Birds of a Feather are Healing Together at Green Chimneys

June 17, 2022

With spring’s arrival comes the inevitable need to help injured fledglings, owlets, and ducklings. Right now the Paul C. Kupchok Wildlife Center is a bevy of activities—not only with wildlife classes and tending to permanently injured or imprinted wildlife—the Center is also humming with activity as an assortment of baby birds are being nurtured back to health.

Click on the image above to watch a short, 46-second video.

Rescued baby birds currently under our care include:

  • four Barred owlets
  • three Great Horn owlets
  • two sets of ducklings (from our own pond)
  • two baby Grackles
  • a juvenile Raven

Pairing birds of a feather enhances the rehab process for baby wildlife.

Whenever possible, animal caretakers will pair rescued birds with other rehab birds of the same species. For baby birds, this is particularly helpful in providing them with a model for behaviors.  Such is the case with three Barred owls, each rescued from various parts of Westchester and Putnam Counties. An adult Barred Owl that sustained permanent eye damage making it unsafe for her release is now spending time with the trio of baby Barred owls. Similarly, an injured adult Great Horned owl is keeping three owlets company and modeling typical owl behaviors. The set of baby owls are regaining strength in the flight cage, and like with every rehabilitation before it, they are intended to grow and develop well enough to successfully return to the wild.

Extra care and support for specific injuries.

Inside our triage office, another Barred owlet sits with a cast. Having suffered multiple breaks in one foot, Dr. Wilson of Brewster Veterinary Hospital was able to place rods in the foot and protect it with a cast. For now, the baby owl’s movement is minimized to maximize healing. Staff are monitoring its food intake and are documenting its progress in the hope it will one day be strong enough to be introduced to the others. The goal remains for the parliament of young owls to be released back into the wild this summer.

Engaging students in animal care.

Student feeds a baby bird.

Student feeds baby Grackle.

The wildlife team at Green Chimneys supports the rehabilitation and hopeful release of over 100 additional birds each year. Moreover, staff teach our students about the environment, what it means to respectfully care for wildlife, and demonstrate how to be a wildlife ambassador. Green Chimneys School teachers, clinicians, and support staff alike draw on the rehabilitations observed by our students as points of discussion. In fact, the entire Sam and Myra Ross Farm & Wildlife Center is often a place of second chances, building skills, learning from those around you, and of respecting boundaries. For animals and humans alike.

Do you know what to do if you find an injured animal?
Here are a few tips

Interested in visiting? The Sam and Myra Ross Farm & Wildlife Center is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-3pm. There is so much to see including over 50 birds of prey, along with horses, sheep, goats, llamas, and more.* More info

*Please note that not all birds highlighted in this story are visible to the public; some rehab areas are situated away from foot traffic to minimize interaction with humans.