Education
Rehabilitation
Research
Sanctuary
Above, Rough-legged Hawk © 2011 Paige Calamari, used with permission from Central Michigan Life.
This rough-legged hawk was released following rehabilitation at WRA. Note the feathers all the way to the toes. "Peaches" was so named for her peach colored underside.

WHO WE ARE

Wildlife Recovery Association is dedicated to promoting the understanding, appreciation and protection of wild raptors and their connection with nature.

 

Introduction

Wildlife Recovery Association was incorporated in 1979 to provide services for and about wildlife and promote a better understanding of their needs. We provide quality educational outreach programs with live birds of prey, participate in research and management programs to support rare and endangered species, and provide care for orphaned and injured hawks, owls, eagles, and falcons.

 

EDUCATION

Education is Schools

Wildilfe Recovery Association travels to many schools to inspire students to pursue their goals in science, math, journalism, and the arts.

Our goals in education are primarily to help people understand, appreciate, and protect wild hawks, owls, eagles, and falcons, and their connection with all of nature.

We also incorporate many science concepts into our school programs, inspiring students to learn more: to think critically, to write well, to sharpen observation skills, and to incorporate art, music, and journalism into their educational goals.

 

REHABILITATION

We provide rehabilitation services to injured and orphaned hawks, owls, eagles, and falcons.

Our veterinarian, Dr. White, has 30 years of experience working with birds of prey.  In addition, we   work with several veterinarians in various parts of Michigan.

Housing for recovering birds includes 5 flight cages from 30 feet in length to 100 feet.

A network of volunteers assists with transport of injured birds when necessary.

We often work with law enforcement agencies whose employees assist in the rescue of birds of prey.

We work with many law enforecement agencies such as conservation officers, police officers, and sheriff departments who assist in rescuing these incredible birds.

We work with many law enforcement agencies such as conservation officers, police officers, and sheriff deputies who assist in rescuing these incredible birds. In this photo, a conservation officer from northeastern Michigan captured and delivered to us an injured bald eagle. (Released in summer of 2015)

 

RESEARCH, MANAGEMENT, AND MONITORING

For almost 30 years, we assisted with the reintroduction of peregrine falcons at wild sites in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Now, we monitor peregrine nesting areas to ensure their continued ability to thrive and produce young peregrines.  We also encourage citizen science, projects such as nest box construction, and we support university research projects.

Thirty years of field research has helped tremendously in understanding these magnificent birds. Here, a peregrine falcon flies past as we watch from the cliff.

Thirty years of field research has helped tremendously in understanding these magnificent birds. Here, a peregrine falcon flies past as we watch from the cliff.

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If you are going to the State Fair in Escanaba, we will be there with our Birds of Prey program ONLY on Friday, August 17th. Hope to see you there! -Barb ... See MoreSee Less

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4 months ago

Wildlife Recovery Association

Year of the Snowy...…..we took another group of snowy owls north for the release and released them when it was still dark - took them about as far north towards Canada as we could get. In July. And we are still getting calls. In the following photos, you will see our most recent releases, a glimpse of some of the snowy owls in the flight cage (we have had up to five at a time in the flight cage, but I hesitate to put more in there, as they could argue over food), and one of the recent contacts on a snowy owl that is still here in Michigan. We don't doubt that there will be many again next year that need help. -Barb ... See MoreSee Less

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5 months ago

Wildlife Recovery Association

A few more photos as promised. I am not sure where all of these are, just know that if you plan a trip up there, check with friends, relatives, and anyone you know in the UP before trying to get there. Much of the UP is down with power outages, and flooded roads. Most of the damage is up in the Keeweenaw, but other parts are pretty rough. One person was airlifted to Ann Arbor with injuries. Because the back roads are not accessable, there may be more injuries than what we know of now. Take Care all you Yoopers. ... See MoreSee Less

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Apparently we made it out just in time. The northern part of the UP was flooded after the storm. Many roads are out. Michigan Tech (our daughter works there) is closed. You can see from the photo that Highway 2, the one along the northern part of Lake Michigan has been washed out at this site. The road is the thin grey line; the washout is the curved sandy colored area. Roads in the Keeweenaw are really bad; hospitals, courthouse, everything, basically is closed. I will give you an update with more photos (sent by our daughter) this afternoon.
We were lucky to get in to the peregrine site when we did; it is very likely that the nest that we observed will have been destroyed by the storm. We have not heard of any serious injuries or fatalities to people; they are just looking at the damage with awe. Many, whose houses are intact, have opened their doors to others who are not so fortunate. Looks like the aftermath of an earthquake. Take Care, everyone.
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Peregrines, UP!
The sheer pristine beauty of high cliffs along Lake Superior is magnified when the once almost extinct peregrine falcon takes a dive below a nest ledge. That is what we saw just a day or so ago, after hiking in about four miles to a viewing spot that Joe had identified many years ago. Now I know how he does this; some people have better than 20/20 vision. Joe is one of those people. His distant sight is excellent, and after 32 years of peregrine observation, he easily picks out little movements from over half a mile away, that turn out to be - YES! Peregrines nesting.
After that four mile hike in, we dropped packs and immediately brought out the spotting scope, camera, and binoculars. While I was setting ub the camera, Joe was looking through binoculars - and watched as the male was just bringing in prey; the female dropped off the cliff, perhaps to make a prey exchange in the air as they sometimes do, but then returned to the nest site, as the male circled around and dropped off prey on the cliff. I was lucky enough to get a very blurry photo of the female diving off the cliff edge, and boy am I proud. I am sure that our very good photographer friends, who are excellent photographers, and also excellent people, may wonder how I can get so excited about such a blurry photo. This photo was taken from over one-half mile distant, and yes, I am proud of it. It is part of a piece of evidence that shows very clearly that peregrines are still nesting here, information that was not accepted into the official records last year, though we observed a successful nest near this site last year as well and turned those records in of several separate days of observation. If photos are needed; well, we have them.
The trip out brought more adventure - we began to hike out just as the rains began. Thunder and lightning told us it was time to leave - and on the way out, strong channel winds blew trees over as we watched. Cracking limbs could be heard on each side of the trail. We were surrounded by the power of nature.
Joe spent well over 30 years assisting with peregrine falcon reintroduction and monitoring beginning in 1986. He spent months at a time on various cliffs at wild sites in the Upper Peninsula. Our observations indicate that this pair of peregrines is a different pair than what we saw last year, and the nest location is also new. We look forward to getting to know this pair throughout the summer.
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Many young owls are just coming out of the nest at this time. Some need help; some do not. It depends largely on the species and situation. Great Horned Owl youngsters come out of the nest four to six weeks before they can fly. Screech owls are sometimes nesting in too small a nest cavity for the four to eight siblings and they push each other out early; because they are small, are easily grabbed by predators. If you are not sure what to do (leave them alone, or give them help) - please call us at 989 772-1538. Leave a message, and please be patient. We are outside caring for many owls and hawks, but will return your call when we can. Thanks! ... See MoreSee Less

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Snowy owls, their winter voyage to Michigan: Our concerns and our care for them.
In this video, you will see locating, capturing, rehabilitative care, and release of several snowy owls; releases by our friends at Bay City State Park Recreation Area (Valerie Blaschke), Saginaw County Parks (Tonya Huber), and Chippewa Nature Center (Dennis Pilaske).
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6 months ago

Wildlife Recovery Association

Happy Mother's Day, All.........We are working to build a new pen for Molly Mud. Molly is a young bald eagle who came to us shortly after she had fledged. She had a wing fracture that had already calcified and locked up the wing - but we were able to put her on our educational permit. We wanted a new enclosure where she could get more attention......so we are building! We have already purchased $700 in lumber, but we need more help with funds. We expect the total cost to be about $2,500. Each contribution from NEW sources will be matched dollar for dollar by The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation; for this match, we must have your name and date of contribution.😊 Businesses, individuals...........ALL new funding will be matched. Please feel free to use PayPal on our web site under the membership category. Watch for updates on the progress. And Molly - she is a treasure to work with. Take a look at some of the photos of this bird, as well as other activities this spring. We are busy! ... See MoreSee Less

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8 months ago

Wildlife Recovery Association

We had just released a second snowy owl after a long recovery and were having a nice spaghetti dinner when the phone rang. But that's ok, because the phone always rings when we eat dinner. The caller said that he had hit an owl with his truck. When I asked for a description, he said it was a large white owl. NOOOOOOOOOOO! (That was me silently screaming). The location was halfway between the two snowy owl releases that we had just completed. So which one went right out and got itself into trouble?..........

Snowy owls travel to Michigan from the arctic when surplus prey brings the population to a peak over the past summer, and they find themselves with an overpopulation of snowy owls and far less prey going into the following winter. Like many raptors, they spread out to give themselves better hunting potential. Many end up in Michigan during these winters.

These owls must travel over large areas of forest to get here; the forest is not the best habitat for hunting for snowy owls. They arrive in Michigan farmland and open country after traveling long distances, and they are hungry, sometimes beginning to starve. They are not accustomed to our land, and often find themselves in difficult situations. Some end up getting struck by cars, some enter barns and poultry pens, and some just go hungry. This most recent snowy owl, received on March 13, had been hit by a truck.

The driver reported the exact location, but it was night, and he couldn't stay until we arrived. This can make it difficult to find, especially in white fields covered with snow at night. Luckily, the caller came back, and met us at the location. He had chased the owl out of the middle of the road, which probably saved the owl' life, and upon arriving a second time, he found tracks (yes - snowy owl tracks) coming up out of the ditch, and he tracked the owl into the field. He knew right where she was when we arrived.

And to answer the original question - it was not a male, so it was not one that we released on Monday. When we looked closely, we could see that the spots were much lighter than the one we released on Tuesday, so neither of the recently released owls had been hit by the truck. This was a new snowy, never before in captivity. She is doing better, but it was a rough collision; she is very bruised, and can not yet fly. We wish her well, and will do our best with her recovery. -Barb and Joe
PS...Enjoy photos also of the recent snowy releases!
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This video is a sample of our recent releases. ... See MoreSee Less

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