My next blog instalment, highlighting organizations dedicated to wildlife recovery and education, is for the birds. Literally.
Annually over 270 million birds are killed nationally due to human activity an Environment Canada study in 2013 revealed.
Through collisions with our structures and automobiles or run-ins with our domestic cats, birds often suffer serious injuries and need immediate care.
Thankfully for our area's injured, ill and/or orphaned birds, we have the Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre.
Founded by the late Kathy Nihei, out her own home in 1981, as The Wild Bird Care Centre she saw a need in the community for bird rehabilitation. There she cared for and successfully rehabilitated many wild birds. Soon however a larger habitat was needed for the growing bird population.
In 1991 the original centre was incorporated as the Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre and began operation in 1992 at the current location.
There, staff and volunteers rehabilitate a wide variety of species brought in from the surrounding area. Their mandate is to rehabilitate birds and release them back into the wild as well as provide education to the public.
Located on Moodie Dr., just south of Bells Corners, the facility takes in over 2,000 birds a year and rehabilitates them with the support of volunteers and donations from the public.
"In the summertime there's probably about 300 birds in the building at any given time," says Patty McLaughlin, education co-ordinator at the centre.
Patty McLaughlin with Indigo an American Kestrel.
Until her passing in 2009, Ms. Nihei continued to work with the injured wildlife leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.
Visitors can drop by from 12 pm to 3 pm daily for a tour of the facility and meet the many animals on the mend. Educational tours give people a great insight into the daily life of the facility and it's many inhabitants.
Proceeds from the tours go towards the upkeep of the facility and the care of the birds.
You may even be fortunate enough to meet Violet the turkey vulture who wanders the halls as the sanctuary's mascot.
"We try not to name the birds," says McLaughlin."But we get so few vultures we name them after flowers because people think they're ugly."
From Sept.-Aug. the centre gives presentations at local schools as part of their fundraising efforts.
With such a high demand for caregivers and supplies the public's help is always appreciated.
You can help support the sanctuary in their efforts by volunteering, donations or sponsoring a bird's recovery program. To contact the facility, or see a list of donations needed, visit their website below.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!