“We raised them all the time as kids. Fed them canned dog food with tweezers,” admits Theresa Davis-Logan with liveliness as she recalls her memories growing up on the east side of Elmore, Ohio on her parents’ sprawling two-hundred-plus acre farm.
A life of luxury on the Coastal Ohio trail translates into a lot of land often crawling with critters. According to a representative at Nature’s Nursery, a non-profit wildlife rehabilitation center licensed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife, residents can raise Starlings and Sparrows because they are an invasive species.
Keeping any other bird, bunny, duck, goose, squirrel or raccoon as a playful pet is illegal. Plus, any person thinking this is the compassionate and correct route to take are actually causing a commotion.
“That man I was speaking with on the phone has had a baby bird for two weeks now. The animal goes to work with him, flies around and poops everywhere. He doesn’t know how to get this bird to eat on its own. He won’t bring the bird in and asked if he could come and visit (if he did),” Cathy Hall, an operations coordinator at Nature’s Nursery in Waterville Township explains her exasperation with one man and his new feathered friend.
The bird, which has yet to be identified needs to be among birds.
“The bird needs to learn how to be a bird. How to find its own food and then be released back into the wild,” Hall supplies the appropriate stages.
This one is now being kept as a pet at a home off of Central Avenue in the city. Residents like this caller across the northwest Coastal Ohio region raising wildlife babies don’t always have access to the correct care. Each species needs a specially formulated formula. Google isn’t a great source for care information, or unfortunately, employees at a local pet store who often mistakenly suggest and sell kitten milk to nourish nature’s wonder.
“Then we end up with a caller saying, ‘I found a nest of bunnies last week and now they’re all dying,'” supplies Hall.
Today, Hall and the Nature’s Nursery staff had a Painted Turtle struck by a vehicle and a Groundhog discovered trapped and in distress both brought in for care. She reminds residents this is a busy baby season and to call if you come across any of these situations, especially with birds. Baby mammals can’t regulate their own body heat. According to Hall birds can also bond. Having a bird friendly with family also means it won’t fear the the neighborhood cat.
“We gotta keep’em warm and we gotta’ keep them hydrated,” Hall indicates from her desk. The Starling brought in will be fed puppy chow soaked in water. That is another key point. Birds cannot have liquids which can go into airways and drown the baby.”
Nature’s Nursery is located in Waterville Township. Call the hotline at 419-877-0060 or email to set up an immediate appointment time to bring in the baby, babies, or injured adult. Castalia, Ohio hosts Back to the Wild. Their phone number is 419-684-9539. As of this date Nature’s Nursery has already taken in one-thousand animals at its location at Blue Creek Parks. The baby Starling will be heated, fed soaked puppy food and placed amongst a nest of baby Sparrows.
“They are so fun! We had two sparrows, peepers, and cheepers!” Davis-Logan laughs.
There isn’t anything glamorous about a nest of babies about to take their last breath because correct care wasn’t administered.
Nature’s Nursery is part of Blue Creek Conservation area and is home to a resident coyote. Representatives will be available tomorrow, June 5 from 1 – 4 pm at the Toledo Botanical Garden’s Wildlife Festival.