June 2016
Volume 6 Issue #3 
Great Basin Wildlife Rescue is a 501 c3 non-profit wildlife rehabilitation center located in Utah County. We take in over 200 bear cubs and birds of prey a year. Our mission is twofold. First, it is to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife so they can be released back into the wild. Second, it is to educate the public how they can make a difference in wildlife conservation and to expand their knowledge of wildlife in general. We travel within Utah County providing educational programs to local schools, Eagle Scout courts of honor, fairs, and expos. If you are interested in having us attend your school or event, please contact us at greatbasinrehab@yahoo.com.

What do I do if I find an “orphaned” animal?

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 At Great Basin Wildlife Rescue, one of the most common questions we get is “I found a baby animal. What do I do with it?” It’s a great question! What DO you do with an animal that looks like it’s an orphan? Do you take it home? Do you leave it there? Do you call someone?

 In most cases, unless the young animal is injured or in danger from a predator, the answer is simple: leave it where you found it. While you might think the baby is abandoned, it is actually very common for parents to leave their babies while they go off to find food. Most young are incapable of traveling long distances and therefore wait for their parents to come back.

 More questions? Here is a chart to help you determine whether an animal truly needs to be rescued or not. If you are still in doubt whether the animal requires assistance, you can call your local wildlife rehabilitator or Division of Wildlife Services.

Volunteer Spotlight

 Karen has served as the secretary for the board of Great Basin Wildlife Rescue for 4 years. She began working with Great Basin after she was introduced to the rescue through her sister who was already a volunteer there. Karen loves all types of animals and is an avid birder. She spends most of her free time locating birds for her life-time list. She is currently saving up to travel to Africa so she can see her favorite bird, the Red-and-yellow Barbet in its natural habitat. She also plans to compete in 2017 in Utah’s Big Year.


Questions for Rose, our Northern Saw-Whet Owl

How can I be respectful of nature and wildlife when I’m hiking and camping this summer?

 There are 7 common principles (via the Center for Outdoor Ethics) to help you be respectful of nature and wildlife when you’re out hiking or camping. These are 1) Plan and prepare ahead; 2) Travel and camp on durable surfaces; 3) Dispose of waste properly; 4) Leave what you find; 5) Minimize campfire impacts; 6) Respect wildlife; 7) Be considerate of other visitors. While many ideas for respecting nature and wildlife can be found on the website of the Center for Outdoor Ethics (https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles), here are a few ideas to get you started:

Northern saw-whet owl.
  • Camp and hike in smaller groups, as these are quieter and don’t do as much damage.
  • Bring Ziploc bags or trash bags so you can pack out your trash; if something wasn’t there when you got to the site, don’t leave it there when you depart; likewise, pick up trash you find even if it’s not yours.
  • Stay on designated trails; even if it’s muddy, stay on the trail, as walking off the side of the trail can accidentally widen it. Don’t try to create shortcuts on switchbacks either.
  • “Take only pictures, leave only footprints”: leave rocks, feathers, artifacts, etc., where they are so that other people can enjoy them.
  • Don’t damage campsites; this includes not putting nails in trees, etc. If you need to build a fire, keep it small and use existing fire rings. If you didn’t bring in your own wood, only use wood already on the ground—don’t break it off trees. Be aware of fire restrictions in the area where you are.
  • Keep your distance from wildlife and don’t try to feed wild animals. Don’t camp near water, as this can frighten animals that need to come there to drink.
  • Avoid loud voices, noises, or music, as this can disrupt wildlife and other hikers/campers.

    Utah’s Summer Bird Checklist

    Utah is a great place to birdwatch, and when you’re out and about this summer whether you’re hiking, camping, or just staying in your backyard, there are plenty of birds to keep an eye out for. Below is a list of 30 common birds in Utah during the summer. Why don’t you use it as a checklist and see if you can spot them all before the end of summer? If you’re not familiar with what some of these birds look like, there is a wealth of resources online where you can learn not only how to recognize these birds by sight, but by sound as well.

    Mountain chikadee, Poecile gambeli
    1. Canada goose
    2. Mallard
    3. California quail
    4. Ring-necked pheasant
    5. Great blue heron
    6. Red-tailed hawk
    7. Killdeer
    8. Rock pigeon
    9. Great horned owl
    10. Downy woodpecker
    11. Northern flicker
    12. American kestrel
    13. Western scrub jay
    14. Black-billed magpie
    15. Common raven
      16. Mountain chickadee
    17. American robin
    18. European starling
    19. Spotted towhee
    20. Red-winged blackbird
    21. Western meadowlark
    22. House finch
    23. House sparrow
    24. Snowy egret
    25. White-faced ibis
    26. California gull
    27. Mourning dove
    28. Western kingbird
    29. Barn swallow
    30. Lazuli bunting

    Picture Credits
    p.1. Top, Wildlife Rehabilitation and Nature Center, Castalia, OH, http://backtothewild.com
        Bottom, Karen with an american kestral, Falco sparveriusGreat Basin Wildlife Rescue.
    p.2. Top, northern saw-whet owl, Aegolius acadicus, Great Basin Wildlife Rescue.
        Bottom, Zion Canyon N.P., Jonathan Zander, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mountains_in_Zion_National_Park,_Utah.jpg
    p.3. Mountain chikadee. Poecile gambeli, Katja Schultz, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mountain_Chickadee_(15180563636).jpg