Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The birds are returning and that means work!

March is coming to a close and we have already spotted Western Bluebirds, Swallows, Robins, as well as some waterfowl. Here at American Heritage Wildlife Foundation we rely on our volunteers to assist us with our mission of preserving our local wildlife through the efforts of rehabilitation of the injured or orphaned & community education. We anticipate phone calls from concerned citizens will begin soon and that means we need your help!
Each year our volunteer staff is responsible for responding to over 100 phone calls. Many of these callers need to bring the animal to our facility so the animal may receive additional care. Please review your schedule and let us know when you can be available - we need help returning phone calls, feeding baby birds, cleaning and keeping inventory, entering data into our computer, updating our social media sites, scheduling and organizing fundraisers, attending public awareness booths, joining our board of directors, cleaning up our three mile stretch of scenic highway 200, creating a membership drive, promoting the upcoming IdahoGives one day online fundraising event, assistance with the construction of our new aviary, scheduling and arranging lectures, creating public awareness and media campaigns, marketing our variety of merchandise such as the tee shirts and the five children's books.
Our website has the volunteer forms as well as the board of directors questionnaire. Even if you can only spare two hours one time we would love to hear from you. That two hours has the potential to save a life! Thank you to all our existing volunteers and I look forward to seeing you again this year.


Monday, November 18, 2013

2013 Recap

This year has almost run it’s course. To date we have received close to 150 calls, directly assisted 40 patients, and our volunteers have donated well over 1,000 hours.
We have provided the  7 wildlife lectures (of our 12 month series) at the community center in Hope, 3 presentations at Evans Brothers Coffee, 1 presentation to the Sandpoint Vegetarians, three classes at Sandpoint Christian School and an upcoming North Idaho Animal Hospital Staff presentation.
Public Outreach took place at the Earth Day celebration, two scenic highway 200 cleanups, We attended a meet and great at Eichardts/Ivanos with our local nonprofits & the Tailgate sale in Hope. Unfortunately, we had to miss the Independence Day celebration in Clark Fork – the first time in 13 years!          
Fundraising efforts have included the Idaho Gives one day of giving in May, Cans for Coins for Critters recycling program, Razoo online donation page (to complete our vision of a nature center), a technology recycling program for ink cartridges, cell phones and other electronic devices such as ipods and laptops.
Feel compelled to give but no extra cash? Let us tell you how! We have ways to allow you to do what you do anyway but we earn a percentage! Do you shop online? – download our shopping bars and toolbars (such as iGive, Welzoo, justgive, network for good, shop for a cause, goodsearch, escrip online mall, Ebay giving works charity) and we will earn a percentage of your shopping. Use the AHWF visa card and we will gain an additional percentage of your shopping. Subscribe to your favorite magazines through our magfunding site and we earn a percentage. All those little bits add up and you reap the rewards knowing you are helping local wildlife without even trying!
When you are grocery shopping at Yokes for the big Turkey day feast, use your Yokes Community Card. If you use your Capital One AHWF visa card – it is an added bonus.  
 Are you already thinking of Christmas gifts? When you get those great deals on Black Friday & Cyber Monday, use the AHWF shopping bars (links found on our website, on the get involved page). When you shop – use your AHWF capital visa card. If you need ideas for all those on your list – we can help. Our online store front at CafĂ© Press offers you a variety of AHWF merchandise.  We also have hand crafted in house merchandise such as birch bark decorative birdhouses, animals of the earth slate rocks, cedar scenes, hand hewn trail sticks, locally made tees, sweatshirts, & ball caps, knitted hats and scarves. Green Door Studio in Sagle has our trail sticks and the animals of the earth slate rock art available.   
Don’t forget the upcoming #givingtuesday, the AHWF Christmas Party at the Pend Oreille Winery December 9th, and the Christmas Craft Fair December 13 – 15th at the Bonner Mall. Details are found on our Facebook (facebook.com/ahwfounder) & Twitter pages (twitter.com/wwwahwforg).     

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Super Summer!

I am not sure why the last post loaded three times - must be a glitch with dial - up internet on that day -sorry.
Can you believe it is already the middle of July? I think 2013 has been one of our busiest to date.

Almost 100 phone calls and many wildlife patients ranging from nestling tree swallows to adult pine squirrels. We have seen black cap chickadees, tree squirrels, a common redpoll, a yellow warbler, northern flickers, american robins, and many others.  

Because there are only so many hours in the day and time is a valuable resource we have had to prioritize our projects.   American Heritage Wildlife Foundation has had to decline attending almost every public awareness event this year. We are a 100% volunteer operation and do not have paid staff.

Our primary focus is and always will be the local injured and orphaned wildlife. The second aspect of our mission is education and thanks in part to a grant from the Equinox Foundation we were able to provide 12 free presentations on a variety of wilderness topics covering nocturnal sounds, water birds, native plants, non-migratory birds, indicator species and others. These monthly events were well received and again we thank our funders: Equinox Foundation, Good Works Institute, the International Osprey Foundation, and our community donors. Without their help this would not have been possible.

We appreciate all our supporters - near and far. Those that read our posts here and on other social media platforms as well as those close that are able to assist with donations of time or treasure. Thank You for caring about our local wildlife.          

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Spring is the time for births. Some animals lay eggs and incubate the eggs until they hatch, others birth their young live. Some have a short gestation and multiple litters, others long gestations and only one baby. Regardless of the animal, this is natures way of propagating the species. In the Spring, we may see or hear our wild native neighbors more regularly. The females are out searching for a nesting or den site. Please be patient with them as they continue to keep the balance of a healthy ecosystem.
Here is some general information: Reptiles (Lizards) and Amphibians (Salamanders) hatch in the summer. The young are fully independent upon hatching. Turtles hatch in the summer. Do not disturb a nest or ‘turtle-nap’ the babies. These young turtles need to imprint on natural food and social behaviors early if they are to survive. They are vulnerable upon hatching because the nest site is often across the road from the feeding ‘ground’. The highways also provide a place to warm themselves on a cold day. Snakes either lay eggs or live birth their young. This takes place in late summer. Snakes are timid animals and do not attack. If you find them in the garden or flower bed please do not scream and throw your shovel at them. Rejoice! They are there to help rid your plants of bugs and rodents.
Bats are born in May/June. The colony is vulnerable until late summer. Squirrels typically have two litters. Born in March through May and again in July through September. The nest site is either inside cavity in a hollow tree or a leaf nest in the branches of trees. Chipmunk have 1 to 2 litters each year from April through Mid-Summer. The young do not forage until 5 to 7 weeks of age. Porcupines are born between April and May. The young forage with the female and are independent by 4 months of age. The quills are not SHOT out, the predator of the rodent must come into contact with the quills. The quill is designed to attach to the aggressor and be pulled out of the prey animal much as a hair is plucked from our head. It is painful for both parties! Moles have one litter in Early Spring. Shrews have multiple litters in the early spring until Late fall. Rats/ Mice/ Voles have multiple litters throughout the year. Groundhogs are born from April thorugh May. They leave the den at around 6 weeks of age to forage but remain with the family until late summer. Muskrats have 2 or 3 litters from April through August. Beavers are born in the lodge from March through June. The young remain in the lodge for up to two months.
Skunks are migratory species, they do not stay in one area indefinitely. The young are born in May through June. The young follow the females on the nightly feeding sessions at about 6 weeks of age. The young are independent at 10 weeks of age. Their food source is grubs. These worm-like larvae of beetles live in the soil. These grubs feed on grass and plant roots. Weasels are born March through May depending on the species. Most only have one litter. The young do venture out to explore before they are fully independent. They are NOT orphaned. Raccoons are born between April through May. Occasionally a second litter is born in late summer. At the age of 8 to 10 weeks the young begin exploring with the mother. The weaning process ends around 3 months of age. The family unit often remains intact through the following spring. Bears are born in their den in January and February. 1 to 4 cubs are born every 2 to 3 years. The family remains together until the following spring. Rabbits and Hares have 3 to 4 litters each year. The young leave the nest at 2 to 3 weeks for short exploration. By 5 weeks the young are weaned. Deer are born from May through June. The young are instructed to remain in their ‘hide spot’ until 3 or 4 weeks of age. The fawns are not weaned until 2 months of age. The young remain with the female in some cases for a full year. Canidae species (Coyotes/Fox) Born from March through May. Felidae species (Bobcat/Lynx) Born April through June. These kittens are not weaned until 2 to 3 months of age. They are not independent until 6 to 8 months of age. Siblings are often known to remain together for weeks or months after that.
Shorebirds will nest on the ground. Leave the nest undisturbed. Do not pick up or handle the eggs. Waterfowl (Geese/ Ducks) will often nest on the shoreline. The eggs require about a month to incubate. The young will follow the parents as soon as hatched. Only rescue the young one if the animal is in a dangerous area. Additionally, in June and July the adults molt, they are unable to fly. Loons/Grebes are exclusively waterbirds. If you find one on the ground away from water, help it by returning it to the water as long as the feathers are in good condition. Woodpeckers /Flickers parents have been known to withhold food from the juvenile chicks in an effort to encourage the young to leave the nest. The parents will call to the young and force them to make flights out of the nest cavity. The young often still have sheath around the feathers. The juveniles often remain several hours in one place. They are NOT orphaned unless no parent has approached in over 3 hours. Passerines (Songbirds) chicks are not orphaned unless are found on the ground featherless, not hopping or flying around, no nest is in sight and no adult in the area.