As an avid bird watcher and nature lover, being outside brings such peace and relaxation and with so much to be thankful for. It’s an added blessing in my life. Several times a week you will find me visiting Rio Vista Park at Thunderbird and 101. The walking paths are asphalt and there is plenty of wildlife to see.
Some of my most treasured sightings, besides the coyotes and butterflies, are the great horned owl, roadrunner, green heron, egret, a pair of ravens nesting under the bridge, hawks, ducks, kestrels and the beautiful finches. I have also encountered the woodpecker and the occasional rare bird flying through such as a Cardinal.
I am also, avid heart rock collector; I have built quite the collection. In the spring time, the wildflowers are at their most gorgeous and fragrances lull the senses into a peaceful relaxed state of extreme calmness. Each time I venture out there, I am never without a sighting and often I get surprised by who shows up! So being outside in nature, and being serenaded by the songs of birds, is a total stress reliever and a reminder of how beautiful life truly is.
You won’t be disappointed if you choose to visit Rio Vista. Your senses will be delighted and I guarantee a big smile on your face and a full heart!
Pam, Volunteer at Fallen Feathers
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The beginning of the New Year means it’s almost baby bird season again. They have been fortunate the past few months to have the time to “get their ducks in a row”. If you have never been to Fallen Feathers before, the whole organization is operated out of a home. It is generous and loving and we birds appreciate it greatly.
Volunteers have been helpful with removing old broken equipment, building new aviaries and resealing existing aviaries.
While one of the goals of Fallen Feathers is to have a free standing facility in the northwest valley, there is still room to grow until that happens. Help is needed establishing watering throughout the aviaries and additional landscaping would be nice so that we birds have plenty of shade in any new aviaries.
A very generous donation of various bird items and statues was granted in late November. Everyone has been decorating the grounds celebrating the very creatures they are trying to help.
Today, another much needed donation arrived. A new trailer for hauling perches, displays and documents for the various public events that Fallen Feathers attends.
The holidays were good to Fallen Feathers, but they work hard and it is well deserved. They help over a thousand birds a year solely on donations and volunteers and it still isn’t enough to cover the need.
For now the gifts and the break are being enjoyed. Next month the babies will start coming in and everyone will be very busy for at least 6 months. As for me, time to find a place to cozy down and keep warm.
Lovey and Thurston,
the neighborhood mourning doves
It’s seems like only days, but I have been at Fallen Feathers for over three months. My feathers are all in and I’m starting to fly. I’m not a baby any more so I don’t click for my food. I’ve started making other barn owl sounds, mainly my scream. We barn owls don’t hoot like other owls.
I don’t like being around the humans. I watch them carefully when it’s feeding time. Two days ago, one of the volunteers came into my habitat to take my picture. She told me I was beautiful. I tried to intimidate her with my wings and then I was ready to fly away too, if needed.
Today that same volunteer came and took me from my habitat and drove me away. I screamed at her to tell her how displeased I was but she told me that I would be fine and that I was going back home to see my parents. I was being released.
I don’t like car rides but it was worth it. I saw the man who took me to Fallen Feathers. He was very excited to have me back in the area. He told us where my parents live and said that I have a sibling that just started flying too. I hope they will welcome me back.
I was taken good care of. I’m healthy and strong. I’m ready to face the whole world.
Autumn, the Barn Owl
I don’t want to jinx anything, but it’s been a little quiet around Fallen Feathers these days. The last of the baby doves and pigeons are grown. Most of the intakes now are injured birds. It’s time to get projects done. Volunteers have been building new aviaries and taking down old structures that no longer fit our needs. We are “cleaning house”.
For two of us, it’s also our very lucky day. Today is the day that I get released. I’m Charles, the Coot. I’m also called a mud hen. I’m a water fowl that has a chicken like beak but webbed feet. I was rescued by the Brophy College Preparatory Rowing Team at Tempe Town Lake and brought all the way up to Fallen Feathers. Mac, the coach checks on me regularly, makes me feel very special.
Charles, the Coot and Mel, the Mallard
Charles, the Coot was very excited to be released and quickly joined up with fellow coots in the pond. Meanwhile, Mel, the Mallard, casually surveyed the area before joining the flock.
For more information about Fallen Feathers, please visit our website at www.fallenfeathers.org
Usually, at least. Yesterday, however, I made an appearance at Local First Fall Festival in Downtown Phoenix.
I had been shot and my wound had been left for 5 days and then I was taken to Fallen Feathers. I was taken for medical treatment and I lost my wing. I’m happy to be alive and I’ve been an Education Bird for 17 years now. I go to events to help Jody talk about the Rescue and Rehabilitation work that they do every day.
I’m one of eight birds that regularly come out to events. Fallen Feathers has owls, hawks, falcons, a vulture and a raven. I’m the oldest.
Every year I also teach about a dozen baby great horned owls the ways of the world, how to hunt, how to eat.
It’s a tough job, but some owl has to do it so they can survive when they go back into the wild.
As for today, I watch the other birds. I watch our volunteers. I watch the people taking pictures of me and the people waking by. I turn my head left and right, the full 270 degrees that I can. I watch everything.
Robert, the Great Horned Owl