The Echo of the Call of the Wild

I have been procrastinating writing this post. I wasn’t looking forward to sharing the update that the chestnut-sided warbler we took for rehabilitation was not victorious in the good fight.  He died as a result of his injuries.  Wildlife rehabilitation often boils down to simply giving an animal a second chance that it wouldn’t have otherwise had.  Sometimes this means that release back into the wild is a joyful reality, and sometimes it means a humane end to suffering; at the very least, it means a safe place to slip away from this realm.

I have worked with wildlife in a volunteer capacity, and each loss is a sad one, but it’s the lift you get from occasionally setting a healed animal free that makes the risk of heartache worthwhile.  And you remember every animal, regardless of the outcome.  It’s times like this when my propensity for turning things over multiple times in my mind actually propels me forward, instead of hindering my progress as it sometimes can. The experience of finding this song bird, and being able only to administer the simplest first aid while scrambling to find someone capable of doing more, has led me to take steps toward achieving something I’ve been wanting to do for several years but could not make time to commit to.  There never seem to be enough wildlife rehabilitators to go around (I’ve seen this in the last three states where I have lived), so I am going to be the change I want to see in the world.

I am currently studying to take my New York State licensed wildlife rehabilitator’s exam.  After apprenticing for a year, I will be eligible to apply for a federal license that will permit me to rehabilitate and transport migratory birds.  There is a lot to learn, much work to be done, inspections to muster for, costs to be incurred (wildlife rehabilitators are not paid by government agencies), some reality to face, and hopefully some success stories to share.

My membership is official!

I’ve said it before: life is serendipitous, and I am grateful to everyone – human and otherwise – who joins the ride with me.   Thank you for coming along!

6 thoughts on “The Echo of the Call of the Wild

  1. Van and I are not licensed rehabilitationists however, we have saved many a creature from certain death. It is amazing how alike we are. God bless your work as there aren’t enough of you. I wish it wasn’t so complicated to become licensed. That is why there are so many of us who help God’s creatures in the cloak of darkness. Hpaoy early birthday, Janet. Hope you have a most awesome day. Haha, my birthday was on a Friday! Love and hugs.

    PS: I have a bumper sticker that says, I brake for turtles. And, I do! They will be my demise.


    1. Thank you so much! I am cheering you guys on for the amazing rescues you do, and for your intense work as a Hospice nurse. It takes a special person to do what you do. That’s why you got a Friday birthday this year. 😊

      Funny about braking for turtles. When I had my driving permit, my mom took the passenger seat and my brother was in the back seat. I was just accelerating after a turn when I noticed a turtle crossing the road in front of the car. I slammed on the brakes and swerved and my mom got so mad! I put the car in park, secured the emergency brake, and hopped out of the car to move the turtle to the other side of the road. I got a stern talking to, but the turtle made it.


  2. Ha, I can see you doing this as a child! Don’t forget the 13 chickens you saved to lead out their post-menopausal existence on this plane…and the laffs we had catching them, snort.


  3. Beautiful! I’m so very proud of you! I knew you were on this road since early childhood, when you tried– even at a young age–to make a difference by your compassion for the many creatures you were always rescuing.


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