We had the pleasure and privilege of seeing 2 presentations held in April during Feathers Over Freeport. Hope Douglas, along with volunteers Sue and Helen regaled us with each bird's story and how that bird came to be a resident at Wind Over Wings. The following stories (slightly modified for length) are from the Wind Over Wings website.
In Old French Crecelle means “rattle” the sound they thought
described the kestrel’s call. Crecelle joined Wind Over Wings in
December of 2011 during her first year of life. She was found on the
side of a road in New York, presumably having been hit by a car. Two
bones in her wing were broken. Surgery repaired the compound fracture; however, Crecelle is unable to
fly but a few feet. Crecelle has shown a remarkable curiosity and
aptitude for education. She quickly learned to step up on a glove in
preparation for her life before an audience.
Aidan, a male American Kestrel, arrived at Wind Over Wings in November 2012 after experiencing a severe head trauma. The Willowbrook Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center in Illinois treated this bird hoping that it could be released back to the wild. In addition to the head trauma, they noticed the left eyelids were grossly swollen and bruised. Although the eye appeared normal from the outside, unfortunately the lens had been displaced to the back rendering him almost blind in this eye. With only half of his vision, it was determined that this Kestrel would not be releasable back to the wild, and Wind Over Wings was chosen as his forever home.
Zachariah fell from his nest as a nestling in Maine fracturing the radius and ulna bones in his wing. Avian Haven rescued and rehabilitated the young raven, but found that he was unable to fly. He spent his rehabilitation time with surrogate adult ravens and then came to Wind Over Wings in 2012. Zach quickly learned to step up on a glove and is enjoying his life in education. Before too long Zach will be talking to us. His first word will most likely be “Hello!”
Sabre is a magnificent Red-tailed Hawk born in 2000. She was rescued as a nestling in Massachusetts by Larry Keating, a master falconer. A predator had attacked the hawk’s feet. Larry helped her recover from her injuries and trained her for falconry. Sabre participated in falconry programs for 18 years, returning to Larry’s glove after flying for the audience. Larry felt that signs of aging were beginning to be evident, and he retired her from the demands of programs requiring flight. Dr. Mark Pokras of Tufts University found that although she was flighted and not a human-imprint (identifies with people rather than other hawks), she had shown age-related decreases in activity and hunting ability. He said that a physical examination also revealed incipient cataract formation in her left eye. We are so lucky to provide a home for Sabre. She participates in our environmental education programs; a new kind of life that she has embraced.
Sky is a Golden Eagle from Nebraska. When he was about two years old, he was intentionally shot. Due to the severity of the injury, his right wing required amputation. This is always a difficult decision for a veterinarian, because the eagle loses flight, freedom, balance, and heat. The Raptor Recovery Center in Nebraska requested that he come to Wind Over Wings because of his exceptional personality and our orientation towards training. As part of our standard practices we do not withhold food, and all of our birds are free in their aviaries, as opposed to being tethered to a perch on the ground. Upon arrival, Sky appeared to be suspicious of people. Hope Douglas and Pat Davidson worked every day with Sky for 2 ½ years as Sky slowly learned to trust people. He is inquisitive, calm, patient, and forgiving. Although he should be mistrusting of people, particularly due to the viciousness of his injury, Sky has formed a remarkable attachment to his handlers. When we work with Skywalker, we do not see his disability. Rather, to us he is a beautiful example of a wild bird who learned a new way of life as an educator.
Looking like a small stack of leaves with a mixture of red, browns and grays, Tansy was found on the side of the road in Connecticut in 2012.
A woman drove by and then double-backed to discover this unusually colored Eastern Screech Owl. One eye was severely damaged, possibly from having been hit by a car. She also had some head trauma but was taken to Horizon Wings in Ashford, Connecticut for rehabilitation. Tansy eventually recuperated; however, her limited vision keeps her from being released back to the wild. Tansy means “eternal life”.
This little Saw-whet Owl was rescued from the ground in Rockland, Maine in November of 2010. It was believed that she flew into a window, perhaps seeing the reflection of a safe branch. She was taken to Avian Haven in Freedom, Maine. During the rehabilitation process the little owl was unable to lift one wing at the shoulder. Several weeks later there was no improvement in the shoulder’s range of motion. She also has limited vision which may have caused the initial injury or was the result of the impact. Pippin cannot fly even short distances. She and Teddy-Owl, thirteen years her senior, share an aviary.
Sollie (Queen Solomon) fell from her nest during the winter of 1997. She was found on the ground by a 90-year-old lady who watched the baby owl fall. Unfortunately, Sollie was not put back in her nest but was kept in captivity during the critical period of time where she identified with her caregiver, in this case, a human being. She became irreversibly imprinted on human beings. This means that she does not know the ways of an owl, but is more comfortable with people. By the time she arrived at Wind Over Wings, we hoped that she was not imprinted, so we placed her in an aviary with Webster, a Great Horned Owl from Alaska. But, Sollie was far more interested in people than in Webster. During her years with Wind Over Wings she has served as a surrogate mother for many orphaned Great Horned Owlets who were successfully released back to the woods. In addition, she is a wonderful part of our educational faculty.
Below is a gallery of "extra" bird photos.