Avian Haven Saves Lives

July 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

Avian Haven, situated in Freedom, Maine, is a wild bird rehabilitation center has cared for more than twenty thousand birds during the twenty years since it was founded by Diane Winn and Marc Payne. These compassionate bird-lovers care for injured or orphaned birds of all species, which are generally brought to them by members of the public, veterinarians, Maine wildlife biologists, game wardens and animal control officers, as well as other rehabilitation centers.

This non-profit organization, which is funded by private donations and is supported by dedicated volunteers, provides medical treatment with the goal of releasing rehabilitated birds into the wild. The indoor infirmary includes a kitchen fully equipped to prepare food required by all species of birds, as well as incubators, hospital and recovery cages, veterinary equipment, two flight cages and a full range of naturopathic, allopathic and homeopathic medicines.

With humans increasingly encroaching on their habitats, it is quite common for wild birds to get injured. Birds collide with windows, get hit by cars, get trapped in buildings, get tangled up in fencing or are caught by cats. An injured bird needs fast and expert attention. The top priority is to keep the bird warm and it is best placed in a box with air-holes, together with a piece of cloth or an old towel, in a quiet place until it can be seen to by a veterinarian or taken to a rehabilitation center, such Avian Haven. The same can be said for fledglings that have fallen from their nests, once it has been established that there are no parents nearby.

Once a patient at Avian Haven is well on the road to recovery, the final pre-release step in the rehabilitation process is flight-conditioning. Twelve outdoor flight cages are designed to accommodate patients of all sizes, from Hummingbirds through to Bald Eagles, taking into account their specific needs. For example the Large Raptor Compound features a group of large cages, each with access to a roomy flyway to facilitate unlimited linear flight. The Small Raptor Compound has been designed with three territories that are connected by a flight corridor and an elevated tunnel. Other enclosures include the Casa Corvus and the Eagle Recovery Habitat.

It is a distressing reality that humans often impact negatively on bird-life, and it is certainly a comforting thought for all bird-lovers and birding enthusiasts that rehabilitation centers, such as Avian Haven, are actively involved in caring for the needs of birds in distress.

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