2016: A Historic Year

Winter is a time for reflection on the past year and planning for the year ahead. Each year since 2012 our intake numbers have sharply increased. Historically we admitted a little over 500 birds every year, and now in 2016 it will be well over 800 birds.

Why do so many birds need our care more than ever before? We may never know for sure, but it is probably a combination of factors. A growing population in Denver and along the Front Range means that more people than ever before are coming into contact with wildlife - finding injured birds and bringing them to us for help. In addition, as local populations grow, habitat loss
and habitat fragmentation means that animals have less space to live their lives and to raise their families. Some move off in search of better habitat, but many animals are incredibly adaptive
to their ever-changing environment and stay alongside us.

Also, in recent years, many rehabilitation facilities have closed or moved. Large birds in particular need specialized care and large facilities. Most rehabilitators do not have the capacity to care for
them. This leaves their care to us. We find ourselves caring for many more native birds, including herons, egrets, and shorebirds.
Without our help, these birds would have nowhere to go. The Birds of Prey Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to the rehabilitation & release of injured and orphaned wildlife, primarily raptors, such as eagles, hawks, falcons and owls.

In January we completed the second phase of our aviary upgrade project, which included our Falcon, Hawk, and Owl Enclosures as well as six intermediate flight cages! Our cages can now safely weather decades of Colorado winters- thanks to you, our supporters! We only have one enclosure left that needs repairs, and with so many birds to care for, we need to expand it too. We hope to increase the number of enclosures and to rebuild our “hospital cage,” a transitional area that enables us to closely monitor birds newly reintroduced to the outdoors.

Although admissions were high, so were the number of healthy birds released! This year alone we have released twelve healthy strong eagles back into the wild. Thirty-five Swainson’s Hawks flew free in September of this year, in time for their annual migration to Argentina. Dozens of Red-tailed Hawks have returned to their homes. The seven Barn Owls and the four Saw-whet Owls that we raised from eggs and tiny nestlings were also successfully released. Many Cooper’s Hawks, American Kestrels, owls, and so many other birds have been given a second chance. This is something we can all be proud of!

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