January 2018 Wildlife Report

January, 2018 Wildlife Report

In January the Mercer County Wildlife Center accepted the following 46 animals for rehabilitation.  For the calendar year 2017 the Wildlife Center accepted 2,451 animals for rehabilitation.  Included were 349 Eastern cottontail, 344 Eastern gray squirrel, and 156 common raccoon.

6  Canada goose

5  Mourning dove

4  Big brown bat

4  Common raccoon

3  Virginia opossum

2  Great blue heron

2  Cooper's hawk

2  Eastern cottontail

2  Eastern box turtle

1  Eastern screech owl

1  Herring gull

1  Dark-eyed junco

1  Northern flicker

1  Red-shouldered hawk

1  Blue jay

1  House finch

1  Mallard

1  American robin

1  Turkey vulture

1  Red-tailed hawk

1  Northern cardinal

1  Snowy owl

1  White-footed mouse

1  Bobcat

1  Common garter snake

Education Ambassadors:

Eastern screech owl

Red-tailed hawk

Great horned owl

Barn owl

Striped skunk

Big brown bat

Northern saw whet owl

Barred owl


"Getting to know your local wildlife..."


Canada geese are generally migratory, moving in conspicuous lines or V-shaped formations high in the air as they travel south in fall and north in spring.  Over the last twenty years this pattern has changed slightly due to wildlife management practices of providing food for the geese throughout the winter.  Now many flocks of geese are remaining in northern areas in winter.

Adult Canada geese go through one complete molt per year.  This occurs in mid-summer and is completed by about mid-August.  The young are still with the adults during the molt, and at this stage none of the family can fly; the young because they have not grown their full primary feathers and the adults because they are molting.  When the male and female are together you can usually tell the male, for he is slightly larger. 

Since there are no differences in their plumage, you must rely primarily on their differences in behavior.  The calls of the two sexes are very distinct.  The male's is low, with two syllables; "ahonk."  The female's is higher, with usually only one syllable; "honk."  Canada geese usually first pair in winter.  Pairs can remain together for as long as both geese live.  The male defends the immediate area around the female; the female closely following the male of her choice.

The nest is on the ground at the edge of open water or on small hummocks.  The outside diameter is 16 to 20 inches.  It is made of cattail leaves, grasses, and lining of feathers.  The first egg may be laid within an hour after the completion of the nest.  The remaining eggs are laid one per day until the clutch is complete.  The average number of eggs is 5.  Young geese are ready to leave the nest almost as soon as they hatch.

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Mercer County Wildlife Center