Bald eagle at Treehouse Wildlife Center.  Photo by Jared Edwards (January 2013).

Bald eagle at Treehouse Wildlife Center. Photo by Jared Edwards (January 2013).

Fox at Treehouse Wildlife Center.  Photo by Jared Edwards (January 2013)

Fox at Treehouse Wildlife Center. Photo by Jared Edwards (January 2013)

Last week, Ruth asked us all to do something to brighten her day. “Let me know if you find any positive stories about kind people doing good things.”

Ruth, this one is for you!

I just had another birthday and one of our birthday traditions is to go eagle watching. To my knowledge, there were no bald eagles in our area when I was a young child. By the time I was a teen, the banning of DDT and other measures brought a rise in the bald eagle population and they could once again be found in the St. Louis area in winter.

Unfortunately, it has only been cold intermittently. It is easiest to find eagles when it is bitterly cold. Extreme cold means frozen rivers with the only open water around the locks and dams. Go there and you will see eagles – we have seen up to 100 in one day. It was astonishing.

This year, we saw only one but we also met some people who were at the Audubon Riverlands nature center with a barred owl. They work with the Treehouse Wildlife Center. Their goal is to rehabilitate wildlife that has been orphaned and injured and return these animals to the wild. Sunday, they did just that when they released a bald eagle named Clay (see brief video below).

Unfortunately, not all of these animals can be released. Some, like the bald eagle pictured here, have been too severely injured. This bird is missing part of one wing and can fly onto a perch but isn’t capable of hunting. Other animals at the center include a one-eyed owl, a fox with nerve damage and a turkey vulture that imprinted on humans and wouldn’t be safe on its own. These animals are given homes at Treehouse. Some, like the barred owl we saw, are used in education programs like the one that brought the group to our attention.

Educating people about the animals in our world. Helping return these animals to the wild. Treehouse truly understands what it is to be a steward of God’s world.  Through their efforts, children growing up today will be able to see a variety of God’s creatures in the world around them.

–SueBE

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