Saturday, January 3, 2009

Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center, Indio, California

We had a fun and educational morning today at the Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center. The Wild Bird Center is a non-profit corporation for the rehabilitation of wild birds with the goal of releasing them back into the wild. When we arrived for the monthly bird walk led by a volunteer from the local Audubon Society, Linda the Executive Director of the Wild Bird Center, was examining a Coopers Hawk that had just been brought in by the local animal control.

The Wild Bird Center is located near a wetlands area and houses a number of wild birds, such as Great Horned Owls, American Kestrels, Red-tailed Hawks, Osprey, Quail, Raven and Doves, among others. As wild birds are brought into the center, Linda and her staff of volunteers (no one is a paid employee at the Wild Bird center) assess the bird’s health, take care of any medical needs if necessary, and make every effort possible to release the bird back to its native habitat. In fact yesterday Linda released a Vulture that she had rehabilitated from a non-life threatening gun shot wound to its leg. For the few birds that cannot be released, such as those too imprinted on humans to live in the wild or with a medical condition that make it impossible for the bird to thrive, they become educational ambassadors for their species by going into classrooms, being therapy birds, or fostering abandoned young birds until they are ready to leave the nest.

The center is open everyday from 9:00am-noon, and you can freely walk around inside the building where a few of the birds call home, as well as go in the back where there are more than a dozen large cages with birds that will soon be released. Adjacent to the Wild Bird Center is the wetlands with an accessible walking trail and two observation decks where you can get a birds-eye view (pun intended!) of the wetlands. On the first Saturday of most months (be sure to call first) at 8:00am the local Audubon Society offers a free 2-hour walk around the wetlands with birders who can help locate & identify the many birds that call the wetlands home ~ on our two hour walk this morning we saw 44 native birds! Be sure to bring binoculars and a camera. After the walk, Linda offers hot coffee, tea, cocoa and Brad’s favorite…………cinnamon rolls! It was nice to sit with the other birders and talk about what birds we saw, learn more about the rehabilitated birds, and to spend some time with Linda and learn about the past and future of the Wild Bird Centre.

This is an incredible opportunity to safely see some of these beautiful birds up-close. It is important to note that although the Wild Bird Center is free, it is run solely on private donations – they receive no government money or pay for what they do – so when you go – and you should go when you’re on the area because it was an inspirational place – please consider making a donation.


Jerry and Suzy said...

Once again you've whetted our appetite to return to the Coachella Valley! We used to drive through there three or four times a year, always on errands, or at least in a hurry to get somewhere, so we never paid a lot of attention to the good things you are showing us.

Thanks for letting us ride along!

Marlene Sherwin said...

Hi I was on that walk Jan 3 I just stumbled onto your blog. We moved to Desert Pools today Sunday. I too have a blog

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