Unusual Patients Arrive

Both species were the victims of domestic cats and both temporarily stumped our team since they are such unusual patients to see in our clinic. While they are totally different, they are a wonderful change from California Ground Squirrels and various songbirds.

 

Western Yellow -Bellied Racer

This beauty was the victim of a cat attack and arrived at the end of June. We rarely get reptiles, and snakes are even more unusual! Maybe people don’t think they need help. We can’t see why because snakes are AWESOME! Oh, we understand they might give some people the willies, but snakes play an vital role in our ecosystem!! He may look small but adult racers help keep rodent populations in check by feasting on mice and voles. Western Yellow -Bellied Racers are built for speed so their name is very appropriate. You’ll most likely spot these guys during the day in spring and summer. Once things start to cool down they will find a den, called a hibernacula, for the winter months.

Virginia Rails

This one really stumped our clinic staff. It was actually our Operations Director who suggested we look into the species as a possible match. Like many birds, the chicks look quite different from the parents but since no one currently working in our clinic had treated this species as a chick before they were a bit puzzled. The chicks arrived separately. The same domestic cat brought home one baby, then the second a few days later. This species can be found on the Oregon coast year round, while the rest of the state is home to breeding territory. Virginia Rails make their homes in marshland and as you can see by these chicks those legs play a key role in navigating their habitat. They are quite elusive. If you’re hoping to spot one head to a marshy area or tide pool near sunrise and sunset in the early spring since they are the most vocal at that time of year.