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Article in: Birding
January 29, 2010

Phoenix the Red-tailed Hawk Injured From Plane Crash

On January 23rd, 2010 a small plane crashed in Sugar Grove, Illinois killing two Florida men. The explosion from the crash torched a tree where a raptor was roosting for the night. Unbelievably, the bird was alive and taken to Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation where her outlook is positive for a full recovery.

The raptor was so badly burned that a positive identification wasn’t originally clear. They now believe the bird to be a female Red-tailed Hawk and have named her “Phoenix”. Nearly all the bird’s outer feathers including her tail were burned. Her talons and outer eyelid were also burned so much so that she couldn’t see when she first arrived at Flint Creek.

The following photos were taken by Phil Hampel of Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabiliation and speak for themselves how badly this bird was injured.








Get updates from Flint Creek at their blog. Special thanks go out to the sheriff’s deputy who first spotted the bird and Kane County Animal Control and of course to Dawn Keller who is the president and founder of Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation. We badly need more people like Dawn.

Video from WTTW 11 – Chicago Tonight

Please donate whatever you can to help this bird and others being cared for at Flint Creek! Thanks to Phil Hampel for permission to use his photos for this post!!

4 Comments or Trackbacks   ↓ Jump to add comment ↓

  1. Mark Chenoweth says:

    This is a fantastic story, and the care and passion these people at Flint Creek showed this bird is wonderful! With such trauma, many would just have euthanized the bird. But that would be wrong if there is a chance of saving this bird, and getting her back into nature again. Man-made accidents happen all the time, and indeed, we do have a responsibility to restore and care for what we can to make it right if it is possible. It’s the people who can do this that are a blessing and make it all seem better to the rest of us, and for that I thank you! You do make a difference!

    Posted on: January 30, 2010 @ 10:38 am

  2. The Birdfreak Team says:

    Mark – thank you for such a wonderful response! It is so important to do what’s possible for every animal because even though it is just one bird it provides such an important way to communicate the big picture in a highly engaging way.

    Posted on: February 1, 2010 @ 9:53 am

  3. Tom Stephan says:

    Suggestion- This only works with female raptors. If the hawk is eating, you may try a little beef thyroid (progesterone). It makes the bird moult quicker. You get it at the butcher shop under the name “Sweetbread” (whatever). It is powerful stuff so dont overdue it. It looks like fat but is the gland from the neck of the cow. I first tried it on a female Harris’ hawk and gave her too much. She was on a bad trip for a day but moulted rapidly that summer. Try about the amount and size of a pea for three days, one pea each day. then one pea a week. Vary the amount to the response. Good luck

    Posted on: February 1, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

  4. Lana says:

    OMG…poor thing! Thanks for the heads up. I’ll definitely be keeping up with this story.

    Posted on: February 5, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

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