From all of us to all of you, our warmest wishes for the season!
As we count down to a new year, here's a look back at some of the highlights from the year—a year filled with challenges and triumphs, and most of all a year that showed just how wonderful our BRC flock is!
Overall, this year brought us over 140 different species of birds...and two mammals! Want to guess what the mammals were?
Baby Squirrels! We made sure their condition was stable before transferring them to our friends at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue.
Baby Bird Season started early this year.
A typical season begins in early May and is over by the first week of September. This year, by mid-April we were up to our ears in babies AND our last baby, a fledgling Acorn Woodpecker, didn't arrive until November 9th!
Care to guess which bird species we received more than any other?
House Finches! In fact, this year we received 100 more House Finches than in any other year!
Our top five species admitted were:
House Finches (371)
American Crows (189)
California Towhees (154)
Anna's Hummingbirds (133)
Pine Siskins (127)
Guess which raptors accounted for the highest number...
Red-tail Hawks (47)
Barn Owls and Red-shouldered Hawks tied (42 each)
Western Screech Owls (33)
Great Horned Owls (28)
We also received 85 water birds from the West Ninth Street Rookery
Here are some heartwarming statistics:
80 babies were reunited with their families or placed in foster nests
259 birds were released directly back into the wild
337 birds were gradually reintroduced in areas where we could continue to feed and monitor them until they chose to expand their territories
300 healthy birds (most of them babies) avoided "bird-napping" by well- meaning finders thanks to the information and education provided by our phone team
Where did most of our patients come from?
Here are the top seven Towns/Cities we served this year (in descending order)
Thanks to caring citizens in Lake County and a growing network there, we also received over 100 birds from this neighboring county!
Birds often travel a great distance to get to us. This year we received birds from as far north as Laytonville (a Hummingbird), as far south as Kettleman City near Fresno (a House Finch), and as far east as Vacaville (a Brewer's Blackbird).
Ever wonder who calls The Bird Rescue Center?
Daily, calls come in from Sonoma County, and we regularly receive calls from throughout California, but that's not all! This year we received calls from Texas, New York, Florida, Indiana, Tennessee, Connecticut, Georgia, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Washington, Montana, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and even England! Even though we technically don't serve these areas, we're very often able to give valuable advice, some of it life-saving!
In-Person Education made a comeback
Pandemic notwithstanding, we were able to safely hold a handful of small events this fall. Each opportunity gave our bird handlers and the Ambassador birds themselves quite the thrill to be back in the public eye.
And as COVID continued to plague the world, migrating Pine Siskins experienced a pandemic all of their own as they arrived in our area. A Salmonellosis outbreak literally tripled the number of birds we received in the first quarter of the year. This deadly disease quickly spread to other Finch species, but thanks to quick action by local media who gave Bird Rescue lots of print and air time; BRC's own communication channels; and most importantly, thanks to all of you who followed our instructions to disinfect and remove your birdbaths and feeders for a period of time, the further spread of this deadly bacteria was prevented. The danger subsided, and healthy Pine Siskins migrated north again to their summer home in Canada.