For the love of birds

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Lynn EvesLynn Eves

Bluewater Centre for Raptor Rehabilitation

celebrates 25 years of helping birds of prey Saturday

 

Lynn Eves earliest memories are of birds.

The founder of the Bluewater Centre for Raptor Rehabilitation remembers her naturalist father lifting her on his shoulders to get a look at pink, screeching, baby robins. The family was about to move into a new house, but the tree the babies were in was “right smack in the middle of the walkway to the front door.” The walkway would wait. “The workers had to wait until the babies had grown up,” she says as she stands in the middle of her clinic which is celebrating 25 years of helping injured birds of prey.

Her father’s love of nature transferred to Eves. She took care of all kinds of little creatures as a child, staying up to bottle feed them and watching her father build countless cages for the foundlings.

Not much has changed. Eves still spends much of her time caring for injured birds of prey – sometimes nursing them at home for the first few critical days.

Most of the birds are at the centre, a  complex sprawling  over her Plympton-Wyoming property with huge enclosures big enough for injured Red-Tailed Hawks to learn to fly again. There are volunteers to help, but it is still a huge job. At this time of year, the centre takes in all kinds of birds, usually hit by cars as they are migrating.

On a cool November day, all but one of the enclosures in the clinic have various birds of prey. A volunteer has already been working for a couple of hours, feeding the birds and making notes about their progress.

Eves will also spend time with the birds but most of the day will be spent planning a fundraiser to celebrate the centre’s 25th anniversary and to raise money for a specialized enclosure for her educational birds – birds of prey which can’t be released into the wild but are friendly enough to show to students who want to learn about wildlife.

That enclosure will cost the non-profit centre $10,000. That’s on top of the $25,000 Eves needs each year to keep her foundlings fed and healthy.

She admits it is a difficult task some days but it is also clear she loves what she does.

In one of the flight cages, she calls out to an owl like a dog owner would call his pet. At another Eves puts her finger up to the cage of a chatty crow and laughs as it mimics a blue jay. “I have always had a fascination for birds,” says Eves.

 

IF YOU GO:

Rock’n for Raptors will be held Saturday at the Petrolia Legion and features the band Pain Killer Jane and the Tail Draggers. There is also a silent auction. Call the centre at 519-466-2443 for info.

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