February 27, 2021
** UPDATE **
A Happy Ending - Thanks to You!
We are delighted to report that our Cedar Waxwing has found a new flock and is embarking on the next leg of his journey!

Within hours of yesterday's e-Blast, two of our readers jumped into action and confirmed seeing Cedar Waxwings in their part of Forestville. Not wanting to wait a moment longer, we boxed up our patient and one of our dedicated volunteers headed out. Upon arriving at the coordinates provided, this volunteer discovered the general location was within a quarter mile 'as the waxwing flies' of where she lives, so she headed home and released the bird in her 'back forty'. He immediately flew up into a redwood tree and began preening and rubbing his beak against the branches.

Within five minutes, a flock of Cedar Waxwings responded to our patient's call, veering directly toward the redwood tree in which he was perched. Our little guy flew right into the middle of the flock and never looked back. Here's wishing them all a safe migration!

We are so grateful for this BRC Community. Together, we create happy endings and make new beginnings a reality!
New Aviary Enrichment Project Underway.
Will Help Patients Recover Faster!
Enrichment is a critically important component to the successful rehabilitation of wild birds. Natural enrichment, the process of emulating a species' natural environment while in a captive setting, is one of the absolute best ways we can improve a patient’s life while in our care.

BRC is currently undertaking a live plant project to help enrich our rehabilitation aviaries. Read on to learn more about this life-enhancing project as well as an update on our Cedar Waxwing!

Aviary enrichment will cost roughly $4,000. Each dollar will aid in the survival of birds in our care, cut down their length of stay with us, and help set them up for success once they are back in the wild. We know these are priceless benefits.

By clicking the button below, you will be enriching a life.
Natural Aviary Enrichment Is Important
Natural enrichment within a rehabilitation setting has a two-fold benefit: It helps reduce captive stress by mimicking an environment in which a bird feels comfortable and relaxed, and it encourages natural behaviors, which are vitally important for the development and maintenance of the key life skills required for successful survival upon release back to the wild.

Live plants are a major component in creating a more natural environment for our patients. The plants themselves produce nectar, fruits, and fresh shoots. They host multiple species of insects and they drop seeds. Live plants not only provide natural and nutritious foods, they also promote natural gleaning, hunting, and foraging skills. Furthermore, live plants do not dry out as quickly as clipped greenery. Green plants provide more appropriate cover and shelter, reducing stress by emulating natural habitats. They also offer a greater variety of perches which promote healthy feet, better balance, and teaches young birds how to land on a swinging branch! 
BRC's Live Plant Project
In early 2020, recognizing an opportunity to improve our approach to rehabilitation, a plan was put in place to expand aviary quality with more live plants using trained volunteers to care for the plants. And then COVID hit. Our volunteers were unable to fulfill their critical role and our plants suffered from a lack of care. We lost many of them.

This year, we are embarking on a new approach. We are upgrading our aviaries with an automated drip system and a selection of plants that are even more appropriate for aviary conditions. This requires undertaking some minor plumbing upgrades, the installation of drip equipment and piping, and the purchase of new plants. Studies have clearly shown that plants thrive better with drip systems than with hand watering, so once completed, plant care will be more effective and not dependent on staff and volunteer time. Most importantly, once this new system is installed, more time can be focused on our primary mission: tending to the birds in our care.
A Work In Progress
The cost of these critical upgrades?
Your help means our avian patients will thrive in a more natural setting and get even better care!

Beginning with digging the trenches and laying the pipes, followed by a plumber incorporating the drip system into our existing plumbing, and then selecting the right plants under the guidance of a volunteer who is a master gardener, the plan is in place. You can make it a reality.
Cedar Waxwing Update
This Cedar Waxwing came to us on January 30th with a wing fracture. After treating the fracture, we began physical therapy on his wing earlier this month. Twice daily manual extensions helped improve the wing's range of motion and massage therapy reduced a patagial knot in the skin portion of the wing.

Since our last communication, our patient has moved into a larger, outdoor aviary which has allowed him to take over his own physical therapy by giving him the chance to fly again!
His physical exam on Wednesday confirmed he is ready for release. Now we are just trying to find a flock for him to join so he can continue his migration south!

Since his own flock moved on while he has been with us, we are actively looking for other Cedar Waxwings in the area for him to join.

As you read this, volunteers are out doing reconnaissance. They are listening for the Cedar Waxwing's distinctive, high-pitched calls. We are also reaching out to a network of birders and using birding software to find flock hotspots. As is always the case at BRC, we'll do whatever is necessary to ensure he gets his second chance at life in the wild!
You Make A Difference!
Each year we treat approximately 3,000 birds. From hummers to hawks, we care for them all! Every time you make a gift to BRC, you are helping save lives.
Your tax-deductible gift today will help raise the $4,000 needed to complete our much-needed aviary plant enrichment project.
Your contribution will directly benefit the many birds in our care
throughout the year and beyond.
Donate online using the button above, or mail your check to:
The Bird Rescue Center
PO Box 475
Santa Rosa, CA 95402

Your gift will make a life-saving difference.
The Bird Rescue Center | 707/ 523-2473 | Email