INVEST IN THE SKIES
This is the second in our relocation series designed to keep you up to date about our future home!
Missed the first installment?
We are happy to report that since our last update in March—just one month ago!—thanks to your generosity, we have added over $31,000 to our building fund!
TINY BABIES, BIG DREAMS
Our first babies have arrived!
It’s official, with the arrival of the first babies of 2022 in early March, Baby Bird Season is upon us!
It started with the arrival of the smallest babies we care for—hummingbirds—and now it's really ramping up with the arrival of more hummingbirds, baby Great Horned Owls and what seems like every species in between!
While baby bird season is just starting, we know before long our wards are going to be full. Even now our incubators are near capacity, and it won't be long before we are literally overflowing with babies.
With this influx of babies, we are more excited than ever to think about our new hospital, especially the new nursery!
A PEEK BEHIND THE CURTAIN
The nursery (clinically referred to as the 'brooder') is a place where the youngest of our patients are kept safe, warm, and dry. It houses babies as young as a day old until they no longer need supplemental heat. Ideally, they would be completely separate from older juveniles and adults. They are so vulnerable as they for the first time open their eyes, start to develop feathers, and begin to thermoregulate. In our reality, though, this tiny space must sometimes do double duty for adults and others who desperately need the warmth afforded by these life-saving incubators.
Our current brooder area is behind what I refer to as the plastic Wizard of Oz curtain. The size of a utility closet, it has just two incubators that sit side-by-side and run 24/7 keeping the ambient heat in this small and confined area at roughly 95 degrees. This space is extremely cramped for both staff and babies. When the number of babies requiring incubators increases, we actually have to stack some of the bird enclosures inside each incubator making for really constricted quarters. And if we receive an adult bird requiring heat, their enclosures sometimes have to be briefly staged on the floor as the "next best thing" until a proper set-up becomes available. Reminiscent of the popular 1980's television show, we've become adept at "McGuyvering"!
That said, in the space behind the curtain, magical things happen. This is where our featherless babies and those unable to thermoregulate slowly develop and begin their journey at BRC. As they grow, they graduate from our hottest incubator to the slightly cooler one, then advance to the ambient shelving above the incubators until they are ready to join the rest of the ranks in the main hospital ward.
OUR FUTURE NURSERY
The Nursery in our new hospital will significantly increase our capacity for babies requiring sustained, supplemental heat. By providing more room and better equipment for our volunteers and staff to care for these precious little ones, more babies can rest securely in multiple incubators, separated according to species and temperature requirements.
In addition, we will have incubators in each ward within the hospital for adult patients requiring heat during their various treatments. This means the new Nursery can isolate vulnerable babies from adults and predator species, while also shielding sick and injured adult birds from the hustle and bustle of the every-30-minute feeding schedules our babies demand.
The Nursery will be a 10'x10' room equipped with a minimum of eight incubators as well as multiple shelves for bird enclosures. It will have isolated temperature control to maintain a consistent ambient temperature for our little ones until such time as they require less intensive care and are ready to graduate to the baby wards. This dedicated room will include plenty of space for all the equipment necessary to support this critical period of development in hatchling and nestling birds as well as the space needed by staff and volunteers to effectively and efficiently manage their care.
Equipped to handle everything from the tiniest hummingbirds to baby eaglets, our new Nursery will eliminate the "baby shuffle" that currently takes place each season as we run out of incubators and space. This will give each baby in our care an even better chance at survival.
BRC is a "generalist" native wild bird hospital. As such, we always need to maintain the necessary boundaries between predator and prey. This doesn't just refer to raptors vs. songbirds. It also means separating songbird "bullies" from those more "softspoken". Just as wild parents carefully choose a safe nesting area, we do our best to replicate that safety within the confines of our hospital walls.
Just think about how healing it will be for all the species in our care not to have the added stresses that come with cramped quarters and being too close to other patients who might be predators or bullies! Compared to the facilities we have been using for the last 40+ years, this new hospital will provide the necessary room and dedicated spaces for all our patients, no matter where they are on their road to recovery and freedom.
We have created naming opportunities for various rooms within our new hospital. The Nursery is one of them.
The Nursery is a $25,000 naming opportunity. The funds will be applied to the constructions costs and special equipment required to house and treat all the delicate baby birds entering our hospital each year. This gift will make a direct and meaningful contribution toward saving thousands of lives each year and for a long time into the future!
We recognize that a gift of $25,000 is a lot of money and not possible for most. We know, without a doubt however, that working together, each of us doing what we can, the new Bird Rescue Center will become a reality.
Click here to see all the naming opportunities available. They range from a $100 gift to purchase a brick on our Walk of Fame all the way up to a $1,000,000 gift to have the hospital named in your honor. As community members step forward to fund these opportunities, we will keep you apprised. We are so very excited about the journey that will turn this dream into a reality!
Please know that the appreciation you show for our mission by taking the time to read our communications and to advocate for wildlife is greatly appreciated. Our combined efforts, each of us doing what we can, move us ever closer to achieving our goal. Whether you are able to help by sponsoring one of our naming opportunities, or by donating according to your means, please know that you are making a difference—and we are exceptionally grateful!