost halfway there!]


all photos: Bird Ally X


Help us meet our End of Summer goals, get Pelican Dreams on DVD

As part of our End of Summer campaign, we have a limited number of DVDs available as a special thank you when you contribute $100 or more!

The Pelican Dreams DVD has over an hour of extra features!

Released in 2014, we are excited to announce that Pelican Dreams, the latest documentary by award-winning filmmaker, Judy Irving (The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill) is now on DVD.

Centered around the story of “Gigi” – a very young (4 months old!!) female Brown Pelican who landed on the Golden Gate Bridge one afternoon in August 2008, the film follows her rescue and rehabilitation. Brought to International Bird Rescue in Fairfield, California the story is helped along by “Gigi’s” primary caregiver (BAX/Humboldt Wildlife Care Center’s co-director, Monte Merrick). As the Pelican’s primary caregiver, the film spends some time with him, as well as wife and partner and fellow co-director, Laura Corsiglia.


The film took over 6 years to make and includes footage from Bird Ally X/Humboldt Wildlife Care Center rescue work, and uses footage shot in Crescent City Harbor by Arcata’s own Ishan Vernallis (Medicine Baul).

Thanks to Judy Irving and Pelican Media, we can offer these as a special thank you for contributions of $100 or more! Become a member!

Thank you for being a part of this life-saving work!


Young Raven thinks, “Outside the box!”

During the last week of August, on an evening walk along Clam Beach, a McKinleyville resident saw a dark clump of seaweed at the surf line. As he got closer, he thought, “No, those are feathers.” And then at last, “those feathers are breathing!”

The young Raven (Corvus corax) was thoroughly soaked, immobilized by hypothermia (very low body temperature).

Fortunately, since it was late in the day, Lynda Stockton, who runs the stranding hotline for the North Coast Marine Mammal Center in Crescent City was nearby. Lynda, also of McKinleyville, regularly walks the beaches of Humboldt County, checking on stranded Seals and Sea lions that have been called in by the public. In her beach work, Lynda often finds struggling seabirds, bringing them to Humboldt Wildlife Care Center when she does.

Lynda took the bird back to her house for the evening. She told us, “he was totally down, unresponsive, soaking wet, only breathing.” Lynda kept him (we don’t actually know the sex of the bird) warm through the night and brought him to our Bayside clinic in the morning.

raven sept 2015 - 07Raven gets full exam prior to release.

At the inital exam, 12 hours after being pulled from the surf, the Raven’s body temperature was back to normal, but still he was unsteady on his feet – we discovered that the bird was molting in a fresh set of feathers and that he was a young, no more than a year old.

Residual neurological problems after such a close brush with death are normal. We provided fluids, vitamins, a dose of a mild pain relieving/ anti-inflammatory drug and a healthy diet of fish, fruit, seed and insects. Within a day, the Raven was standing normally and ready for an outside aviary.

raven sept 2015 - 05Checking feathers and wing function at his release evaluation.

After four days we gave another complete exam. Lynda Stockton was able to be on hand. She was astonished at his recovery.

Six days later we released the Raven, hopefully wiser now, back to his habitat. We invited to Lynda to join us. She called him Edgar. We called him free.

raven sept 2015 - 14Lynda Stockton of the North Coast Marine Mammal Center (right) and Elissa Blair, Bird Ally X staff member, let the Raven out of the box back at Clam Beach.

raven sept 2015 - 15Get me out of here!

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[Right now we are striving to meet our Summer busy season expenses. Any thing helps. Please donate what you can, $5, $25, $50, $250, $500 or more! Thank you for your support!]

raven sept 2015 - 17The young bird swept away from the beach area and back toward the trees across the highway, an area know for Raven families.

raven sept 2015 - 21In only seconds, the Raven put some considerable distance between his rescuers and his future! 

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raven sept 2015 - 26Somewhere over there… a young Raven tells his friends and families an amazing story of life, close calls, and what a cage means. Chilling!

raven sept 2015 - 22Our last glimpse

Working together with other environmental and wildlife welfare organizations is an important part of meeting our mission. We are grateful to call the good people who operate the North Coast Marine Mammal Center our friends and colleagues. They help us get our job done!

And of course, we are grateful to you, for providing the resources we need to meet our mission, of protecting the wild and caring for the injured and orphaned wild animals of the beautiful Redwood Nation.

Thank you for being a part of this life-saving work!


(All photos: Laura Corsiglia/BAX)


Late Summer, and We Need Your Help!

Our summer bills are piling up, our babies need food and we need you! Want to help wild animals in our region? Donate today!

It was four years ago this week that Bird Ally X teamed with Humboldt Wildlife Care Center to rescue over 50 fish waste contaminated juvenile Brown Pelicans found at the public fish cleaning stations at Crescent City and Shelter Cover, on California’s beautiful and rugged Redwood Coast.

What began as an emergency response developed into a permanent partnership, with Bird Ally X and HWCC merging into one organization. This began an intense period of infrastructure building. We’ve added seabird pools, a pelican aviary, a raptor aviary, raccoon housing, other small mammal housing, a waterfowl aviary, renovated our songbird  aviary, and more!

We have a permanent full time staff and our clinic is open regular hours every day of the year. These are substantial improvements. Because of these improvements, with these our organization is now a member of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network, and we stand more ready to help in the event of an oil spill in our region.

We have advocated for our wild neighbors, promoting co-existence and working with communities and policy makers to reduce the injuries that our society heaps upon the wild and natural world. We have treated nearly 5000 wild animals in these last four years. In short, it has been a period of exponential growth and advancement – none of which would have been possible without your support.

And we still need your support. We rely on your donations to accomplish all that we do. You make it happen. You buy the baby formula. You buy the frozen fish, the frozen rats, that the meat eaters we treat must have. You pay for the electricity that keeps our incubators and pool pumps running. You purchase the medicine. You pay for the gasoline that takes our education team and wild ambassadors to schools all over Humboldt County. You provide the eggs we feed our raccoons. Without your support  we wouldn’t have the water for the zucchini patch that all of the omnivores we treat rely on – raccoon babies, skunk babies, and baby opossums. You even pay for the tortilla chips and salsa that we provide for our volunteers, many of whom come in for full day shifts.

Your support is needed now to help us catch up on our summer expenses (water bill! food bill! electric bill!) and prepare for winter and the return of seabirds to our region as well as the season when we can improve and repair housing after the wild babies in our care are old enough and ready to be released.

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… and also caring for the wild babies still in our care! Right now we have 23 orphaned raccoons, many of whom will be with us for another couple of months, learning to hunt, forage, and provide for themselves before they will ready for return to the wild. Help us provide the natural diet that they need to learn to be the best raccoons they can!
raccoons 2015 - 016Raccoon formula keeps the young orphans moving forward. Still, mom would be a lot better, so we work hard to keep wild families together!
raccoons 2015 - 031After weekly exam, young raccoons are returned to their freshly stocked housing, fish, vegetables, rodents, insects and more!

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raccoons 2015 - 088As soon as staff returns these youngsters to their housing, they get as far from us as they can.


All photos: Bird Ally X