WMC Conservation Newsletter Spring 2018- Invasive Species of the Month

What is an invasive species? According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, an invasive species is one that is not native to a particular ecosystem and that does or is likely to cause harm to the environment and/or the economy.

Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) By en:User: Cburnett – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Cattle Egret is an invasive species of heron found in many parts of the world, including Illinois. Originally native to southern Spain and Portugal, in the early 19th century it began “one of the most rapid and wide-reaching natural expansions of any bird species”

It is speculated that the cattle egret first arrived in the Americas in 1877 after flying across the Atlantic Ocean, but it was not thought to be established there until 1930. They arrived in North America in 1941 and were bred in Florida beginning in 1953. They are now seen throughout the country from Florida to California. Also known as the cow crane, cow bird or cow heron, cattle egrets are in the habit of following cattle or other large animals and feeding on insects that are attracted to these animals. Although considered invasive in Illinois, they are not known to cause any significant ecological damage. They can, however, be a safety hazard at airports and spread disease.

Continue reading: WMC Conservation Newsletter March 2018

By: Kate Keets, WMC Conservation Chair, Class of 2021




Barred Owl Recovery

By Megan Stuart, class of 2020

On February 26th, the clinic received a barred owl that had been found after being hit by a car. The owl was upright and didn’t have any immediately noticeable problems. 2 fractures were palpated during the initial exam, one fracture was on the foot and the other on the clavicle. Both had a callous over them which indicates the car accident was not the cause, and these fractures were much older. There was a foul smell coming from the face, and under the closed left eyelid was a collapsed eye that was brown, wrinkly, and shrunken in. The team provided antibiotics, pain medications, and fluids to the patient along with a quiet, dark cage for rest.

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Barred Owl Has a Big Week!

A Barred Owl was transferred to the Wildlife Medical Clinic from a nearby veterinary clinic on February 20th after being hit by a car on February 18th. In their initial exam, the team noticed an open fracture on the middle of the right humerus of the wing. Radiographs (x-rays) showed that the wing had been rotated a complete 360 degrees!

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