2017-07-06 / Letters

‘Saving Birds’ offers refuge; it does not rehabilitate

To the editor:

This is to clear up the confusion about what a sanctuary does and does not do. Every year, I get calls from people who ask if they can bring an injured or abandoned bird for care. When they learn that isn’t possible, they react with disappointment. But recently, a woman reacted with anger, and said she would tell everyone that we take money from people to help birds, but then we don’t help birds. By definition, a sanctuary is a refuge, a safe haven or a port in the storm. It is not a rehabilitation center. Charter Sanctuary is a privately owned sanctuary, or preserve, for migrating and nesting birds. It is a place that provides various habitats benefitting a broad variety of avian species, particularly during the breeding season. No public funds support it. (Public funds are used to support the adjacent Saving Birds Thru Habitat, which is a conservation education organization. Similar calls also come in to Saving Birds.)

In order to rescue or rehabilitate injured or abandoned birds, one must be trained and licensed by both the federal and state governments. Then one must have a facility wherein they can be treated. We are neither trained, nor licensed to rehabilitate injured or abandoned birds – and do not have such a facility. It would be against both federal and state laws for us to accept injured or abandoned birds. I have devoted my life to the birds I love; and the way I help them is to provide habitat for nesting in a world that loses appropriate nesting places every year.

Kay Charter
P.O. Box 288

Editor’s note: The author is coowner of Charter Sanctuary and executive director of Saving Birds Thru Habitat.

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