My name is Dusty, I am a Barn Owl. Today two volunteers came into my aviary and brought me inside, where I met another volunteer. This one had a big scary thing hanging from her neck. It was called a camera by others. I had many pictures taken of me (above) and I screamed at the volunteers to scare them. When I tried to fly away, they grabbed and placed me in a carrier.
From there I met the three volunteers who took me for a ride to my new home. They talked and I screeched over them, making it difficult to hear. I didn’t like listening to this “Katy Perry” person, and screamed at them to stop it.
When we arrived, I saw trees, bushes, and farmland. This would be my new home. As soon as we were about to release there was a terrible beeping sound, an alert appeared on all three volunteers’ phones at once: “Severe Dust Storm”. The volunteers refused to release in such bad weather. So we started our long drive back to the rescue where I would be safe in my aviary. I saw other birds struggling to fly in the strong wind. I am glad they didn’t put me out there.
On the way back I complained, I had a very long day and was tired; also, the volunteers stopped for ice cream, which I wanted to try. Although I did stop complaining and was silent for one song by a person known as “P!nk”. This radio thing is very interesting. Now I am sitting and waiting for my release in the aviary with some food. I appreciate the shelter, I am protected from the ongoing storm.
-Dusty, the Barn Owl
P.S. I had to wait two more days due to bad weather. I heard the volunteers talking and they put me back in a carrier and back in the car. I complained and jumped around. I lurched at where the opening of the carrier was but it wouldn’t give. I had to endure another car ride. The volunteers took me back to the same place. It was perfect and I was very happy and excited. I quickly flew away, stretching my wings, knowing I was free.
As an avid bird watcher and nature lover, being outside brings such peace and relaxation and with so much to be thankful for. It’s an added blessing in my life. Several times a week you will find me visiting Rio Vista Park at Thunderbird and 101. The walking paths are asphalt and there is plenty of wildlife to see.
Some of my most treasured sightings, besides the coyotes and butterflies, are the great horned owl, roadrunner, green heron, egret, a pair of ravens nesting under the bridge, hawks, ducks, kestrels and the beautiful finches. I have also encountered the woodpecker and the occasional rare bird flying through such as a Cardinal.
I am also, avid heart rock collector; I have built quite the collection. In the spring time, the wildflowers are at their most gorgeous and fragrances lull the senses into a peaceful relaxed state of extreme calmness. Each time I venture out there, I am never without a sighting and often I get surprised by who shows up! So being outside in nature, and being serenaded by the songs of birds, is a total stress reliever and a reminder of how beautiful life truly is.
You won’t be disappointed if you choose to visit Rio Vista. Your senses will be delighted and I guarantee a big smile on your face and a full heart!
Pam, Volunteer at Fallen Feathers
#birds #volunteer #birdwatching #hiking #riovistacommunitypark #Peoria #greathornedowl #egret #finch #roadrunner #heron #wildlife
The past month has been event after event after event after event. It’s good for Fallen Feathers – lots of opportunity to educate people. As birds, we get our pictures taken and see all the ooohhhhs and aaahhhh and what is that?
Tres RIos Nature Festival is an event we have been going to for years. If you have never been, It’s out by Phoenix International Raceway – south of I-10 on Avondale. The festival has AZ Game and Fish and several of the local Audubon Societies and other vendors for people to find out more information. There is fishing and bird walks to participate in. This year it was lovely weather with just a little bit of breeze. But first we have to get there…..
Our volunteers get up early to get us ready – jesses on and put in our carriers. Any last minute items are packed and also any babies that need cared for on a hourly basis – this year we have eight hummingbirds, a sparrow and three pigeons.
Once we arrive – the tables are prepared and we are put on our perches or held, depending on the bird and the volunteer. Voldemort, the Turkey Vulture and Alice, the Coopers Hawk, were both very happy with our space.
I cry out to the people walking by (literally – I haven’t learned to stop using my baby cry). I was brought to the rescue as a juvenile Red Tailed Hawk with a broken wing. The break was high up into my shoulder and had already started to set. It couldn’t be fixed, so I am one of the lucky Education birds.
As part of this event, volunteers also help children make birdy bagels. While most of us birds of prey are not interesting in this seed stuff, we know the songbirds and pigeons/doves love it.
Don’t forget to see other great pictures from the event here at AZCentral.
What made this event different was that people brought us several birds to rehab at the event. Saturday we received a dove, two hummingbirds and a call to get a harris hawk. The hawk had been in a person’s yard for two days. When he was picked up by volunteers, the main injury was to the right eye. Treatment began immediately and so far the hawk is doing well.
Sunday, we were back out at Tres Rios. This time we were brought a pigeon. But when we got home, that’ when things really got strange. A Pelican had been dropped off. White pelicans are not all that unusual in Arizona, but Brown Pelicans are less common. It had stepped on a cholla cactus. It took about 45 minutes to get all the thorns out of the feet and mouth.
This is not Fallen Feather’s first Pelican. The timing of it’s arrival was interesting. Jody and her volunteers will take care of the injured, the orphaned, the hungry and us, the residents. Here’s to speedy recovery to my fellow feathered friends. I cry for you.
Red, The Red Tailed Hawk
P.S. Nigel, the Pelican has asked for lots of fish. It’s not the normal diet kept here, so if you know of any fishermen with some, it would be greatly appreciated.
I’m Alice, a Cooper’s Hawk. I’ve lived at Fallen Feathers for a while. I’m still being trained to attend our events. It takes a lot of work to go to events and I’m a very anxious breed of bird. Our Executive Directors and volunteers are very patient with me. Let me tell you a little about what they do to support us every day and thru these events.
About a week ago, we attended Parada Del Sol parade. It was the first time we have been there and it was quite the honor. The event itself started at 10am, but we had to be there to set up at 7am. That means that the people wake up at 4am to feed us and start getting us birds ready (jessed and crated).
We were on the road a little after 6. We checked into the event and everyone started unloaded the trailer. We birds waited patiently (except Raven, she hops around).
Once the canopies and tables are all up, the perches are set up and we come out. People start coming by almost instantly with questions. Some of our events we have a kid section too with some sort of craft.
Our volunteers spend the entire event educating people about us (birds) and about the rescue/rehab we live in. At this event, I got a new perch. It was very nice and I felt very comfortable. The other perches we had were fine, and the other birds didn’t seem to mind them, but I am particular.
Here I am, along with Jack, the Harris Hawk and Digger, the Burrowing Owl. Flat Stanley visited us on Valentine’s Day, shown here with a volunteer and Raven. Finally, there is Robert, the Great Horned Owl.
Our entire education bird family is not shown here, but we were all at the event. The Parade portion of Parada Del Sol finished at 4pm. People continued to visit while everything was being put on the trailer. This is common for us. It’s nice to be seen and cared about by the public and our volunteers are always happy to answer questions. You’ll just have to come see us in person to truly appreciate everything that is done.
We got home about 7:30pm, put in our aviaries to have our dinner. It was a good day and now we get to rest.
We will be back with Parada Del Sol this weekend for the main events on Feb 28th and at Tres Rios Natural Festival next weekend (March 7 & 8). Hope to see you there.
Alice, the Cooper’s Hawk
The beginning of the New Year means it’s almost baby bird season again. They have been fortunate the past few months to have the time to “get their ducks in a row”. If you have never been to Fallen Feathers before, the whole organization is operated out of a home. It is generous and loving and we birds appreciate it greatly.
Volunteers have been helpful with removing old broken equipment, building new aviaries and resealing existing aviaries.
While one of the goals of Fallen Feathers is to have a free standing facility in the northwest valley, there is still room to grow until that happens. Help is needed establishing watering throughout the aviaries and additional landscaping would be nice so that we birds have plenty of shade in any new aviaries.
A very generous donation of various bird items and statues was granted in late November. Everyone has been decorating the grounds celebrating the very creatures they are trying to help.
It’s seems like only days, but I have been at Fallen Feathers for over three months. My feathers are all in and I’m starting to fly. I’m not a baby any more so I don’t click for my food. I’ve started making other barn owl sounds, mainly my scream. We barn owls don’t hoot like other owls.
I don’t like being around the humans. I watch them carefully when it’s feeding time. Two days ago, one of the volunteers came into my habitat to take my picture. She told me I was beautiful. I tried to intimidate her with my wings and then I was ready to fly away too, if needed.
Today that same volunteer came and took me from my habitat and drove me away. I screamed at her to tell her how displeased I was but she told me that I would be fine and that I was going back home to see my parents. I was being released.
I don’t like car rides but it was worth it. I saw the man who took me to Fallen Feathers. He was very excited to have me back in the area. He told us where my parents live and said that I have a sibling that just started flying too. I hope they will welcome me back.
I was taken good care of. I’m healthy and strong. I’m ready to face the whole world.
Autumn, the Barn Owl
I don’t want to jinx anything, but it’s been a little quiet around Fallen Feathers these days. The last of the baby doves and pigeons are grown. Most of the intakes now are injured birds. It’s time to get projects done. Volunteers have been building new aviaries and taking down old structures that no longer fit our needs. We are “cleaning house”.
For two of us, it’s also our very lucky day. Today is the day that I get released. I’m Charles, the Coot. I’m also called a mud hen. I’m a water fowl that has a chicken like beak but webbed feet. I was rescued by the Brophy College Preparatory Rowing Team at Tempe Town Lake and brought all the way up to Fallen Feathers. Mac, the coach checks on me regularly, makes me feel very special.
Charles, the Coot and Mel, the Mallard
Charles, the Coot was very excited to be released and quickly joined up with fellow coots in the pond. Meanwhile, Mel, the Mallard, casually surveyed the area before joining the flock.
For more information about Fallen Feathers, please visit our website at www.fallenfeathers.org
Every year I also teach about a dozen baby great horned owls the ways of the world, how to hunt, how to eat.
It’s a tough job, but some owl has to do it so they can survive when they go back into the wild.