Lead toxicity can ground even the most steadfast of us and for one bald eagle, it meant weeks of extensive care. After receiving medical treatment and some relaxation, she was ready to start getting back into the air. Luckily, Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center had her recovery plan covered, and she was brought out into the flight cages to practice her flying. Just like all birds that recover at Chintimini, she needed the equivalent of physical therapy before she could be returned to the wild.
Many birds just like this bald eagle have been rescued and returned to the wild thanks to Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. These birds have learned to live in the wild, performing normal activities such as flying, avoiding predators, and feeding themselves. The recent snowstorms, however, could possibly cost the lives of birds injured in the near future. Due to heavy snowfall, two of the center’s flight cages were crushed by snow, leaving only one still standing. These cages are a crucial part of the birds’ rehabilitation, as they are where the nearly recovered animals are taken to practice their flying before they are released.
According to Jeff Picton from the center, before they can reintroduce a bird back to its natural habitat the center needs to make sure that they give the bird a chance to relearn skills it may not have been able to practice in a while, such as flying. The two cages that were crushed were where these skills can be relearned. With the loss of these cages, the center is left with just one flight cage right before spring and summer, their busiest time of year.
The cages were insured, but only for the cost of the materials used in them, and the center has visions of rebuilding with sturdier and more costly cages in hopes that this current trouble can be avoided in the future. Their fundraising efforts have been successful, but they are not out of the woods yet. The parts for the cages are on back order since the manufacturers have had so many orders because of the storms. Also, since the center wants to upgrade the cages, labor and hidden fees will probably be more expensive. Keeping that in mind, they are still asking for donations through their website: www.chintiminiwildlife.org.
For further information about the cages or Chintimini’s rehabilitation and educational programs, give them a call at 541-745-5324.
By Kyra Young