August 6, 2020
Because Of You...
Because of you, even in the midst of these chaotic times we have had one of the most rewarding Baby Bird Seasons I can remember. We treated 2,043 birds, ranging from songbirds and waterbirds to the most majestic of the raptors, the eagle, to the tiniest, the Northern California Pygmy Owl (pictured below). We had our first Golden Eaglet, our first Chipping Sparrow, our first Sooty Shearwater, and our first adult Lazuli Bunting (pictured left), a bird only seen post-wildfire. You made us a stronger organization, able to rehabilitate the birds that came into our care despite a skeleton crew. You also helped us effectively handle emergencies, like the day our dryer broke. It sounds so pedestrian—your donations purchased a new dryer—but the dryer is critical to our work, handling multiple loads of laundry each day. Because of you, yes, we had clean linens. More importantly, because of you, birds survived. And most importantly, today they thrive, filling our skies with birdsong. THANK YOU.
This baby Northern Pygmy Owl (NOPO) was found in a Good Samaritan's yard in Forestville in early June. Weighing the same as a golf ball and not much bigger, this little guy's issue was dehydration, happily it was a mild case.
Standing on average of just 6.5 inches tall—that’s an inch shorter than an unsharpened pencil from eraser to tip!—it's always surprising when NOPOs are brought in as they are one of the smallest in North America.
It took one week for us to successfully reunite this miniature family. The baby had fully recovered and we located the nest area. Amazingly, upon returning the young one home, the parents immediately flew onto the scene and the baby scooted up into the trees to follow along.
From the finders we received a further update that baby was seen exploring even farther up and away; first at the top of a telephone pole and then flying over 80' away to another tree in the neighborhood!
From reuniting some of the smallest raptor babies like this NOPO to the largest Golden Eaglets, there is great joy in knowing that lives that would have been lost are today thriving in the wild.
A Powerful Legacy
While we celebrate our success stories, I must also share the most serious and sad news. This week we lost our Raptor Release Coordinator, Brad Marsh. After a battle with cancer, Brad passed away Monday morning in the hospital surrounded by family—his wife and board member Sam, and his two children, Sean and Heather.
Brad was our Raptor Release Coordinator. And he was so much more. Early in his BRC career he was a handling trainer, and he was always a phone team member extraordinaire. Brad was also my dear friend. To say that he will be missed would be the largest of understatements.
Brad was at BRC so frequently he was almost omnipresent; of course, that may be because in many ways Brad was larger than life, making friends with everyone with that booming voice and contagious wry humor!
He was part of BRC’s knowledge-base; teaching us much about raptors and raptor handling and releasing. He was also responsible for connecting us to other organizations, both locally and around the world.
Even when work or vacation took him away from BRC and the birds, he could always be counted on to support at a distance through research, connections and expert advice.

May we all maintain the look of wonder and appreciation when we look at our birds, just as Brad did for so many years. He will be missed beyond measure, but his love and passion for the birds will live on in all of those whose lives he touched. In fact, the next time you look to the sky there may very well be a bird flying, wings outstretched, who but for Brad would not be there.
With all my heart,

This life-saving work happens because of you!

Thanks to you, this year alone approximately 3,000 native wild birds will get the care they need to a have second chance at life.

Thank you for your generosity and support!

The Bird Rescue Center | 707/ 523-2473 | Email