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A Fox Sparrow's Story

Every fall migration, The Bird Rescue Center receives dozens of window strike victims, with injuries ranging from central nervous system damage, to broken bones and bruising. For one Fox Sparrow, a window strike meant spinal trauma with partial paralysis of the lower body, soft-tissue injury to the left shoulder, and a two-month stay at The Bird Rescue Center.

Fox Sparrow

On intake, this sparrow was unable to stand, flap his wings, or even feed himself. With the odds against him, we placed the small Fox Sparrow into a custom-fit bungee apparatus to assist him into a comfortable standing position, where we then provided oxygen therapy and a regimen of medications and a critical care diet.

Each day, he grew stronger. The improvements at times seemed small, yet when combined, were monumental! After only one week in care, he began to self-feed and was able to stay upright on flat surfaces without the bungee! By week two, he was able to fly and perch for short periods. By the third week, he was ambulating normally, perching reliably, and displaying proper foraging behaviors for the species. After a full month of care, he was an entirely new bird, ready for an aviary and physical therapy prior to release.

By week number eight, with physical therapy complete, this resilient Fox Sparrow was flying free over the wildlands of northern Santa Rosa once again!

Fun Facts about Fox Sparrows (courtesy of Cornell's Lab of Ornithology):

Named for the rich red hues that many Fox Sparrows wear, this species is nevertheless one of our most variable birds, with four main groups that can range from foxy red to gray to dark brown. Since they breed primarily in remote areas, many people see them in winter when the birds move into backyard thickets.

Fox Sparrows tend to feed on the ground close to dense vegetation. They enjoy small seeds and many kinds of berries. They may scratch for fallen seeds underneath bird feeders, particularly if they are close to cover. Encouraging shrubs or berry bushes to grow at the edges of your yard, or keeping a brush pile, are good ways to provide places for Fox Sparrows to forage.

From The Bottom of Our Hearts Thank You!

Your generosity for Giving Tuesday was amazing! You surpassed all expectations and we couldn't be more grateful.

Thanks to you, we met a $40,000 TRIPLE match!

The last few gifts pushed us over the top to exceed the goal with a grand total of $42,678! THANK YOU SO MUCH for the tremendous support.

As of today, here are the updated totals for each team:

Team Ops: $167,959

Team Build: $118,719

After an early lead, Team Ops is marching steadily toward the finish line! Once they achieve the goal of raising $100,000, a total of $200,000 will be designated for life-saving operating expenses in 2024.

Not to be denied, Team Build has their eyes steadily focused on the finish line in order to add $200,000 toward our new facility. While slow off the starting block, we know that good things come with time.

Imagine the good that will happen by funding Team Ops.

Your gifts will:

  • Heal the sick and injured

  • Care for orphans until they are old enough to survive on their own

  • Give a second chance at life to thousands

  • Nurture our Ambassadors

  • Enhance our education programs, developing a sense of stewardship for avian wildlife

Your donation today will have a life-altering impact on native wild birds!

Take a moment to visualize the new facility your contribution will fund. Your gifts will:

  • Build and equip a modern avian hospital

  • Create better housing for every bird in our care 

  • Provide Ambassadors with life-enriching exercise areas

  • Construct new flight aviaries 

  • Promote learning opportunities for young and old alike

Your gifts will make possible the miracles of healing that take place within its walls.


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