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Urban Wildlife - Meet Tommy and Henrietta

Urban Wildlife - Meet Tommy and Henrietta

George and his Backyard Critters – Meet “Tommy” and “Henrietta”:

“Tommy” and “Henrietta” are the wild turkeys who live in the neighborhood and visit our bird feeder once in a while. We don’t see the turkeys very often, maybe it’s because they can go 14 to 20 days without food.

Michigan turkeys disappeared in the late 1800’s. In the 1950’s, wildlife biologists reintroduced turkeys in southwestern Michigan and later in the northern part of the state.  Today, there are about 200,000 wild turkeys roaming around Michigan.

Two of those turkeys live in our Forest Hills neighborhood. They are the Eastern Wild Turkey variety.

Woman reunited with cat thanks to microchip

WEST OLIVE, Mich. (WZZM) -- A lakeshore woman thought her family's pet cat was dead weeks after it slipped out of her house. Then she received a phone call that led to a reunion with her beloved pet -- thanks to a microchip.

Esther Sue is a seven-month-old house cat that likes to play fetch. But one afternoon last month Esther Sue's owner, Carla Vanderploeg, was in a rush and, as she left, so did esther sue.

"I was going out the door there one day, rushing out, and she just got out under my foot," says Vanderploeg. "She had been kind of been wanting to get outside a little bit and she was determined to that day."

When Esther Sue failed to return within a couple of days, Vanderploeg posted signs around her neighborhood and sent out an SOS on Facebook, all to no avail.

Weeks later Carla and a friend were driving on a nearby road when they found what they thought was Esther Sue -- the remains of a cat, unrecognizable after it was run over by a car.

Urban Wildlife in Forest Hills – George and his Backyard Critters - Meet Baldy

Urban Wildlife in Forest Hills – George and his Backyard Critters - Meet Baldy

Part 2 – Meet “Baldy”

I think one of the most beautiful birds is the male Northern Cardinal.  Red is my favorite color, which is one reason why I can’t take my eyes off of cardinals.  They also have those beautiful crests on top of their heads.  Cardinals don’t migrate and keep their color all year round because they don’t molt into a dull plumage like the Gold Finch.  This means the cardinals are still breathtaking in my snowy backyard all winter long.  Don’t get me wrong, the females are also very pretty, but the males are stunning.

The other thing about male cardinals is they all look alike.   The color of their feathers is the same.  They all have the black masks around the eyes.  They all have those distinctive crests.

Then one day my husband and I saw “Baldy”.  He was unlike any cardinal we had ever seen.   My husband first spotted him in early April.  There was something seriously wrong w

Urban Wildlife in Forest Hills – George’s Backyard Critters

Urban Wildlife in Forest Hills – George’s Backyard Critters

This is a story about urban and suburban wildlife.  It’s probably a story that is repeated across West Michigan from the lakeshore to Greater Grand Rapids.  You can imagine this story happening in Grandville, Hudsonville, and Walker on the west side to Ada, Cascade, and Lowell on the east side and Rockford and Sparta to the north and Kentwood and Wyoming to the south.  It’s a story about how backyard critters can entertain us, and at other times, causes us to cringe.  This particular story is based in the Forest Hills neighborhood in eastern Kent County. 

Part 1 – Meet the Cast of Characters:

My dog, George, loves to watch what’s going on in our backyard.  My husband and I have our TV set; George has his “Backyard TV Set”.  Sometimes the scene in the backyard is a drama, other times it’s a comedy.  George can spend hours watching the “characters” having breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Eating a

Harbor Humane Society seeks help

Press Release:

Harbor Humane Society to host holiday events

West Olive, MI - Harbor Humane Society is hosting three special holiday events for pets and people, and has a great gift idea for those very special or hard-to-buy-for family members and friends.

  • On “Black Friday,” Nov. 25, adopt any animal with a majority of black fur and receive 50 percent off the adoption fee. Restrictions do apply.
  • On Dec. 4 check out the Howliday Open House at the shelter from noon to 4 p.m. There will be special holiday adoption fees on all cats and dogs, microchipping for only $10 for current pets, a pet food drive, door prizes, special coupons and refreshments.
  • On Dec. 11 Santa Paws will be at Harbor’s thrift shore, Shelby’s Place at 12360 Felch St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Photos of your pet with Santa are only $5 and all proceeds benefit Harbor Humane Society.

Zeeland's Critter Barn celebrates its 20th Anniversary

ZEELAND, Mich. (WZZM)- The Critter Barn in Zeeland is celebrating its 20th Anniversary Thursday night with a hoe down.  The event, called Year of the Chicken, will raise money to keep the farm going.  About half of the farm's budget comes from fundraisers like Thursday's.  That money help keep up its newest addition - a small replica of a working chicken production farm which the Director says always amazes the children.

"But then they start having fun with it.  They see how things work.  They see how the eggs roll down to the front collecting area.  They understand how the water works and that it's always clean," said Mary Rottschafer with the Critter Barn.

The Critter Barn's fundraiser will happen at the Laketown Golf Center in Saugatuck.