Within the past few years, Eagles and Osprey were removed from threatened and endangered status and are now listed as recovered. Because of increased populations, more individuals are being presented for rehabilitation each year. Red Creek has a history of successfully rehabilitating these birds, but needs a flight enclosure that meets the requirements for exercising these large birds.
Construction begins this spring.
We have reached our fundraising goal because of generous grants and donations from our partners and supporters.
Construction of a 20’W x 100’L x 16’H flight enclosure.
Here is why it’s so important:
Red Creek currently rehabilitates all species of wildlife, including osprey, eagles and other large raptors.
The final rehabilitation phase before release for all birds is to increase their athleticism, strength, and endurance through access to a large flight area and encouragement of exercising in this enclosure. This activity ensures that rehabilitated birds will be fit enough to survive and thrive after release.
Red Creek’s largest flight is 25’ x 25’, so we cannot complete the rehabilitation process of Osprey, Eagles and peregrines at our facility. To accommodate the final rehabilitation phase of these birds, they must be crated and driven to a facility with this capability. This is not what’s best for the birds. Let me use osprey as an example:
Considered extirpated in Pennsylvania in 1979, reintroduction programs in the state have been successful. In January of this year, the Osprey was removed from threatened and endangered species status and is now listed as recovered. Because of increased populations, more individuals are being presented to wildlife rehabilitators each year
Ospreys are high-stress birds that often die in the first few days of rehabilitation because anxiety causes them to refuse food. Red Creek is in a unique position to successfully rehabilitate Osprey because we have two resident non-releasable ospreys that foster for us. When we introduce a newly rescued osprey to our foster birds, they immediately calm down and begin eating. Because of our high success rate of getting osprey to thrive in a rehabilitation setting, we are often asked to accept osprey from other centers.
Once recovered, the osprey need a large flight and must be transported elsewhere. Transferred ospreys, which thrive so well with our foster birds, often refuse to eat after being moved because of the relocation. The transport also adds additional risk of injury due to handling, and uses valuable resources in time and personnel.
The presence of a suitable flight area at Red Creek would allow us to place the foster birds in the flight with the rehabilitation birds, ensuring the flighted osprey remain calm and continue to eat. We would also be able to monitor them continuously.
This project would benefit other species as well. The enclosure also meets the minimum requirements for flying eagles, and exceeds requirements for more commonly admitted species such as peregrine falcons, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls and heron. This enclosure, though originally designed for the rehabilitation needs of Osprey, would increase our ability to rehabilitate all large birds.