Oh, do I love it when I can get somebody else to write my blog for me.

This one comes from Vonda Lee Morton, a wildlife rehabilitator who runs Laurens Wildlife Rescue outside Atlanta. She and I have never met in person, but thanks to the internet we’ve been through all kinds of wildlife emergencies together. Rehabbers have friends all over the country (sometimes all over the world) who we’ve never laid eyes on. No matter, we’re linked together and loyal to the end.

I saw Vonda’s post about taking in a Turkey Vulture and a Great Blue Heron on Facebook. Her stories and photos were so great I thought I’d share them, especially since all rehabbers can relate to the ranting part.


Vonda uses a Panasonic Lumix ZS30, which she describes as “a pocket-sized camera with a 20x optical zoom, complete with the NFC thingy that lets me send pix from it straight to my phone.” I  just recently learned how to take a photo with my ancient sliding non-iPhone (Friend: “You push this button here.” Me: “Wow!”), hence to me Vonda’s photographs verge on the magical, like those of all you camera-toting, globetrotting birders.

Pay close attention to the videos on this post, which might give the uninitiated a little window into the psyches of rehabilitators. Note that when faced with a very large carnivorous bird with a lethal-looking hooked beak, Vonda looked into his eyes and offered him her hand. Did he remove it? No; he nibbled it gently, thus eventually providing rehabbers across the country with an opportunity to simultaneously rant about the public and coo about how cute vultures are. Disclaimer: do not try this at home.

Enjoy Vonda’s fabulous post.

Written by Suzie
Suzie Gilbert is a licensed wild bird rehabilitator whose shameful secret is that on one occasion (well … maybe more than one) she has received a little brown job, or a fledgling whatever, and has been completely unable to ID it. Luckily, she has birder friends who will rush to her aid, although she must then suffer their mockery. She runs Flyaway, Inc. out of her home, and has been caring for injured and orphaned wild birds for 20 years. Why go birding when you can just stroll through the house? Honestly, though, she is wildly envious of birders and their trips to exotic locales. She is the author of Flyaway, her bird-rehabbing memoir, and Hawk Hill, a children's book, and is the sole parent of two teenagers. Never a dull moment.