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.
Here are four things you might not know about the center and the work they do.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Waiting too long to call the center and attempting to feed the bird are the two biggest mistakes made, Jaramillo said.
“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.
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
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