Wild Bird Release.

What an exciting day. It was such a pleasure to witness the release of two birds back into the wild. The story begins August 17 when my granddaughter, Olive, was walking to our house and was startled by a Cooper’s Hawk flying close to her head and smashing into a window on the house beside her.  The owners came out to see what the noise was and Olive ran home to get me to come and look.  The bird was on its back and quite stunned but able to dig its talons deep into your hand without protection.

Using leather gloves we were able to get the bird out of the bushes and into a box for safety.  I contacted a wonderful organization in Saskatoon called Livingsky Wildlife Rehabilitation and was able to take the bird to Jan Shadick for rehabilitation. This group under Jan’s leadership pulls off the most amazing feats of kindness and support for wildlife. Check them out (HERE) and donate if you love the work this group does.
Today was the day to release the Cooper’s Hawk and an Olive-sided Flycatcher (no relation to my graddaughter) back to their natural habitat. We met Jan who had the birds in covered cages, at Chief Whitecap Park where there are no windows and lots of natural habitat. 

Olive opening the cage.

The Hawk moments after she hopped out of the cage and took off into the trees.

Once in the tree the hawk did not show herself again without a covering of poplar leaves.

Once Jan was happy that the hawk was settled we walked some distance away and found a spot to release the flycatcher.  This time it was my grandson, Hamish’s turn to open the cage and let the bird free.

Here is the bird after leaving the cage and heading onto a branch where preening was a high priority and presumably getting used to the new spot to hunt insects. I love the puffed up head feathers in this shot.

You can see the bird has a leg band in this picture.

All settled and ready for lunch.

After a lovely picnic lunch we headed out for a walk along the river and witnessed another sign that all is OK with the world as Sandhill Cranes serenaded us and flew in formation over our heads.


Bird migration and a sprinkling of colorful leaves assure us that fall is edging out the last remnants of summer.

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  1. Linda Hay September 18, 2018 at 3:55 pm #

    This is a wonderful happy ending story. The dedication of the people who care for injured birds is uplifting. We have such an organization here in Ottawa – the Wild Bird Centre. Good to remember to support them.

  2. Miranda Jones September 1, 2018 at 7:51 am #

    What a great story. I rescued two small birds this week (from a proud,and fortunately at that point, still gentle cat.. ..sofar as the birds were both still fully intact!) Both birds were badly in shock however and my Google search of how to treat them led me to the Livingsky Wildlufe Regabilitation website. I followed Jan’s (presumsbly), guidelines and was successfully able to release both birds back into Saskatoon’s living skies. Does anyone know if you can buy colorful cloth cat collars here in Saskatoon? Supposedly these are more visible to birds and can reduce bird attacks by up to 85%.

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