Skyhunter's Raptor Rehabilitation and Education, formed in 1996, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, staffed by volunteers and owned and operated by Nancy Conney. In order to perform the work they do on behalf of the raptors, Skyhunter's have U.S. Federal Fish & Wildlife permits for Rehabilitation, Education, and Eagle possession. They also have State Fish & Game permits for Rehabilitation and Education. Their mission: is to care for sick, injured and orphaned raptors, as well as to educate the community about preservation of our local wildlife.
What should you do if you come across an injured hawk or owl? "Most people don't know the proper care and handling instructions and can end up hurting themselves or the bird accidentally.
First, you will want to protect yourself by wearing gloves and covering the bird with a towel or blanket. Remember these birds are wild - they don't know you are trying to help. A cardboard box with air holes can be used as a temporary container to move the bird to safety. Don't try to pet it or feed it. Once contained, move it somewhere warm, dark and quiet. Then call a licensed rehabilitation group such as Sky Hunters (619-445-6565) immediately."
Rehabilitation: The raptors that are brought in for temporary rehabilitation are nourished, cared for, exercised and eventually released back to the wild. They have a 70-foot flight cage that all the flighted birds use for conditioning. For rehab birds, chicks are fed from a puppet so that no ‘human imprinting' occurs. They then go into a small enclosure to start exercising and eventually into the large 'flightcourt' (a converted tennis court) for release. On average, Sky hunter's have worked with as many as 300 ‘rehab raptors' each year.
Education: Sky Hunters makes presentations for people of all ages at schools, campgrounds, interpretive centers, community programs, scout troops, churches and summer camps. They currently have a number of raptors of various species, sizes and ages that they use for their presentations. Currently, Skyhunter's is responsible for 20 non-releasable raptors in their collection, including various hawk and owl species.
In addition to her personal attention and concern for raptors, Nancy is an instructor at the San Diego Natural History Museum, a presenter at all of the San Diego County Parks, and Vice President of the California Council for Wildlife Rehabilitators. She is the featured presenter of the San Diego Floral Association’s February Meeting on Wed, February 20th at 2pm in Room 101 of Casa del Prado in Balboa Park.
Bravo to Nancy and John Conney and to all of the volunteers and supporters of Sky Hunters!
For more information, including how to help..please visit their website: http://www.skyhunters.org/home.html