Meet Our Birds
Aurora is a female Bald Eagle that came to us from the Raptor Rehabilitation Center in Quincy, Illinois. Aurora was hit by a truck in Missouri, and was found wading in the Mississippi River by boaters. The boaters called the state of Missouri wildlife police, where she was rescued and brought to Quincy, Illinois for rehabilitation. She suffers from a radius, ulna, and metacarpal fracture, making her unable to extend her left wing and fly adequately enough for release. Christine’s Critters obtained their federal eagle exhibition permit, and Aurora was transferred from Illinois to Connecticut last October.
Archer is a male Cooper’s Hawk that came to us in the June of 2015 from Litchfield County, CT. Archer was hunting in someone’s yard at their bird feeder. As Archer was chasing a songbird to eat, he flew into a window and sustained a permanent wing nerve injury. Birds don’t see windows like people do, and often run into them thinking that nothing is there or if they see their own reflection. This causes thousands of birds to die and become injured each year, and Archer was just one bird that was afflicted.
Willow is a female Barred Owl that came to us in March of 2016 from Tufts University Wildlife Clinic. Willow was admitted to their clinic in November of 2015 with a radius and ulna fracture. Willow had been hunting along a roadway and got struck by a vehicle, causing the injury. Despite care from one of the best wildlife vets in the region, her wing could not be fully fixed. Willow can fly short distances but cannot maintain flight or achieve any lift, making her not releasable back to the wild. Willow hoots almost every night, calling to the babies that she fostered back to the wild while with us.
Manilla, a northern goshawk, came to us in December of 2016 from a local animal control officer, unable to stand and almost totally comatose. Under the excellent care of our vet for most of the month, she regained her ability to stand, and came back here for rehabilitation to determine whether or not she would be releasable. Unfortunately, she has permanent neurological damage which resulted in her inability to fly (her right wing droops for unknown reasons) and her inability to tear her own food up. We happily cut her meals into bite sized pieces each day for her, and she is an amazing addition to our educational animals.
Cypress is a female barred owl who came to us twice for rehab. She was struck by a car and after a week of rehab was able to return to the wild. She was struck by a car again about 5 weeks after she returned to the wild and suffered brain damage which prevents her release. She lives with Willow and together they raise orphaned barred owl babies for us in the spring.
Ash, an eastern screech owl, was picked up by a good samaritan on the side of the road after he was hit by a car. His left eye was swollen and he had wounds on the left side of his face and body. He was a fighter and survived the trauma, but unfortunately is blind and deaf on his left side as a result of the trauma.
Ember, formerly known as Ford, is a red phased eastern screech owl who came to us from the Roaring Brook Nature Center. She was hit by a car and lost her left eye as a result. She has joined Ash in her aviary and we are looking forward to being able to bring two different color phases of screech owls out on programs!
Magma is a juvenile eastern screech owl. He came to us with an already fused upside down and backwards wing from an old fracture. He is totally unflighted as a result, and has his forever home with Ash and Ember, our other eastern screech owls.
Higgins, our northern saw whet owl, came into rehabilitation after being discovered under a bed inside someone’s house. He had been brought inside by a cat, who unfortunately broke Higgins’ wing. The wing did not heal well enough to allow Higgins to regain flight.
Chester is a female Red Tailed Hawk that came to us in May of 2015 from Bolton Veterinary Hospital in Bolton, CT. Chester was found on the side of I-84 nearby, and was brought by a kind person to the vet. Chester lost her eyesight of her right eye due to being struck by a vehicle, but miraculously did not break any bones. Although she is fully flighted, Chester cannot see well enough to hunt, and thus cannot be released back into the wild. About 75% of the raptors that Christine’s Critters admits each year have been struck by a vehicle.
Boomer is a male Red Shouldered Hawk that came to us in October of 2016 from Trumbull, CT. Boomer has a birth defect of his right foot’s center talon, making him unable to fully close his foot. For this reason, that is why Boomer came in starving to us; he wasn't hunting well enough due to this defect. Boomer is a very vocal bird, and often makes calls all day while adjusting to life here.
Amelia is a female Red Tailed Hawk that came to us as a nestling from Portland, CT in July 2016. She was found on the ground after falling out of her nest. During that time on the ground, she got a maggot infestation in her ear canal. Maggots are a natural invader within baby hawk ears, but when a hawk is on the ground and dehydrated, the hawk is prone to having too many hatch out. The maggots ate through her ear canal into her eye socket and caused permanent hearing and sight loss of her right side. She cannot be released as she cannot hunt well enough to be released.
Baby is a red shouldered hawk who suffered permanent neurological damage after being struck by a car. He is unable to totally control his one leg, and as such is not a candidate for release. He shares an aviary with Boomer, and the two of them love to yell to anyone that passes by!
Skye is a male Broad Winged Hawk that came to us as a nestling in July of 2015 from Litchfield County, CT. A homeowner hired a tree service to cut down some unsightly trees in his yard. As they were cutting down his nest tree, he fell 60-90 feet directly onto pavement. Despite the severity of the fall, Skye suffered no internal injuries other than a fractured hip. During his time in rehab, it was thought that once his hip healed, he could go free. Unfortunately, there was permanent muscle and soft tissue damage done to leg, rendering him from fully closing his right talon. This makes it impossible for him to catch food adequately enough for release.
Ariel is a female Broad Winged Hawk that came to us as a young juvenile in August of 2016. Ariel was found right in Christine’s Critters hometown, Weston CT. She was hunting sparrows by a bird feeder. During the chase, she flew into a window and suffers from permanent wing nerve damage. Ariel is unable to spread her left wing, and thus is not releasable back to the wild. Ariel shares an enclosure with Skye, and they seem to enjoy each other’s company.
George is a male broad winged hawk who came to us with West Nile Virus. He survived, but had issues with feather growth as a result. He was raised by Skye and Ariel, overwintered with us so that we could determine his feather growth after a molt, and was then deemed non releasable.
Chip is a male American Kestrel that came to us in January of 2017 from Wind Over Wings in Dresden, Maine. Chip was struck by a car and lost eyesight of his right eye in 2005. At first, the eye remained there, but in 2016 it shriveled up and Chip was declared a one eyed bird. Although he is flighted, Chip cannot be released as he cannot see well enough to hunt. Chip served as an educational ambassador for Hope Douglas of Wind Over Wings for over 5 years, where he was later transferred and placed with us. About 75% of the raptors that Christine’s Critters admits each year have been struck by a vehicle.
Equinox is a juvenile peregrine falcon found grounded in Fairfield CT from unknown causes. She suffers from neurological damage, most likely from a collision with a car. Due to her limitations, she was not releasable. Peregrines are the fastest animal on the planet! We are very excited to have Equinox as one of our educational ambassadors.
Our resident education birds have all come to us from the wild after sustaining a severe injury that renders them non-releasable. These birds are trained to stand on a handler's glove and come out to an educational program. These birds are all held and used legally with the permission of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.