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Blog Posts (42)
- Eye For The Wild 2023 Winners
Thank you to all who participated and shared your gorgeous shots with us this year! Remember, each entry supports the work we do here at Calgary Wildlife. After a tough round of evaluations by our judges, the final results are in and the following photos have taken the top prizes! A big congratulations to all of our winners. 3rd place – Jennil Modar Snowy Owl 2nd place – Chad Larsen A Winters Walk 1st place – Jamie Bussey A Sunset Snack Public Choice Winners – Sara Tehranian - Northern Saw Whet Owl Holly Van Oosten - Snacking Chipmunk in the Grass Cassidy Larsen - Snowy Rams Honourable Mentions - These photos were just too wonderful not to share with everyone!
- May is Skunk Month
May is SKUNK MONTH here at Calgary Wildlife, and we have so much to tell you about our stinky friend the skunk. Did you know that skunks belong to a very specific family of mammals, the Mephitidae? But why do they get their own classification from their cousins in the Mustelidae or weasel family? While all members of both families have well-developed scent glands and a musky odour, the skunk (and stink badger, the other member of Mephitidae) are the family's most outstanding and stinky members, with anal glands so well developed, they earned their own classification! Even the skunks scientific name, mephitis, is a Latin word meaning bad odour. The striped skunk is the most common of four skunk species found in North America and the only one to call Alberta home. While it can be found across the province, it is most common in the densely populated central and southern parts. Skunks are roughly the size of a cat, but have stout bodies, rather small heads, short legs, and bushy tails. Their small heads fit conveniently, but sometimes too snugly, into enticing open jars. So make sure to properly dispose of your jars by thoroughly cleaning them out before putting them in the bin. Squashing tin cans and cutting plastic drink lids also prevents skunks from getting caught up and injured by our trash. Stay tuned all month for more fun and smelly striped skunk tidbits. Let's talk a little bit more about skunks and their spray! When people think about skunks, they generally think about their foul-smelling, defensive spray that they discharge when scared or threatened. Most of us have experienced this unpleasant odour along roadways and on dogs that have come across skunks. But there is so much more to learn about skunks and their spray! Generally, people avoid skunks and have little tolerance for their presence, but did you know that skunks are not spraying people willy nilly. Skunks give plenty of warning signals and only spray when they feel like they really have to for self defense. Skunks themselves are walking warning signals, their high contrast stripes called aposematic colouring say "Stay Away". Before a skunk discharges its scent glands, it will usually give several warnings; by stamping its feet rapidly, raising its tail straight up (sometimes standing on its front feet), clicking its teeth, and growling or hissing. A skunk generally sprays only as a last resort, preferring to retreat from danger, rather than using up their limited amount of spray. Did you know that a skunk can discharge a spray as far as 4 to 5m and spray up to 6 times in succession? It takes up to 10 days to replenish the supply of liquid after full discharge, during which time the skunk is left vulnerable. So, please remember that the skunk is not an aggressive animal and will always try to retreat from a human or other large enemy before resorting to spraying. Despite their stinky reputation they are just another wonderful animal living their life in and around where we live. As an added bonus, skunks eat many insects like wasps and snails, and rodents too, keeping your community's mouse population low!
- Turtley Amazing Patient!
A beautiful Western Painted Turtle was brought into Calgary Wildlife after being kept in captive care as a pet for ten years. He was diagnosed with pneumonia on a trip to the veterinarian, where the owner was alerted by the vets that unfortunately these turtles are not meant to be kept as pets, and thus our team was contacted. __________________________________________________________________________________ Luckily he quickly overcame his pneumonia and was medically cleared after being partially dry-docked for a week. After that, he could have a whole pool to swim in all day freely. Did You Know? Painted turtles prefer slow-moving, shallow bodies of water. They use touch to communicate, particularly during mating. Western-painted turtles do not have teeth; they have horny ridges that are sharp and serrated on their upper and lower jaws. A painted turtle's sex is determined based on the outside temperature while they are in the egg, not genetics. You can tell the age of a painted turtle by counting the rings on its shells, just like a tree! Western painted turtles are listed as an endangered species in Canada; they rely on wetlands for food and reproduction. Their habitat is quickly diminishing, as we can see by the severe displacement displayed here. In the province of Alberta, it is illegal to keep native Western Painted Turtles as pets. Since this Western Painted Turtle was in captive care for such an extended period, and his original home location is unknown, the Calgary Wildlife team had the task of finding another site for him to live out the rest of his swimming days, since this species of turtle can live up to a whopping 50 years old. The Edmonton Valley Zoo was kind enough to offer a permanent placement under their care. Our wildlife team is awaiting the news that his enclosure has been completed so we can begin our transfer. Please keep your eyes peeled for updates on this unique patient and his big move to the Edmonton Valley Zoo! All your kind donations help us provide the best possible care for all our patients. Please consider making a one-time or monthly donation today.
Other Pages (48)
- Baby Shower | Calgary Wildlife
Tuesday June 13th @ 7 pm. Animal TBA. Check back soon for information on our first baby featured at this year's baby shower.
- Resources and Articles | Calgary Wildlife
Line separator RESOURCES AND ARTICLES Search Calgary Wildlife Website: Wildlife Fact Sheets Birds American Coot (Fulica americana) American Robin (Turdus migratorius) American White Pelican (Pelecanus Eurthrorhynchos) Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) Barred Owl (Strix varia) Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia) Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) Blue-winged Teal (Anis discors) Boreal Chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus) Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus) Brown Creeper (Certhia americana) Bufflehead Duck (Bucephala albeola) Burrowing Owl (Athene cunnicularia) Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) Common Redpoll (Acanthis flammea) House Finch (Haemorphous mexianus) House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) Northern Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium gnoma) Mallard (Anas platyrhynchs) Merlin (Falco columbarius) Mountain Chickadee (Poecile gambeli) Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis maculria) Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) Mammals American Beaver (Castor canadensis) Bobcat (Lynx rufus) Cougar (Puma concolor) Little Brown Bat (Myotic lucifugus) North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) Muskrat (Ondatra zibehticus) Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) Richardson’s Ground Squirrel (Urocitellus richardsonii) Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis) American-Beaver American-Coot American-Robin American-White-Pelican Bald-Eagle Barred-Owl Black-billed-Magpie Black-capped-Chickadee Blue-winged-Teal Bobcat Boreal-Chickadee Boreal-Owl Brown-Creeper Bufflehead-Duck Burrowing-Owl Canada-Goose Common-Redpoll Cougar House-Finch House-Sparrow Little-Brown-Bat Mallard Merlin Mountain-Chickadee Muskrat North-American-Porcupine Northern-Flicker Northern-Pygmy-Owl Red-Crossbill Red-Fox Richardsons-Ground-Squirrel Rock-Pigeon Ruby-Throated-Hummingbird Snowy-Owl Spotted-Sandpiper Striped-Skunk Tundra-Swan FAQ Page Finding Wildlife Living with Wildlife