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A Follow Up with Rehabilator, Tracy
August 20, 2012

A wonderful week weather wise.

For early October that is.

I must say, for a while it was refreshing.

However, I'm am not ready for night time temperatures in the 40's

Good sleeping weather, but not just yet.

Much of Michigan did indeed experience these cool temperatures Saturday and Sunday AM.

The recent rain has given everything a growth spurt, or so it seems.

Especially the lawns.

Bird activity continues.

Feeder birds continue to drain the wallet, Hummers are as busy as can be and a few fights emerge.

Now the air is filled with the sights and sounds of fledged Gold Finches.

(I love that sound.)

(Tracy's young Eastern Bluebirds)

Certain things in the flower beds look a bit rough.

Moss roses have run their curse,

Coneflowers look a bit haggard.

As do a few other things.

Still, I have lots still in bloom and looking good.

Phlox, Rudbeckia, Agastache, some Monarda, Hibiscus, Helenium, and few other perennials.

Perovskia (Russian sage) is looking real
good right now.

So is the Black and Blue Salvia.

Yes, I still have a few non natives growing.

Toss in many annuals like Red Salvia, Zinnias, Marigolds, Asters, Sweet Allysum, and there is still plenty of color for me to enjoy and plenty to attract pollinators.

I seem to lack butterflies, but hummers are very busy, as are the bees and flies.

(Young Barn Swallows.)

Veggie Gardens up north are at or past their peak, unless you have several plantings of crops like sweet corn to keep you going.

Fall lettuce is planted and growing, you may still have some time in northern climates for a fall lettuce crop.

Warmer climates, get going and growing on
fall crops while you still have the chance.

My tomatoes had a rough go of it earlier this year and are just now started to produce for me.

Oh, the plants look good, simply a month behind.

The single Tomatoberry plant finally gave up and died.

An early battle with late blight was too much for it.

I have more peppers than I can handle.

Summer squash are on their second wave as I attempt to keep powdery mildew in check.

My sickly cucumbers are also on a sort of come back.

If you recall earlier this summer I mentioned my struggle with spider mites.

Along with the heat and dry weather, the mites thrived, ravaging my Cucumbers.

I was trying just about everything I could use.

From organic sprays to 'Liquid Sevin'.

Now here is something I learned once before but forgot about.

(Once I stopped working in garden centers, etc. I stopped using certain words and practices. How quick we can forget what we've learned.)

Here I am, a so called expert, "Michigan Certified Nurseryman".

And I forget a simple thing.

Mites aren't insects, they are related to the arachnid family.

Thus the name 'Spider Mite'.

Regular insecticides wont touch them.

No wonder they continued to reproduce and drive me crazy.

I needed a chemical like 'Pyrethrin' or 'Malathion' to deal with and control mites.

Not a big fan of chemicals, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Lock this away in your memory banks,

Next time you have issues with any kind of mites, you need to break out some bigger guns.

Lesson Learned for me.

I also learned, that mites thrive in the hot and dry weather and some stiff water sprays help.

(Baby Chickadee)

A couple weeks ago in 'Gardening for Wildlife, newsletter was a talk with a rehabilitator.

Tracy Brewer of New Richmond, Ohio.

Today is a bit of follow up on her and from her and her birds.

I also want take the time to thank all of you for allowing me to bring this subject to you and the
donations that help Tracy and other Rehabilitators.

Through all of our efforts, our diminutive, song birds and beloved hummers get a chance at life.


(Carolina Wren babies.)

Some of you have commented and even wished to help Tracy with here rehab center for our backyard avian friends.

Just for you, I do have a follow up from Tracy and a few more of her pictures for you to enjoy.

Howdy Ron...

I kept saying to myself....
" I'll write Ron tonight after I am done for the day ".......but every ' tonight' I was so exhausted or the phone would ring and it would be another bird ' tonight ' never came.

I have had people calling me with birds at 7:00 AM.........and as late as 12:00 Midnight!

I was totally exhausted to say the least.

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to try to help me.

I read the newsletter....( smile ).....thank you...that was a real surprise. You did good with what you had to work with. I appreciate all of the work you did in pulling that together.

I have quit taking birds for the rest of this year except Hummingbirds because I couldn't do anymore...I had to take some time off. So now I can get a little rest and feel better and get my life in order. I have a few birds left but not many. And I currently have 9 Hummingbirds... but I am still accepting any and all Hummingbirds.

I will start back with all the other birds again next year.

Too bad, but it is important to take care of yourself Tracy, dealing with a special needs person, I totally understand the time issues and the toll it takes on the mind and body.

I read the newsletter....( smile ).....thank you...that was a real surprise. It was so nice of you to do that for me. And the pictures turned out wonderful in your newsletter. You did good with what you had to work with. I appreciate all of the work you did in pulling that together.

Tracy, it is I who must thank you for the long hours and care that you give to the little guys that would otherwise go unnoticed.

I am sorry we did not get to talk more before you published the interview also. I would have loved to have added more things to the conversation. If you decide you would like to do a Part II on it please let me know because I would love the opportunity to do that.

Can do Tracy, here is your follow up.

(Baby Hairy Woodpecker.)

Actually what I am going to say to you is probably more or less what I would have put in your first Newsletter.

Here goes.

My dream and hope is to be able to find a way to open and start an actual Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center. Right now I just do it out of my own home....and I pay
for everything myself and that means I have limited space and limited finances and also I can not help as many birds as I would like to because I am doing it by myself. And there is only so much one person can do. And there are many expenses...such as food...housing..medical supplies and veterinarian bills etc. etc. I get hundreds of calls a year...but unfortunately I have to turn many away because I can't handle the amount of birds that need help.

And actually I am not only helping the birds but I am helping people too, because they are trying desperately to find someone to help the birds they have found that are in trouble.

I receive calls from people all the time that are so happy to reach me because they say they have been calling and calling around all day trying to find someone to help them with a bird.... but couldn't find anyone to help them. Rehabbers are in such short supply in my area.

Unfortunately without an actual center it seems that people are not interested or aware of the need to help the songbirds. Wildlife Centers especially those dealing with Raptors attract many people and therefore they receive a lot of help financially through donations. They also receive help physically from volunteers and staff.

They receive large donations and many times trust funds etc. that enable them to have paid staff... and they also have volunteers that do many things to help run these centers....which enables them to get the work done....because they have the people and space and finances available so they can do it.

Tracy, birds of prey seem to attract the attention (threatened, protected, etc.) and people are willing to donate/pay to see them, even in large cages. You are right, the backyard bird is often ignored and that makes what you do so special.

Rehabilitators on their own such as myself work just as hard and probably harder and do the exact same work as centers do...only we go unnoticed and do not receive the help that we need. But we still do what we can...just on a much smaller scale...because we can't do as much by ourselves and out of our own centers can do with many more people and financial support.

Any donations that I receive are small and far and few between...most of the time there are absolutely none. I do not ask for them......and it is a pleasant and rare surprise if someone leaves something.

(Baby Woodcock.)

The little birds need help too....they do a lot for us that you may not even think about. The huge numbers of insects they eat would astound you...and they plant flowers and trees even if you don't notice them doing it. And they are a reflection of the health of our earth.

Not to mention how they brighten up a day, lower
blood pressure, fill the air with movement and song, and much more.

We are taking so much from them...we need to give something back....and that is what I am doing.


I admitted a nestling Hairy Woodpecker that I handfed for weeks....then after eating on his own he was put in an outdoor flight cage for a couple of weeks....after which I released him. But he still comes up on the porch everyday and hangs on the window screens looking in the windows and calling until I come outside... at which time he sits on my arm or lap and eats wax worms that I hand him.Then after he has eaten his fill he flies off somewhere and then shows up several times later throughout the day.

Actually I can even go outside and yell for him and he comes in if he is nearby.......he is adorable. His name is Barney...and he is a great bird. He is learning and figuring out what he needs to do out there....but while he is learning he still comes in for treats....that way I can keep an eye on him and see that he is doing ok.

He will slowly grow wild and his visits will slowly taper off until he doesn't need or want to visit anymore. That is the kind of release that I personally do with all of my birds....I know they are ok...because I watch them slowly grow wild. That is just a small part of what is involved in wild bird rehabilitation.

Centers are started because of the actions and generosity of people with the financial means to make it happen. I don't have the financial means.....but I'm hoping someone would like to help me and make it happen. You never happens for hawks and why not for the little songbirds too. I am hoping and praying.......

Anyway that is what I would have liked to put in your article Ron. So if you can find a place in your newsletter for me again I would appreciate it. I explained myself a little better this time I think.

I am going to send you a couple of pictures of the baby Hummingbird that I admitted was a tiny nestling when I got it. I will also send you pictures of Barney the Hairy Woodpecker when he was a baby and now that he is grown.

(Unfortunately, I can't get the hummer picture sized for this letter.)

GOD bless and safely keep you...

Tracy.. :)

Here is Tracy's E-mail and phone number so you may contact here.

PH: 1-513-797-7239

For snail mail, you will have to contact her (me as well, with Tracy's permission).

Thank you once again for sharing and caring, so many readers have commented to me and I know a couple have donated to your rehabilitation causes.

God Bless.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the day.

(Below, Killdeer and Towhee)

Thank Tracy for all of the pictures except the Gold finches.

A man is not much if he can't depend on himself, and nothing if others can't depend on him.

Benjamin Black

Sure it is good to depend on ourselves.

A notable characteristic to have.

Yet, God wants us to put our trust in him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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