On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to visit the Rogers’ Wildlife Rehabilitation Center out in Hutchins. This is where I took my baby swallow who fell out of the nest, but this time instead of bringing in a "customer," I got a great tour of the facilities and got to meet some wonderful people and some great birds.
I don’t often endorse specific charities or causes. But if you love birds, please consider sending them a donation or becoming a supporting member. You can do it online HERE. These people are doing an incredible job of taking care of around a thousand beautiful birds including wild birds that have been found sick, hurt or abandoned as well as pet birds whose owners were no longer willing or able to care for them. This place was a godsend to me when I didn’t know what to do with my little fallen one, and obviously I’m not the only one who takes advantage of their standing offer to take in birds that need a temporary or permanent home.
Kathy Rogers and Eveline Johnson generously took the time to show me around and even let me hold some of their feathered friends. I took dozens of pictures and videos and I’m trying to put them all together on a web page, but it’s slow going due to the necessity to sort through them all and reduce the sizes to fit. So meanwhile I’ll post a few of the best or most significant (to me) ones here.
Early in the tour, I fell deeply in love with a cockatoo named Chloe, who sat on my hand and turned her head back toward me to scratch it in the exact same position and with the exact same look as my cat when she wants to be loved.
You can click HERE to see a video of her trying to get out of her cage.
Apparently cockatoos are frequently dumped by owners who discover that they’re like two year old children who live for 90 years, and require a lot more time and attention than the average pet. To read more about this problem (including some stories that will break your heart), see the MyToos.com website.
Then there was Norman, a baby egret who got a bit territorial when another bird (Albert) flew a little too close to him. Who would have guessed that something so delicate looking could make such a big noise?
And HERE is a movie of him telling the other bird exactly what he thought about it.
We have egrets here at the lake and I love the majestic way they carry themselves and their slow, graceful flight.
Here is Albert. He’s like a crotchety old man. He fluttered around, screaming at everybody. If you aren’t careful, he’ll peck your head when you walk by.
Another real character was Tommer the Turkey. He reminded me of a stately old gentleman, with his slow, precise walk and his immaculately groomed feathers. He’s one of their educational birds, who even dresses up as Santa Claus at Christmas time.
I’m especially drawn to the little ones, perhaps because of my own recent experience with the baby swallow. I just love those little mouths that open up wide, begging for food. This baby flew up to sit on Kathy’s shoulder while she was feeding its nest mates.
This little cardinal was sharing his nest with a cowbird. It’s fascinating how cowbirds lay their eggs in other birds’ nests and rely on someone else to raise them.
Here’s a baby hawk about to be fed. Those markings are just so beautiful, and look at the eyes. He may be ferocious when he gets grown, but he’s just a sweet little baby now.
This yellow throated guy has beautiful markings, too.
And this one created a beautiful silhouette against the red background.
This is George; I’m not sure what kind of bird he is, but he’s very cool looking.
And this is Aberdeen. He let me hold him, but he wasn’t very happy about it.
This mom let us pick up her babies, which I thought was awfully nice of her.
Here’s a gorgeous macaw. He wants out of the cage, too. I feel so sorry for the large birds that don’t get to fly.
I love the beautiful deep blue color of the peacocks’ bodies
There are many more to come, including a great video of the tiniest bird I’ve ever seen (just hatched). I’ll be posting more later.