Friday, December 6, 2013


Since the World Bird Sanctuary was founded in 1976 we have released four pelicans, one Trumpeter Swan, and six Great Blue Herons.  We have admitted twenty-three White Pelicans, about forty Great Blue Herons, and eleven Trumpeter Swans.  The swans are rare birds that are considered species of concern. 
Volunteer Bob Warbin hand feeding an injured White Pelican
You may ask why we have released so few of these birds.  The main reason is that they are survivors.  When they get injured they may live with that injury for a year or two until they are literally on their last leg.  They often arrive at the door of the World Bird Sanctuary wildlife hospital starving and emaciated, many times with a broken wing that has healed crooked and is not fixable.  We hand feed them and nurse them back to health and then we find them a home with us or another wildlife facility around the country. 

We are proud of the birds that recover to be released--even if those individuals are rare.  The others that remain with us or that are re-homed to other wildlife facilities may breed, and in return their babies will be released into the wild to increase their populations. 

Keep your eyes open for these birds near rivers, lakes, and ponds.  Several hundred Trumpeter Swans can be seen during winter months, near Alton, IL.

Submitted by Joe Hoffmann, Sanctuary Manager, World Bird Sanctuary

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