Recently some old friends of mine got together and started a new bird rescue center in the Morgantown area. Jesse Fallon, an experienced avian veterinarian and his wife Katie Fallon, author of Cerulean Blues, A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird (http://ceruleanblues.wordpress.com/) founded the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia. With an immense amount of support from other volunteers and professionals, the ACCA has a bright future. At one of the first organizational meetings, when each person introduced themselves, most people added the qualifying line “…and I like birds!”. The organization is focusing on rehabilitation, education and research in the form of citizen science.
I spent some of today at Cheat Lake Animal Hospital (www.cheatlakevets.com) helping with a bake sale while folks brought their dogs in for a bath and nail trim to benefit the ACCA and SOL (not what you think, but Save Our Lives, for homeless dogs and cats). The money that the ACCA raises will likely go toward purchasing kennels that with the addition of perches, will be converted to bird cages.
The ACCA is fully permitted from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and has obtained its official 501c3 status, designating it as a nonprofit organization. They can treat every species except game birds. So far they have treated such feathered friends as the northern cardinal, mourning dove, American crow, red-shouldered hawk and American bald eagle. The bald eagle is a current patient and is suffering from severe lead poisoning. In the picture below Erin Katzner is test flying a barred owl on a creance line.
The ACCA hopes to one day locate to a farm in the Cheat Lake area that will also be home to community gardens and a working educational farm. My outdoor playgroup, Mudpie Magic is going to have an Earth Day activity there, incorporating both gardening and birding activities!
The ACCA is also planning Morgantown Area’s first celebration of International Migratory Bird Day to be held at Cooper’s Rock State Forest off I-68 Saturday May 5th. The day will start with bird walks in the morning and continue with children’s activities and educational presentations throughout the day.