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EHR - Turkey Vulture

What would happen if our sanitation workers didn't pick up our garbage each week? We'd be overrun with garbage, right? In addition to causing foul odors, decaying garbage draws pests and spreads disease. A long time ago, someone figured out that it's not healthy to live in filth and decay, so garbage collection and sanitation workers came to be.

Well . . . Vultures are nature's sanitation workers.

Over 1 million animals are killed on American highways each year. Without vultures and other scavengers, all that roadkill would decay, draw pests, and spread disease. So, three cheers for vultures!

We are excited to add a Turkey Vulture to our group of education birds, so we can educate the public about the important role they play in our environment. Although vultures are more closely related to storks, they often are classified as raptors. However, unlike true raptors, turkey vultures are generally not hunters. They are opportunists. They eat almost exclusively dead and decaying animals. Powerful acids in their digestive systems kill harmful bacteria and viruses found in decaying carcasses, which spread disease. A vulture can even eat an animal that has died from botulism or anthrax, without getting sick itself.

Despite their size and wingspan, a vulture's legs don't have the strength to pick up and carry off the family dog, or a child, and their wings are made for soaring, not chasing. A vulture spends a large portion of its life in a group, circling and gliding on lazy currents of rising air. So it seemed appropriate to name the new vulture Ehr (pronounced like "air").

Ehr came to us from Wabash, IN. In 2019, the Soarin' Hawk rescue line got a call from a homeowner about a turkey vulture that had been down near their pond for a couple of weeks. They had been feeding it salmon, brisket and hamburger, so it was becoming bold, and starting to approach their house. The caller wanted him gone. Volunteers Bill and Sue brought him to our vet, who found no serious injuries - only a bruised shoulder. He was also very thin.

Over the next many months, Ehr ate well and put on weight but, even after many more months, was unable to fly. An evaluation showed him to be fairly calm and a good candidate for being trained as an education bird. He is currently in training and, as you might expect, his favorite meal is road kill.

“Those who wish to pet and baby wild animals "love" them. But those who respect their natures and wish to let them live normal lives love them more.”
~ Edwin Way Teale
Good-Bye, Artemis
On July 22, the rescue line received a call from Tim, a security guard at the Indiana Michigan Power Center Building in downtown Fort Wayne. He had found the body of one of the peregrine falcons on the roof of the building.
Using the band colors and numbers, it was determined that the band belonged to Artemis, one of the males hatched this year. Fly high and free, Artemis!

As things have been slowly opening up, Soarin’ Hawk will do the same with our orientations. For the time being, rather than doing one large orientation, we will be having smaller gatherings. 

If you have previously sent in a request to become a volunteer, you should have received an email from me to schedule an orientation. 

If you would like to become a volunteer, please send me an email .

Thank you!
Gigi Stewart

On July 23, Soarin' Hawk's rescue line got a call from Van Buren, IN. The caller said there was an injured bird hissing and shrieking in one of the bushes by her house. We asked for a photo, but the bush was too dense, so the caller tried poking gently at the bird with a broom so we could hear the sound it was making. The sound was unlike anything we had ever heard: a mixture of hissing, growling, and shrieking. We suggested that the caller go into the house and watch to see what came out. A half-hour later, the caller sent this photo. The little noisemaker was . . . a mink!
No rescue necessary!

Please, please remember: If you find an injured bird or animal, you give them the best chance at survival by contacting a DNR-permitted rehabber as soon as possible. By law, you may keep the injured one for 24 hours before being subject to legal action. While you search for a rehab, do not feed or give it water , and put it in a quiet place, away from activity and noise. If you have difficulty finding a licensed rehab, call the Soarin' Hawk rescue line (260-241-0134) and we will try to help you find someone.

March's Red-Tailed Hawk (02202020) is still in our rehabilitation facility. He has limited vision in his right eye.

June's Screech Owl (05212020) has been moved to our rehabilitation facility with the other orphaned screech owls. They all will stay with us until they are old enough to be released.

July's American Kestrel (06192020) was released on July 18 at our new rehab facility, along with 5 other young kestrels. See the releases - Click here.

Release #1 - Six - yes six! - young Kestrels
On July 18, 2020, Soarin' Hawk "christened" our new facility with the first bird release on the property. We took in several young kestrels this year. After they spent some time "growing up," all were all tested to be sure they could catch their own food, then 6 of them were released. All flew high to the tree line, where they spent the next several hours discussing their new reality.

Release #2 - Red-tailed Hawk 05182020
On 5/18/20, Bill and Sue found this nesting female Red-tailed Hawk perching on a pile of logs, after George called Soaring' Hawk about her being on the ground for awhile. After a challenging rescue, Bill and Sue took her to ICU for evaluation.

There was no obvious injury to this female hawk, but after an exam and an xray by our vet, it was discovered that she had been shot twice by a pellet gun. She was treated for pain and observed to see if she passed the pellets. The DNR has been notified and will investigate.

In early June, she was moved to our rehabilitation facility to begin flight training, and on July 24, 2020, she went back home.


Thanks to July donors . . .

K. Forrester, M. Long, L. McDaniel, B. Montgomery, Targeted Services, M. Wickersham, A. Zepke

. . . and thanks to the donors who give each and every month!
L. Dearing, Fort Wayne Subaru, Network for Good , Walmart Matching Fund

A Simple Way You Can Help!
Thanks to 151 Soarin’ Hawk families, we received $149 from the Kroger Community Reward fund! If you haven’t joined the rewards program, please do. It costs you nothing.
Using your Kroger Rewards card, go to Kroger's website, login and go to the Community Rewards location.
Identify your choice of organizations as Soarin’ Hawk. Then, each time you shop at Kroger, Kroger donates a percentage of the amount you spent to Soarin' Hawk.

Thank you!
Got Rodents? A Better, Cheaper, and Kinder Solution Than Poison!

Symbiosis - An interaction between two different organisms living in close proximity, in which both organisms benefit.

Dealing with a rodent problem by poisoning the offending animal is not only expensive, but often kills more than the intended target. That mouse or rat that ate the poison and died is often eaten by an owl, whose favorite meal is rodents. The owl ingests the poison in the mouse, and dies too.

One city in California showed that, instead of using poison, humans can work with raptors for very effective, low-cost rodent control. And raptors work for free!

We were able to rescue this beautiful screech owlet, thanks to donations from folks like you. Won't you make a donation now so we can help others like this little owl? No contribution is too small!

Your donation is tax deductible.
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