After a very stressful winter overflowing with young hungry Barred Owls, Avian Haven is experiencing an even more stressful summer. Our case load for 2015 is over 1400 birds already. Last year on July 25, we had just admitted case #1000. Over 400 more birds so far!
The majority these past few months have been young songbirds, but we have also seen a record number of young raptors. Here are eight of the 13 young American Kestrels admitted to Avian Haven this year:
We are very fortunate to have an extraordinary foster mom for these babies. Her name is "Gracie" and she doesn't seem to mind having her nest box full of new kestrel babies to care for!
Gracie, with one of her foster kids
In addition to the kestrels, we still have 15 Barred Owls, 3 Great Horned Owls, a Red-tailed Hawk, 10 Broad-winged Hawks (9 juvies, 1 adult), 2 Merlins, 3 ravens and 9 crows. What all these birds have in common is that they all eat mice!
In past years, even with this number, we could probably have managed just fine. Avian Haven has for years been the grateful recipient of large donations of mice from two different labs. But one of the labs has closed, the other has significantly decreased production, and we are now faced with purchasing nearly all of the mice we require to care for these raptors and corvids. Right now, they are eating about 175 mice a day, at 70 cents apiece. Can you say OMG? It's really very scary.
Avian Haven receives no government funding. Our operating expenses are paid through donations. I'm hoping some of you can help us out. A case of mice is around $800, and lasts about a week right now. The little kestrels and merlins don't eat much, but the Great Horned Owls will eat 10 mice apiece - every day. I am trying to garner support through our Facebook page, but fund-raising is not really one of my stronger skills. I think everyone wants to help, but I seem to lack the words to inspire action.
You can donate safely online here: http://www.razoo.com/story/Avian-Haven
You can also see the Wish List I've made, which includes where to mail a check if you prefer (CADs are fine, don't know about other countries): http://www.facebook.com/notes/avian-haven/avian-haven-wish-list/659246050818046
Everyone always says, "If everyone just gave a dollar
" It's true. Many small donations make for one large donation. There is no amount too small to be appreciated (or too large to be put to good use!). I would love to help provide the hard-working rehabbers at our wonderful center with the assurance that we will have mice to feed these raptors and corvids until they are ready to return to their rightful place in the wild.
A huge thank you to all who will help us get through this mind-bogglingly busy season!