Local Bike Shop Helps Saves Raptors with Upcycled Bike Tires

Spring in Central Oregon brings abundant wildlife and human visitors, and with them an increase in the number of injured or orphaned birds in need of help. At local bicycle shops, spring means an increase in tune-ups and discarded tires. These coinciding events have created a unique community partnership, as Hutch’s Bicycles found a way to upcycle their used tires for use as perches for rescued raptors at local wildlife hospital, Think Wild.

By donating their used tires to Think Wild, Hutch’s saved them from the landfill and helped to protect local wildlife. Think Wild volunteer, Ann Jamison, pictured, originally reached out to Hutch’s Bicycles about their used tires after being tasked with making perches. Recent intakes to Think Wild have included a long-eared owl, saw-whet owl, barred owl, and red tailed hawk, all of which have used the donated tires for perches. Strong perches that protect the feet of large raptors are crucial to their rehabilitation and health.

“We are excited to see creative applications for the reuse and upcycling of used bicycle products like tires, saving them from the recycling process or the landfill, and supporting Think Wild’s care of Central Oregon’s wildlife,” said Aaron, Westside Hutch’s manager.

Common causes of injury to raptors include car strikes, window strikes, entanglement in barbed wire, and poisoning from lead or rodenticides. At Think Wild, four new raptor enclosures, several raptor hutches, the center’s ICU, and an under-construction raptor flight cage are all making use of the tires.
Here are ways you can help raptors in Central Oregon:

• If you find a raptor that you suspect is injured or orphaned, call Think Wild's wildlife hotline: (541) 241-8680
• Removing or capturing wildlife from the wild and keeping it in captivity without a permit is against the law. To ensure their best chance for survival please seek help from a qualified licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
• Use natural forms of pest control and non-lead bullets to prevent lead and rodenticide poisoning of native birds of prey. Owl nest boxes on your property are a great way to promote natural pest control by predation.
• Remove barbed wire fencing. Sam Bachman at Deschutes County Juvenile Community Justice offers a free barbed wire fence removal, just call 541‐ 322‐ 7650.
• The average cost of care for one raptor from intake to release is anywhere from $100- $500. To support Think Wild’s efforts in caring for raptors as they enter the busiest season for intakes, donate funds or supplies at www.thinkwildco.org/donate or mail to PO Box 5093 Bend, OR 97708

This list is non-exhaustive, but we hope that you find it helpful. If you ever have any questions, Think Wild’s wildlife hotline, (541) 241-8680, is available seven days a week from 8 AM to 5 PM. Think Wild is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and tax-deductible donations can be made at www.thinkwildco.org/donate or mailed to PO Box 5093 Bend, OR 97708.

###

Think Wild, a Wildlife Hospital and Conservation Center, provides wildlife education, conservation, and rescue & rehabilitation in Central Oregon. Think Wild seeks to reduce the incidents of human-wildlife conflict through prevention education and community outreach. When conflicts do occur, Think Wild will provide veterinary treatment and care at its Wildlife Hospital. For more information or to donate, visit www.thinkwildco.org or email info@thinkwildco.org. Follow us on www.Facebook.com/ThinkWildCo for the latest updates.

An Adventure Awaits: Wildlife Tracks

The winter season is among us, bringing along frigid temperatures and possibly snow!  During the winter months, many Central Oregonians feel disconnected from nature and the wildlife around us. Still, we can stay connected through one important thing - tracks! Though many of our local species are tucked away till spring, you'd be surprised at how many creatures are still out and about. Consequently, there are plenty of animal tracks and prints to follow, especially once a layer of snow has covered the ground.  This blog will share some common wildlife tracks you may find in our area and what species they belong to!

 Rabbit:

There are various native rabbits in Central Oregon, including the mountain cottontail, black-tailed jackrabbit, and pygmy rabbit. Rabbit tracks are frequently found in the winter snow. The prints of each type of rabbit are very similar, varying slightly in shape and mostly in size. Below I will share a picture of a Mountain Cottontails tracks.

Cottontail rabbit tracks are oval-shaped, with five toes on each foot (although only four can usually be visible).  Their hind feet are typically longer than their front feet.

Porcupine: 

The Porcupine can be found throughout Central Oregon year-round, as they do not hibernate. They are known to be short-legged mammals with around 30,000 quills covering their body. They are mostly nocturnal, but they may be spotted at any time, especially while up in trees.

Porcupine prints are unique and easy to identify. There's usually drag marks created by their tails when they walk. Their front prints are smaller than those made by their hind feet, and the front foot has four toes while the hindfoot has five.

Coyote:

The Coyote is a small wolf-like animal common in almost all regions of Oregon. They typically grow a warmer and thicker coat in the winter.

Coyote prints are commonly confused with a dog's paw prints. You'll find that a coyote's paw print is slimmer than a dogs', and each middle pad is tucked behind the front pads.  They are ovular shaped and usually have defined claw marks. The hindfoot is smaller than the front foot, which is generally around two inches on an adult. Coyotes often walk-in straight paths.

Deer and Elk:

Spotting elk and deer in Oregon is not rare, and they can be found throughout the state. In the winter, elk and deer migrate to Central Oregon places with lower elevation to ensure their survival.

A deer hoof is split down the middle, ovular, and usually has a pointed end. Deer tracks can vary in shape and size, but they are typically between two and three inches long. Elk tracks, on the other hand, are larger than deer tracks. Their hoofs are similarly shaped to a deer's' but rounder.    

Raccoon:

Raccoons are another species in Central Oregon that can be found around the state. They are mostly nocturnal creatures that scrounge for food at night. Raccoons may hide and sleep in "dens" for portions of the winter. However, they are not true hibernators and can still be found roaming around at night.

Raccoon tracks are very distinct, with the front foot substantially smaller and broader than the hind foot. They possess five small toes on each foot and their prints can resemble human hands.

 

Time to Explore

When adventuring in the outdoors this season, be on the lookout for animal tracks! Hopefully, after this blog, you'll be able to identify key characteristics of the prints and figure out what species they belong to. Not only can this be a fun activity, but it helps us connect to our local wildlife and discover more about them!

 

Sources:

Mammals | Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Mammals |  myodfw.com

Picture 1: https://ovlc.org/ojai-wildlife/-rabbit-2/

Picture 2: http://www.hawkeye.ca/pest-wildlife-animals/toronto-pest-animal-wildlife-control-removal-porcupine

Picture 3: http://wildlifehotline.info/identification-control/coyotes/

Picture 4: http://app.fw.ky.gov/elk101/courses/course2/chapter1.aspx

Picture 5: https://www.pacificconcreteimages.com/product/raccoon-footprints/