The birds pictured below each have their own story regarding how they ended up at The Feather. The birds are all non-releasable. They now represent their species to any group of people who care to learn more about the birds of prey that we share our world with. Some serve as foster or surrogate parents, some are role models, some are just here as ambassadors representing their own species. Each has a special job here at The Feather.
Anny was the first bird to come to us back in 1987. She was only three months old when she collided with a car and sustained permanent damage to her left wing. Anny and I were a team for nine years, she provided the flash and dazzle and I went along for the ride. She educated many children and adults in those nine years and I was honored to be a part of her life. Anny never had a mate, so although she laid several eggs and we received no young red tails in need of foster care in her lifetime, Anny never had the chance to care for a baby hawk. We will never know if she would have been a good parent. Anny died on December 11, 1997. I will remember her and the special place she filled in my life.
If she made a difference in just one child's life then her life in a cage was not in vain. Somewhere out there someone may remember the large, commanding red tailed hawk and respect all of her kind in the wild. Hopefully, having known Anny, many took the time to learn more and are willing to share the world we all live in.
Grey Wind is our "on site" sandhill crane. She never leaves the yard to do educational programs. She has a very special job right here at The Feather. She is our surrogate parent to all the sandhill colts (baby cranes) which come to us each spring. She takes care of then and lets them know when danger is near, she feeds them worms and bugs which she probes (digs) from the ground, and she watches over them.
Grey Wind came from the Clintonville area on May 20, 1996. Her sibling picked on her and she was left blind on the left side, as a result she could never be released. We always thought GW was a male bird, but when she was three she started to lay eggs each spring. Grey Wind runs The Feather in more ways than one.
Seneca came to us in 1996, as an immature red tailed hawk. He still had his brown tail feathers. He was shot during pheasant season and his left leg and right wing were damaged. The vet could fix the leg, but the wing was to shattered to repair. He is a proud red tail and has always kept his wild attitude.
Mitak, our Rough Legged Hawk, was shot back in February 1998. Both of her wings were broken and she still carries some fine shot in her body. Mitak does not enjoy large groups as an educational bird, she prefers small special ones. Because rough legged hawks nest on the Tundra, we will never find a young bird of this species in our part of the world. As a result Mitak will probably never get a chance to be a foster parent. Mitak represents her species in a very special way, she is our "one of a kind" bird.
Mitak left us on August 8, 2004
This little saw whet is the latest addition to the educational birds at the Feather. She came in with a band on her right leg. Her number is 604-08798. She was banded just south of Stevens Point in the fall of 2007. She weighs three ounces and has the attitude of a great horned owl. She shattered her left wing on two places. By spring 2008 she should be ready to do some educational programs for the Feather.
AUTUMN is our great horned owl. She was found trying to run down her food in a farmer's field back in May 1999. We do not know how she lost her left wing tip. It could have been a car hit, a power line or a gunshot injury. What ever it was we are fortunate to have her. She portrays the typical great horned owl except she is a gentle bird, she just looks mean. Autumn conveys her attitude by her ear tuffs.
EBONY ROSE is our educational turkey vulture. She is an imprinted bird and does not realize she is a vulture. She was bought to us as an egg on June 16, 1993. We hatched her here. The egg was taken from the nest when the person who found it thought the parent was dead on the nest. Turkey vultures will do a death faint when upset. The person took the egg and after leaving the adult vulture got up and left also. Ebony is not afraid of people. She either thinks we are all "vultures" or she is a person. There is one thing you must be careful of when dealing with a vulture, when they really get upset they throw up..................try to stay out of the way!
SAVANNA is our educational barred owl. She is great on the glove. We received her from another rehabber on January 10, 1998. She came in as a gentle, mild mannered owl. She changed her attitude forever when we gave her a couple of young barred owls to mother. She did a good job with the immature owls, when released they knew how to kill and just what attitude a barred owl should have...........mean.
Asio Blaze is our short eared educational owl. He came to us from another rehabber in March of 2005. He is a great bird on the glove in the cage is another story. Asio has no sight in his left eye and his left wing is out of alignment also.
Hopefully men and women who hunt by choice will learn from Starfish to respect other species, which MUST hunt to survive.
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