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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1 month 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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Happy Valentine's Day ... See MoreSee Less

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4 months ago

Wildlife Recovery Association
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4 months ago

Wildlife Recovery Association

Sparkle and Little Red are ready to come to your shcool. Call us at 989 772-1538 Thank you for the photos from Linda Rosinski. ... See MoreSee Less

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4 months ago

Wildlife Recovery Association

Christmas morning 10:00am, a call from central dispatch.........an owl down on the side of the road. It was not a surprise, that it was another snowy owl. They are down in fairly large numbers, often called an irruption year, but they are having trouble. Many raptors came in this year because they were having trouble finding enough food. They same goes with snowy owls, and they are seeking mice in dairy barns, or easy catch poultry in coops. Read on to see what happens...... ... See MoreSee Less

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Our cover page is now showing one of the snowy owls recovering in our flight cage. We had many calls on these beautiful birds a few weeks ago, when they first drifted down from the arctic. They have many problems, so please do not add to their difficulties by pursuing them for photos or in any way disturbing them, preventing them from rest and hunting. They need your help: photo only from a distance with zoom lenses, look only from a distance with binoculars; then leave them alone. If one has an injury or can not fly (sometimes they are too weak), please call us at (989) 772-1538. Thanks! and Happy Holidays to All. ... See MoreSee Less

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Thank you Pat and Paula, two great volunteers who captured the eagle. Thank you Dr. White and staff at Animal Medical Center, and thank you Paula who had the honor of releasing this eagle. Thank you to the photographers who captured this event. More birds coming in - Two snowy owls and a great horned owl. More on that later. ... See MoreSee Less

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5 months ago

Wildlife Recovery Association

Giving Tuesday! We often are so busy just doing the work that we do, we do not get to the job of raising funds. So I will make it quick and easy. To give to Wildlife Recovery Association this Giving Tuesday, you are giving to children, students, and schools, as well as adults - with a high quality educational program that teaches about our birds of prey, about natural history, and does it in a format that encourages kindness and respect for our natural world. 30 to 40 thousand people each year! And.........we care for injured and orphaned birds of prey: approximately 100 each year - we are working at our capacity. And............we monitor nesting peregrine falcons in Michigans Upper Peninsual (2 youngsters at Pictured Rocks this year) And..........we work with university students in research and special projects - CMU, SVSU, MI Tech, and more.

The birds in the photos are a few that came in injured and could not be released. These three are now on our educational permit, but still in training. They need to eat. They need upgrading of housing. And they need our time, to become comfortable being presented to an audience. Please help this Giving Tuesday, November 28th by becoming a memberl Write to: Wildlife Recovery Association, 531 S. Coleman Rd. Shepherd, MI 48883 Thanks! and have a very Happy Thanksgiving. Our best to All.
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Many young hawks have been passing through recently; they follow the parents during late summer and early fall to learn hunting skills, and how to avoid traffic and other problems. Most of these hawks are now on their own, and we have had many coming in for rehabitation as they work to fine tune their skills. We have been busy.
We also have had a great summer and fall with our bird of prey programs; we just came home yesterday from presenting our birds at Nature Nest in Grand Rapids (Thanks, Laurie, and guests!). On the way home, we caught sight (well, Joe did; he shared) of a beautiful healthy young red-tailed hawk cleaning his bill after a meal. Please enjoy the video. -Barb
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