Kyle Wosner of the Glen Helen Raptor Center releases an 8-month-old juvenile American Bald Eagle at Eastwood Lake in Eastwood MetroPark. The bird was rehabilitated by the center after it was found severely malnourished in a field near the Wegerzyn Gardens. ROGER GARBER/CONTRIBUTED
Photo: ROGER GARBER
Photo: ROGER GARBER

4 things you may not know about this local raptor rehabilitation center

Glen Helen Raptor Center in Yellow Springs is the go-to for birds in the Dayton area who need medical attention and a little bit of love before being released back into the wild. 

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Here are four things you might not know about the center and the work they do.

The injured hawk likely suffered a broken left wing and is being cared for at the Glen Helen Raptor Center. (Contributed)

72 

So far this year, the Raptor Center has taken in 72 birds needing help. Those rescues only account for a quarter of phone calls the center has received from people seeking help. 

If they receive a call about an animal they are not able to help, Rebecca Jaramillo, Director of the Glen Helen Raptor Center, said that they connect the person with a center that can. 

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50% 

About half of the birds the center has attempted to rehabilitate have successfully been released back into the wild, Jaramillo said.

Those are pretty good odds for birds who might not have otherwise survived a nasty fall from their nest, or a gunshot wound to the beak. 

Injuries caused by human interactions are always saddest for Jaramillo-- especially when it costs the bird’s life. However, even when a bird passes away in the center’s care, knowing they made it more comfortable during the pain makes each rescue mission a success, Jaramillo said.

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Falcon chick rescue Newspaper reader Capt. John Belluardo, The Falcon Godfather, of Washington Twp. sent in this trio of photos in early June with the following explanation: “We found these four American Kestrel Falcon Chicks on the floor of the main hangar at Red Stewart Airfield in Waynesville on Thursday May 21st. They had fallen out of a vent pipe at the top of the hangar. I was getting ready to perform an annual inspection on my vintage 1946 Luscombe 8A. After sending a picture to the Glen Helen Raptor Center we were told that they were falcons and must be saved. We placed the hungry chicks in a box and flew them in my Luscombe to Springfield Municipal Airport where we turned them over to a staff member from the Raptor Center (first picture). I took the second picture at the Glen Helen Raptor Center one week later on a Thursday in Yellow Springs. My wife and I visited the Center today where the last picture was taken by a staff member on my cell phone (humans are not allowed in the rehab area). The chicks have been placed in an outdoor pen with an adult falcon for learning how to fly and hunt. When ready for release we hope to return them to the open fields of Red Stewart Airfield in Waynesville.” CONTRIBUTED

One (and a half)

Jaramillo is the only full-time person on staff at the center. That’s a daunting bird-to-human ratio! 

Thankfully, a “half of a person” on staff is made up of volunteers and bird lovers who give their time freely, said Jaramillo.

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What the center wants you to know

“These guys are a lot different than mammals,” Jaramillo said. 

Calls that go into the Raptor Center are always from well-intentioned individuals wanting to help a struggling bird, Jaramillo said. For that reason, the wrong kind of care is often given by a person trying to help a bird immediately.

Falcon chick rescue Newspaper reader Capt. John Belluardo, The Falcon Godfather, of Washington Twp. sent in a series of photos that tell a story. He explains: “We found these four American Kestrel Falcon Chicks on the floor of the main hangar at Red Stewart Airfield in Waynesville on Thursday May 21st. They had fallen out of a vent pipe at the top of the hangar. I was getting ready to perform an annual inspection on my vintage 1946 Luscombe 8A. After sending a picture to the Glen Helen Raptor Center (in Yellow Springs) we were told that they were falcons and must be saved. We placed the hungry chicks in a box and flew them in my Luscombe to Springfield Municipal Airport where we turned them over to a staff member from the Raptor Center (first picture).” The chicks were placed in an outdoor pen with an adult falcon for learning how to fly and hunt. On Sunday, June 28, they were released back to the wild at Red Stewart Airfield in Waynesville Ohio. Belluardo says, “They have transformed from little balls of white fur to colorful beauties of nature. They got their first taste of freedom and they sure can fly!” To see a video of the release, go online to https://youtu.be/f8mh-wYqFNI. CONTRIBUTED

Waiting too long to call the center and attempting to feed the bird are the two biggest mistakes made, Jaramillo said. 

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“Just (try) getting them in a quiet and dark place … If i’m going to successfully rehabilitate the bird, I need to see it right away,” Jaramillo said. 

If you’re interested in volunteering, visit glenhelen.org/volunteer.

Kyle Wosner of the Glen Helen Raptor Center releases an 8-month-old juvenile American Bald Eagle at Eastwood Lake in Eastwood MetroPark. The bird was rehabilitated by the center after it was found severely malnourished in a field near the Wegerzyn Gardens. ROGER GARBER/CONTRIBUTED
Photo: ROGER GARBER

Want to go?

WHAT: Glen Helen Raptor Center

WHERE: 1075 State Route 343, Yellow Springs

WHEN: Summer hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

COST: Visitor’s donation

INFO: glenhelen.orgSummer program listing 

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