Tuesday, January 25, 2022



In March of 2020 the world as we knew it changed. Operating your local community supported nonprofit which has the mission to conserve the local wildlife through rehabilitation and education has become exponentially more challenging.


2020 was the year of the Rat. We had to be hard working, ambitions, strong willed, and intelligent. 2021 was the year of the Ox. I researched the meanings in January 2020 and almost heard ominous music playing in the background as I read the description. ‘The year is one when we will fully feel the weight of our responsibility’. The year when it is necessary to ‘double the efforts to accomplish anything’! Now that the year has come to a close – I have to agree.

 For 21 months we have been experiencing event cancellations, local business restrictions, volun- teers inability to assist, lack of ability to provide educational experiences, inability to rapidly respond to telephone calls for assistance, record numbers of patients and telephone calls. The natural habitats and inhabitants are experiencing wild fires, triple digit heat, drought, urbanization and sprawl, pesticide and herbicide use … just to name a few.   

Total Number of cases = 80  (in 78 in 2020 (& 2 interns) & in 2019 = 57 (& no interns),)

(excluding the telephone consults who were never delivered or had refused due to being at capacity)

 (estimate 30% more need AHWF but we had 60% less people).

Third year in a row we had to ‘close our doors’ and refuse patients for a time.


 Total individual animal patients = 119.

(30 different bird species and 8 different mammal species)   68% release rate for total individuals.


Total telephone calls =  OVER 600 calls from citizens with questions and concerns!

we recorded 450 telephone calls by July 31st  2021

(360 total calls in 2020 with 2 interns and few volunteers)

(440 calls in 2019 with no interns but 6 regular volunteer)

 (320 calls in 2018 with interns & volunteers)


Total volunteer hours = estimated 4,150 (almost exclusively direct and indirect animal care)

Thank you for all those who continued to financially (contributions and in-kind) support the mission to keep Idaho WILD!

Ronda (not only do you support financially but also have incredible understanding and kindness with allowing your employee to keep a very unusual work schedule), Keith, Jerilyn & Derek, Jacque & Timothy, Ivana, Susie, Jackie, Robert & Patricia, Lynda, Lacy, Del & Norma,  Brenda, Darcy, LaBelle, Christopher, Steven, Raymond, Katherine, Shayla, Julia, Lynn, Heather, Vera, Jessica, Star, Edith, Jennifer, Caralea, Cory, Judy, Emma, Vina, Lori, Sue, Margaret, Wendy, Mona & Cary, Joyce, Kasey, David, Paul & Janie, Richard & Kristen, Roberta, Gordon, Tom & Linda, Karen, Ed & Janie, Oscar, AnnaMarie, Sharon, Jacque, Patti, & CFMC


Great appreciation for all those who created FB birthday fundraisers this year and to all those who use the Yokes or Fred Meyers community rewards, Amazon smile or wishlist, Ebay charity works, ishop, benefit mobile app, Chewy, EScrip, or belong to any of the programs (Purium health, wine cellars, bird watchers digest etc.) where your purchases contribute to help local wildlife.  A very special thank you to Angela who connected with organizers of the Sandpoint Farmers Market and once each month set up the table and spoke to those citizens interested in our mission. I also wish to thank those who baked the goodies for the one bake sale at the Farmers Market.  Heart felt thank you’ s are extended to all those who have worked tirelessly to create the Nature Walk. Al & Lori, Bryan, Gabriella, Shiloh, Carol & Ed, George, Kevin, Mona, James, Dave, Jamie, Sam, Perky, Jake, Ed, Amanda


Special gratitude for those citizens who made time in their schedules to donate a few hours and lend a hand. I will openly admit I could not have gotten through without your support.

Angela drove weekly from Careywood & coordinated the monthly table at the Farmers Market.

Jessica despite a job with long hours & active teenagers at home committed one evening a week.

Teresa works out of town at a stressful occupation but spent one day every other week with AHWF. This was her therapy time she said.

Michelle has a full schedule and many obligations and yet made a few hours a week for wildlife. Jennifer wanted to learn about wild animal rehabilitation. She arranged her schedule to ensure she spent at least two full days a month at AHWF.

April attended the wildlife workshop, spent time learning at AHWF and became our first Nature Nurse for a few patients.

Krista & Chris heard the call for help and were able to lend a hand a few times.

Lacy and husband Jan dropped everything one Saturday to provide vital support. 

LaDonna, Tamarie, Lori, Alana, Darcy, Ryanne & Hannah, Emma, Lillie each made time in their schedules to help their wild native neighbors for a few hours.

Kim for spending six hours & Brenda (and husband Ken)  for spending more than 12 hours as a taxi for three juvenile hummingbirds needing to get to the Bird Center in Boise.

Diane spent time writing letters to manufacturers and online researching.

Jeannene who despite having two full time jobs still made time to transport patients in need.

Ashleigh & Ebba both willingly jumped in their cars and became a taxis’ for wild birds in need.

Nick for donating his time to accomplish a few construction projects.

my friend Irish for her time with patient consultation and rescuing me when I was literally left holding the bag .

Thank you (intern #3) Hannah for your dedication and willingness to power through solo.



Continuing care for the Merlin (small raptor) injured in the Autumn of 2020.

Veterinary clinic called January 1 with a little bird needing out help.

Rework the Volunteer application

Board meeting (online)

Purchase Oxygen concentration machine

Create Bylaws for the newly formed Association of Idaho Rehabbers for wildlife (AIR for wildlife)

Create article for Daily Bee about combined efforts of PWRR, RFP & AHWF

Create article for neighbors insert of the daily bee – Baby its cold outside

Begin tidy up of the animal infirmary room

No scheduled library presentations

Complete IRS 990

Complete seventh book titled IMAGINE (first edition)

researching grants and ordering necessary supplies.

handful of Calls & received over 200 emails



Continuing Merlin care

Prepare course syllabus and other materials necessary for teaching wildlife workshop

Continue animal room preparations.

Create blog articles

Attend online bat meeting

Connecting with speaker for possibility of Little Panida presentation, & Bowling and Dilunas events

Researching capital campaigns and land acquisition grants

Daily Bee article  - trio of rehabbers working together for local wildlife

One volunteer reaching out to Farmers Market coordinator asking for a place this summer

Board meeting (online)

Handful of Calls & received over 200 emails



Daily Merlin care

Sawwhet Owl patient admit

3 Gray Squirrel patients admitted (care every couple of hours 24 hours day)

Great Horned Owl patient

Pine Siskin patient

Ordering supplies and replenishing inventory

Prepare for fundraising event IdahoGives

No interns applied. recreate job posting for internship

Respond to calls and emails

Wildlife Workshop – in Moscow and Clark Fork

Webinar on Coyotes in NYC

Promote and encourage volunteerism for the spring highway clean up

No events – library, panida, bingo, bowling,

Board meeting (online)

Dozens of Calls & responding to four dozen emails



Merlin released

Gray Squirrels in care

Great Horned Owl in care

Sawhet Owl in care

House Finch nestlings admitted (every 20 – 30 minutes care for 14 hours day)

Arrange with Hays Chevron to have hats available for patrons

Replenishing teeshirts and sweatshirts and other merchandise (books, miniflashlights, lightbars, bumper stickers, keychains) at Monarch Market

Create map of Idaho with rehab centers indicated

No EarthDay event

Article in the Daily Bee

Volunteers here to complete the Nature Walk in preparation for the City Nature Challenge next month

Prepare RV for intern candidate beginning at month end.

Board meeting (online)

Several dozen Calls & responding to two dozen emails



Work on the Nature Walk in preparation for the City Nature Challenge  

Caring for many nestling songbirds (15 hrs day)

Gray Squirrel admit and care

Pine Siskin admit

Canada Goose  goslings admitted

Sawhet Owl admit

Mallard Ducklings admitted (very young – requiring close attention)

Snowshoe Hare admitted

American Robins admitted

Sparrows admitted

Great Horned Owl care

Rufus Hummingbird admitted

Chipmunks admitted (every few hours around the clock require attention)

Raccoons admit and care (every few hours 24 hours a day require milk supplements and stimulation)

Common Snipe hatchlings admitted

Evening Grosbeak patient

American Crow admitted

Update the amazon wish list

Idaho Gives online fundraising event $1,915 from 17 donors (unable to promote the bonus programs)

Bioblitz city nature challenge event – Nature Walk exposure

Letter introduction to  therapeutic laser manufacturer

Webinar about ophthalmic care

Construction company meeting regarding repairing and completing the small mammal enclosure which was started but ruined by ‘handyman’ last year

Farmers Market in Sandpoint the third Saturday through the summer (one volunteer accomplishing)

Board meeting (online)

Several dozen Calls & responding to over 100 emails



New intern was hired to assist current intern.

Pine Squirrel admit.

Snowshoe Hare admit

Hooded Merganser hatchlings admitted

Spruce Grouse admitted

Crow care

Raccoon care

Northen Flickers admitted

Ravens intake

Mallard Ducklings  care – release end month

Great Horned Owl care – transfer to wsu end of month for procedure

Chipmunks care

Striped Skunks care (six orphans the first week and six more the second week)

Nestling (junco) intake

Northern flying squirrels

Quail nestlings admitted

California Bat adult admitted

Red Crossbill admitted

House Finch admitted released mid-month

Tree swallow & Violet Green Swallows admitted (16 hours a day every 15 minutes require feeding)

American Robins care

Orange crowned warbler nestlings admitted (require feeding every twenty minutes at least 14 hours a day)

Canada goose care

Plover hatchling intake

One volunteer assisting one day

Sadly despite 40 individuals in care both interns quit the middle of the month.

Mourning the death of Animals in Distress (co-founder) Toni Hicks

Farmers Market in Sandpoint the third Saturday through the summer (one volunteer accomplishing)

One hundred seventy nine telephone calls (in 2020 we had a record of 75 (in 2019 there were only 50))



Fifty cases admitted to date (a few years ago this was our annual average)

Continuing daily care of dozen Striped skunks – release at end of month

American Robin care

Northern Flying Squirels – release end of month

Several nestling Tree Swallows admitted – released most throughout the next three weeks.

Northern flicker admit – released mid month

Chipmunk care – middle month release

Orange Crowned  Warbler care – end of month release

File interim report for grant received on behalf of RFP

Wild turkey intake and care until transfer

Long ear owl patient admitted

Vaux Swifts admitted (require feedings every 15 to 20 minutes for 16 hours every day)

American Crow patients admitted

No volunteers able to assist with the Independence Day celebrations

Mid July new intern started and will remain through mid august

File state nonprofit report

Farmers Market in Sandpoint the third Saturday through the summer (one volunteer accomplishing)

Daily Bee Neighbors Insert submission – one of the stories from the book Imagine.

Ten (10) volunteers chose days of the month to help

Dozens of Calls & over 300 emails



More than 60 cases admitted to date (a few years ago 50 was the average annual total)

Continuing care for Tree Swallow, American Crow, American Robin

Intake and care of three Ravens until release mid-month

Release one Crow – middle of the month

Care of Sparrow – release end of month

Daily care of Gray Squirrels and Pine Squirrels

Intake of Canada Goose with broken wing

Northern Flicker and Pileated Woodpecker patients admitted – end of month released.

Care of clutch of California Quail

Continuing Daily care of Vaux Swift – released end of the month.

Consulting care of (overwintering) Cedar Waxwing

Intake (& later transfer to RMBC) three juvenile Hummingbirds

Intern returned to university, third week of August

Drive to Palouse Wildlife Rescue and Rehab in Moscow – patient consultations

Seven (7) volunteers helping

Farmers Market in Sandpoint the third Saturday through the summer (one volunteer accomplishing)

KRFY morning show interview with AHWF and BOPNW founders

Board meeting (online) – first time since May

Dozens of Calls & received nearly 300 emails



77 cases admitted to date (sadly several cases had been refused due to lack of volunteer support)

Continue daily care of American Crow, American Robin,

Care for Gray Squirrels until release end of the month.

Care for pine squirrels until release early in the month.  

Clean out the Intern RV and winterize.  

Volunteers here working on a construction projects – entryway for small aviary.

Unable to obtain assistance regarding grant deadlines and applications.

Unable to obtain volunteers for highway clean up nor nature walk.

Attempted to promote and solicit help for the scarecrow contest and Halloween contest

Updated webpage – listed 2 blankets & a touring bicycle imported from Spain

No clean comedy show again nor trivia nights

Emailed construction company (met in Spring) about scheduling date for enclosure creation in 2022.

Autumn newsletter created for supporters

Agreement with University Idaho wildlife class to mentor students.

Virtual conference of wildlife rehabilitators (heroes for wildlife)

One volunteer at Sandpoint Farmers Market  (baked goods this month)

Blog article – let nature take its course 

Five dozen calls & responding to 120 emails



Daily care of American Crow and American Robin

Ordering some supplies for current patients.

Purchase used generator to ensure freezers and animal room needs are met if power failure.

Create powerpoint lecture & handout to show to university of idaho students wildlife careers class

One hour meeting with committee for a local grant to discuss our proposal for funding  - not awarded.

Several prerecorded wild animal rehabilitation webinars watched – 2nd annual heroes for wildlife (virtual) conference

Mourning the death of the founder of Idaho Black Bear Rehab Sally Maughan.

No memorial apple pressing festival nor scarecrow contest nor costume entries.

Board meeting (online)

Three dozen calls & received nearly 200 emails



Continuing daily care for the American Robin and American Crow.

Board meeting (online)

No volunteers to respond (new phone system allows for remote access) - message machine offers clear instructions of how to locate veterinary clinics or other rehab facilities to consult with.


The founder has been working for twenty years, almost every waking hour has had some type of thoughts about AHWF. The last couple years have been increasingly demanding with this year being almost unbearable. After months of putting in 18 hour days, she made the decision to rest.  Did you know that university professors are given a sabbatical every seven years? The reason is to ensure that teacher stays fresh, does not burn out and recovers from their constant cycle of giving. Did you know that the founder has only stopped three times for a total of ten days in twenty years! This time of rest was necessary for emotional, mental, physical, spiritual health. Three webinars were attended September, October and November) regarding compassion fatigue, empathy exhaustion and burnout. This time of rest and minimal focus on matters related to AHWF extended through late December.      



Continuing daily care for the American Robin and American Crow.

We need board members – a few directors have stepped down this year.

No volunteers to connect with the Christmas Fairs

Submit internship position to university job boards

Missed a few grant deadlines. no volunteers .

Posted (auction) jewelry items on fb to solicit funds

Create article for Neighbors insert – ‘twas the week after Christmas poem. posted on Blog also

Complete Idaho Fish & Game rehab and US Fish Wildlife migratory bird rehab annual reports.

Submit renewal request (and fee) for educational use permits to IDFG & USFWS

Reptile and Amphibian Webinar from LaFeber

Uploaded video to AHWF youtube channel

December 5th was international volunteer day – did you do anything exceptional, we would love to hear about it. One volunteer created three short videos for facebook – the goal to solicit help.

Supporter made and donated an owl lap quilt for AHWF to raffle or auction

Board meeting (online)

a dozen phone messages & responding to over 150 emails



To all the patrons who have been so generous in 2021, I extend my most sincere apologies for not keeping you updated on the wonderful wild animal patients you were helping, for not offering the usual 3 dozen events and public education opportunities, for not responding promptly to your letters, emails and contributions.



In order for AHWF to expand and build; provide care for more animals, to provide the amazing learning opportunity – the nature walk and reach more community members – we need more eyes and hands and boots. 


Do you ‘do social media’? there is a need to increase our presence on the various platforms and announce regularly our patients, our happenings and general information.


During the ‘baby season’ it is simply not possible for me to keep up and would gladly assemble and assist folks who have the interest and ability to take over.


AHWF wants to do more for this community of native neighbors and needs you to sign up for whichever task suits your schedules. be an ‘on call’ volunteer for tasks and projects or someone who will dedicate a few hours a month or someone who wants to learn about wild animal care, completes the training sessions during the winter in order to sign up for specific days and times during the spring baby season. over two dozen volunteer ‘job’ titles have been created.


Late Winter and Early Spring is the time traditionally used to plan future events and create a list of projects requiring attention as well as many of the other ‘behind the scenes’ requirements.

These tasks include event planning, intern application review as well as educational activities planning and article writing along with grant funding research. 






completed 20 January 2022 (KSM)

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Ubiquitous Nature


Ubiquitous by some definitions means abundant or ever present. In North Idaho, we do seem to have ubiquitous nature = wild species and spaces galore, however when you look closer… 

Reflect on the reality of so many people moving ‘here’ from ‘there’.  They, just like you, appreciate the wildness of Idaho. Some Idahoans know the importance of sharing the habitats with our wild neighbors. We accept we are a part of not apart from nature. We understand that nature heals and rejuvenates – not in some energy crystals and auras kind of way (although there is some validity to that level) but in the way that spending time in nature forces you to realize you are one very small piece in a very large puzzle.   

Nature is not an entertainment destination. Nature is not a recreational venue to be abused. Nature is not an entitlement for the privileged. Nature is not a means to an end of accumulation of resources. Nature is not ubiquitous. Nature will not remain wild, unless we the people defend and protect.

“What can one person do? Stop being one person. You don’t have to do it all. Other people are working all around the world on the same causes you believe in. Find them, join up with them. You’ll find your place in the choir. Choose what you love and devote yourself to it. That is enough."  ~Joanna Macy

Bonner County has a many nonprofits with missions involving the environment and the protection of habitat components. These charities vary in size as well as the ways they accomplish their activities but one common thread connects them all – the need to have community support.

Ecologists use an airplane as a metaphor for nature. Imagine all the components necessary to create that craft – engine, wings, metal, nuts, bolts, wiring, computers, etc. in your mind substitute all the parts of a healthy functioning ecosystem in place of the parts of the airplane. The insect kingdom is the nuts and bolts, the wiring are the rodents such as squirrels, the metal panels are the small mammals, the glass and landing gear are the birds, the computer compartments are the predators, the oil and other necessary fluids – the water and lands, the engines are the trees and other flora. Do you have that image in your mind? Take a moment to and start removing all the flora and fauna which has gone extinct. Loosen or damage all the flora and fauna which are threatened and endangered. Do you still feel safe trying to fly in that plane?    

History will clarify that the native peoples of North America were connected to nature. Nothing was taken for granted; all life was respected and honored. Yet sadly, the ‘civilized peoples’ felt this connection to nature was ignorant.  The people were gathered up and forced to forget their ways. Hubert Reeves phrased it the best when he said: “Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God and destroys a visible nature. Unaware that this nature he’s destroying is this God he’s worshiping.” Nature is an ecosystem. The prefix ECO comes from GREEK - “OIKOS” meaning HOUSE. Ecosystem – a ‘household’ of organisms.   An ecosystem is the house we live in. Economy refers to how we manage that house.  


If that analogy is insufficient to stir your soul, perhaps a more human approach will be understood. Do you remember or have you read about the 1970 Kent State University shooting? This was decades before humanities ghoulish fascination with death and calling morbid images entertainment was normalized to the point of complete desensitization and yet a young girl ran to help, she ran to do something, she reacted towards the horror in front of her. The innocence of youth and being connected to her emotions and compassion were the driving force. What is the excuse for adults to not get involved in any good and kind act? Selfish narcissism or fear because of past traumas suffered at the hands of others who were not humane humans.  

Aldo Leopold said “the last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant, what good is it?” The moral may be act for what you believe in, don’t try to dominate. Simply live and let others do likewise, work together to find peace. If we don’t remember history we are destined to repeat it. Let us not walk in the path of ignorance and follow misguided attempts of dominance.

Humans have caused habitat alteration, fragmentation, acid rain, increased ultraviolet light due to ozone depletion, pollution by toxic chemicals and heavy metals, predation from free roaming dogs & cats and introduced species competition, poaching, killing, trapping, drought, climate change, illegal transfer through pet trade or commercial collection, urbanization, improper harvesting techniques, burning fossil fuels, improper waste management, exhaust from motor vehicles, release of noxious gases like SO2, CO etc. from sources such as metal smelters, coal dust and particulates in our waterways,  air pollution leading to water & soil deforestation, leaking underground storage tanks, incorrect use of agricultural chemicals (fertilizers & pesticides), livestock grazing near waterways, solid waste disposal sites, treatment plant ‘sludge, Consider treatment plants cannot filter the toxins & the same water body where emptied is the tap water source as well, urban runoff (including salt from winter de-icing), improper logging techniques, lead poisoning from sinkers & bird shot (alternatives are available and exist). – biomagnification is the problem, feral pet populations, Release of industrial chemicals: crude oil, heavy metals, radioactive waste, including thermal pollution. Compounding issues of strip mining practices  which have currently exacerbated desert community groundwater supplies, septic systems (leaking or nonfunctional), household chemicals/ homeowner actions, street lights & outdoor advertising, etc. Each night billions of bulbs send their light pollution skyward. These bits of matter reflect the wasted light back to earth, causing wildlife damage.

The land mass of Idaho is 83,557 square miles, the 12th largest state in the lower 48.  The human population in Idaho has risen from 88,548 in 1890 to 431,866 on 1920. There were 721,519 residents in 1975. The 2011 census reported 1,584,985 humans living in 53.5 million acres. The 2020 census reported 1.8 million people sharing the same land space with the native wild animals. These wild ones are our native neighbors! Let us all learn to cohabitate, they are trying to exist with ever shrinking resources.  

The human race seems to be divided … those with empathy and those with apathy. Let nature guide your acts. Rivers do not drink their own water; trees do not eat their own fruit; the sun does not shine on itself and flowers do not spread their fragrance for themselves. Living for others is a rule of nature. We are all born to help each other. No matter how difficult is…life is good when you are happy; but much better when others are happy because of you.   

Make a stand for wild spaces and species. Donate time, talent and treasure. For wildlife we are both their greatest enemy and their only hope. These wonderful creatures will not argue their case. They will not put up a fight. They will not beg for reprieve. They will not say goodbye. They will not cry out. They will just vanish.       And after they are gone, there will be silence. And there will be stillness. And there will be empty places. And there will be nothing you can say to change this. Nothing you do will bring them back. Their future is ENTIRELY in your hands.   

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Being a Good Neighbor

 We have all heard the saying it takes a village to raise a child into a responsible adult. A parent can read all the articles they want but there is so much more support when they talk with friends who have children who share experiences. That expression is based on good neighbors helping their neighbors.


Idaho is full of big hearted citizens and nonprofit charities. Idaho is also a community filled with many wonders of nature – wild spaces and species. How do we become good neighbors and keep Idaho WILD? We make time to learn about our native neighbors. Winter is a wonderful time to begin your studies. The wild animal residents will leave foot prints in the snow. There are only a few bird species who remain through winter’ you will be able to commit to memory the handful by vision and hearing. Did you know the shape of a birds beak gives clues to what it eats? Did you know there are four types of tree squirrels or that striped skunks will dig up underground wasp nest?


Time in nature is a reciprocal relationship. When you spend time learning the names of all the feathered, furry, scaled, and even wild animals with skin you will be healing yourself. By observing what they eat and where they find shelter, you can come a good neighbor.  Your time in nature, even the briefest exposure, will relax you and help you cope with the daily annoyances.


The estimated human population growth into Idaho over the next five years is staggering. The best way to maintain the beauty of our glorious neighborhood is to take the pledge to present the present as a present for future generations. We do this by connecting with local charities working to help wild animals. We do this by learning about our native wild animal neighbors and then sharing what we have learned with our fellow human neighbors.   


One easy way to observe wild birds is to maintain a yard with native plants. It is the best way to offer a diversity of natural foods. If you decide to put up bird seed or suet feeders in the spring or summer, please continue in winter. Remember if you do use feeders, please keep them clean. Dirty feeders will spread diseases such as salmonella and conjunctivitis. When songbirds flock together and one gets sick, inevitably the others will become ill. Sadly, the diseased birds who perish can still spread the disease. If you make the decision to offer supplemental foods, rejoice in the assortment of animals who visit. Your invitation for one, rapidly turns into many.  


Always be a good neighbor and respect the safe distance. Do not approach, nor try to take selfies. Do not offer unnatural food items – this is for their health and yours. A wild animal who does not fear humans is in danger. Be a good neighbor and help your wild native neighbors. We love where we live, so let’s work together to keep Idaho WILD.          
(thank you Bonnie for this great Pine Siskin photo)