Bird Rehabilitation & Rescue: About WOW


Cockatoos, Cockatrices, and Other Birds of Prey

Saw-whet Owl Teddy is a rescue animal who had the misfortune of crashing through a glass window. The family on the other side of the fence waited anxiously from a distance for him to regain consciousness. After one hour of careful handling, they brought the young owl to the veterinarian. Despite the fact that this was the most appropriate action to take, the bird’s right wing was irreparably damaged. When that happened, Teddy moved in with his girlfriend Cinnamon and the many other birds that had been rescued and were undergoing rehabilitation at Wind Over Wings (WOW). At the Groton Public Library on April 16th, a program entitled “Birds of Prey and a Cockatoo Too” was presented by WOW, a wildlife rehabilitation education center in Clinton that operates as a non-profit organization.

Hope Douglas, the President of WOW, had to remind everyone in the room to be quiet as she removed the next exhibitor from his traveling box. It was a young bald eagle. The atmosphere in the room changed to one of quiet reverence as people began to express their shock at the eagle’s size and beauty. “Noah” is only 4 years old at this point. As a young child, he suffered severe head injuries after being knocked out of his nest. Following exhaustive testing, it was determined that he would never again be able to see out of his left eye. Because of his disability, Noah will sadly be confined to a cage for the rest of his life, which will span more than 40 years. However, as a result of WOW, he will be used to teach a great number of people about his species.

Blanco, a cockatoo who is 29 years old and can communicate quite well, was the highlight of the show. After the passing of his previous owner, he was accepted into the WOW program. As he rambled on about flying, his antics had everyone in the room laughing at his jokes. Hope related a story that demonstrated his extraordinary intelligence. A heron that had been rescued and brought to the facility arrived with an unknown injury. Unbelievably, Blanco was able to explain to Hope what was wrong with the bird, and when the bird was examined by a veterinarian, it was discovered that Blanco had been completely accurate.

The program concluded with a presentation of a Slumbering Great Horned Owl. The same thing happened to Sollie that happened to Noah. Unfortunately for him, a human took him in and raised him, so he never got the chance to learn how owls live their lives. The eight weeks he spent with the human were not enough time to undo the damage, as he was no longer fond of other owls and preferred humans instead. Only humans made him happy. He will devote the remainder of his life to WOW from this point forward.

The conversation continued with Hope and her assistant Tami Miglio talking about the lifestyles of all the different birds, including what they eat and how they live. They also talked about the effects that litter has on the natural world and the animals in it.

Eagles and great blue herons are two of the species that WOW specializes in rehabilitating. They provide a variety of educational programs, one of which involves bringing a selection of live birds to a number of different locations for the purpose of educating people.

WOW began its operations in the year 1990. Their rehabilitation center and educational services are doing exceptionally well thanks to the support of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Environmental Protection of the state of Connecticut. Now, with hundreds of programs being carried out each year, they are seeing their dream come true of connecting people with wildlife in order to reduce the amount of intentional cruelty.

You can reach WOW at 860-669-4004 or visit their website at www.windoverwings.com to learn more about the organization or to make arrangements for a program.

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