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2017 SWF November Newsletter
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Month of Gratitude

November was a slow month for rehabilitation.  We only had four animals brought in to our rescue center; two great horned owls, a cooper's hawk and a blue jay.  One of the great horned owls came in with a badly injured wing, broken at the join that could not be repaired.  The blue jay also came in with a badly broken and infected wing.  Both of these birds sadly had to be humanely euthanized.     

The second great horned owl was struck by two cars and the rescue team was very concerned about its chances of survival.  However, there were no major injuries, just a bad concussion, which it recovered from and it was able to be released.  The cooper's hawk was discovered trapped in a chicken coop trying to find a meal.  Our Director of Wildlife Services and licensed rehabilitator, Martin Tyner, was called in to rescue it.  Thankfully, it had sustained no injuries, so it was given a meal and released the next day to continue its migration. 

We still have an adult red-tailed hawk and an adult male kestrel falcon in rehabilitation.  The red-tailed hawk arrived in October with soft tissue damage to its wing.  We are hopeful that with a little more time to heal it will be able to be released.  The kestrel falcon has been with us for most of the year.  It came in with a lot of broken feathers on its right wing that made it unable to fly.  The rehabilitation team had hoped that once the new feathers had grown in and it went through its molt, it would quickly be able to be released.  Molting is a natural process that animals go through, where old feathers, skin or the like are shed to make room for new growth.  

Unfortunately, he appears to have sustained permanent damage to his wing.  Each time new feathers have grown in late this summer and fall, they fall out again before the molt is completed.  We have scheduled a vet visit for the kestrel.  If the vet agrees that release is not an option, but that he would make a good candidate for our educational programs as a wildlife ambassador, we will submit the paperwork to the State and Federal Government to apply to place him on an education permit.  Hopefully we will be able to introduce you to him at future programs.  As kestrel falcons are the smallest falcons, and the males have beautiful blue coloring, he would make a great wildlife ambassador to visit classrooms and greet guests at our new first phase Visitor Center at the Cedar Canyon Nature Park, which should be opening sometime next year.

For those of you who live in and around the Cedar City area, November marks the arrival of some of our most regal winter residents, the bald eagles.  When you are out driving around on the outskirts of Cedar or in the countryside surrounding it, keep an eye out for multiple bald eagles roosting in tall trees, or feeding on road kill.  Bald eagles are more social birds than our permanent golden eagle residents.  The golden eagles are often spotted alone or in pairs, while the bald eagles can be found in large gatherings.  Note that bald eagles do not get their full white heads until they are 5 years of age, so if you see a group of eagles together, some with brown heads and some with white heads, you are not seeing a gathering of golden and bald eagles together, but rather young juvenile bald eagles and adult bald eagles.  As always, be careful when driving, not only to avoid hitting crossing deer, but the large birds of prey that feed on road kill are unable to take off quickly, particularly when weighed down by a meal.  Do not expect them to be able to fly out of your way.  Slow down and go around them if possible, or let them walk off the road if necessary.

November also marked the paving and completion of our ADA trail head thanks to some amazing volunteers.  We had a youth volunteer group come out and help us add insulation and hydro-thermal coils under the concrete for future ice melt.  We had a volunteer men's group come out last minute to help us pour the concrete of the lower part of the trail head one day, and a volunteer women's group drop everything and come out to help us pour concrete on the final upper trail head another day.  These three groups of individuals are the reason we were able to get the trail head done.  Without them, our small group of hardworking and dedicated volunteers that have been running the project, would not have finished preparing for the pour the first day, would not have completed the first pour before dark, and would not have finished before the concrete dried on the second day.  The majority of these volunteers had no experience working with concrete, but they were willing to learn and lend a hand, and that was all we needed, enough willing hands to make this project become a reality!

We also had some awesome concrete truck drivers from Western Rock Products Corp who expertly maneuvered the steep slope to get into the right positions to pour each section of trail.  A few individual volunteers have also been coming out on a regular bases to donate their time to work on finishing our retaining wall, which is made out of hundreds of rail road ties that were donated by Iron Mountain, filling in dirt, and spreading wood chips, which were donated by Mike's Complete Tree Services.

With the completion of the ADA trail head, our Information Destination and Trail Head project was officially complete.  When raising funding through grants, you often are required to send in final paperwork to report on the project you were requesting funding for.  Some organizations require this final paperwork to be submitted before pledged funding is sent.  Thanks to the hard work of so many volunteers, we were able to get everything completed in time to fill out our final project report  and submit it by the deadline to get the last of our funding reimbursement.  A special thank you to our Construction and Development Committee and all of the volunteers that donated hundreds of hours towards this project, as well as the local businesses that donated materials and labor.  As a non-profit organization, we depend on donations, both in-kind and monetary, and grants, to pay for the care of our rescued wildlife and the development of the Cedar Canyon Nature Park.  Once everything was totaled up on this project, our volunteers saved us more than $40,000 dollars!  That is a lot of money that will be able to go towards our rescue work and help us save up for future projects, such as our Visitor Center and Museum of Natural History, and our Raptor Critical Care Center and Eagle Flight.  Thank you!      
As you can see, we have a lot to be grateful for!  What started out as a plan for a simple park restroom turned into a really beautiful facility with lovely educational interpretive displays, an improvement in ease of access to the Cedar Canyon Nature Park and Coal Creek trail, the start of a picnic area and native plant garden which is still in the works (prepare to see more progress on that in the spring!), an addition of a beautiful bench, bird baths and drinking fountain.  Volunteers also repaired our fire pit, refacing it with our native red sandstone, and as we mentioned previously, we have a 20ft x 60ft office building being delivered to become our first Visitor Center.  We have mapped out and are budgeting to finish fencing in the rehab yard so that it will be able to be used to care for more wildlife next year, the blueprints for our 4,000 sq ft Visitor Center and Museum of Natural History has been put together, the Construction and Development Committee has a meeting scheduled to plan and stake out its location, fundraising has begun for this building which will be the centerpiece of the Cedar Canyon Nature Park, blueprints and plans have been drawn up for our Raptor Critical Care Center and Eagle Flight facility, as well as a waterwheel to help provide electricity to the park and additional education opportunities.

We have truly been blown away by the support we have been receiving, and the progress that has been able to be had in such a short time thanks to that support!  Findlay Subaru of St. George has chosen a few local charities, including the Southwest Wildlife Foundation, as part of the Subaru Share the Love Event, which runs from November 16th to January 2nd.  During this time, if you buy or lease a new Subaru, you can ask Subaru of America to donate $250 to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation, ASPCA, Make A Wish, Meals On Wheels, or National Park Foundation.  Findlay Subaru St. George will also make an additional $50 donation as part of their Giving Back to their Community for each donation.  This is the 5th year in a row that Findlay Subaru has included the Southwest Wildlife Foundation in this program!  

We had two people create Fundraisers on Facebook for the Southwest Wildlife Foundation for their birthdays this month, one raising almost $200 and another raising almost $500!  Our Founders, Martin and Susan Tyner, were so touched by the idea that they set an additional Birthday Fundraiser dedicated to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation for Martin's birthday, which is December 9th.  Tuesday, November 28th, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is called Giving Tuesday, where large organizations encourage individuals to pick a non-profit organization to donate to by offering donation matching.  That is the day that Martin created his birthday fundraiser on Facebook.  This fundraiser will close on December 12th and has already raised $200 so far.  Checks have also been sent from all over in support of our mission, some with touching letters and stories enclosed, others sent anonymously.  All of you make it so we can continue to fulfill our mission of rescue native wildlife, providing wildlife and environmental education, and developing the Cedar Canyon Nature Park.

There are other ways to help and give back.  As mentioned above, many have donated their time and talents, we have a variety of Volunteer Committees that you might enjoy being a part of, while others have created fundraisers.  Our Newsletter has reached over 300 subscribers and our YouTube channel has reached over 4,600 subscribers!  You can help us by following our social media pages, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. and sharing videos, telling people about what we do, directing people to our website, and spreading the word about Martin and Susan Tyner's heartwarming book, Healer of Angels.  The Southwest Wildlife Foundation also has a Wish List on Amazon that you can visit.  If you happen to have some of the items that the Foundation is in need of that you no longer use, you can donate them, or you can purchase items from our list directly from Amazon who will send those items to us!  If you are unable to help in one of the capacities listed above, there is a simple way to give back that doesn't cost you anything extra.  If you make purchases on Amazon, you can sign up with AmazonSmile and choose a non-profit organization.  Whenever you make a purchase from Amazon, do so through AmazonSmile and Amazon will donate a percentage of the cost of your purchase to that organization.  Easy directions on how to sign up can be found on our website, or simply click the AmazonSmile link in this newsletter. 

As many of you may know, the Southwest Wildlife Foundation comes out with a calendar each year that is full of beautiful nature photography, many taken by Martin Tyner himself.  The calendar includes some educational tidbits and the history of and recent updates on the progress of the Foundation.  We only print a certain number of calendars each year, so they are available while supplies last.  Our 2018 calendars are being printed and sent to us, so keep an eye out on our website for them to become available there for a $10 donation.  They will also be available for purchase locally at Tyner's Grooming and Groovacious in Cedar City, UT.  See the photo of the saw-whet owl below for a sample of what will be found in our calendar this year.

Mark your calendars for December 29th and 30th and join us in St. George for Martin's next public Birds of Prey of the West Program.  The program will be held at the Dixie Convention Center as part of the Ultimate Outdoor Expo.  The event runs Friday noon to 9pm and Saturday 10am to 8pm.  This exciting annual event is fun for the whole family and includes over 25 free activities and workshops including archery, fishing, kayaking, and Dutch oven cooking classes with displays and information on everything from camping, RV,  trailers, boats, canoes, paddle boards to wildlife and the Famous Dock Dogs Competition (diving dogs).  The Southwest Wildlife Foundation will have a booth space not far from the dock dogs along the south wall and Martin will bring our wildlife ambassadors, Scout the golden eagle, Cirrus the prairie falcon, and BG the northern goshawk, for his program.  Check their website and watch for details and upcoming program schedule times at  http://www.theultimateoutdoorexpo.com/.  Watch our website for other upcoming events or call to schedule a program!  May you all have a happy and safe holiday season!
Copyright © 2017 Southwest Wildlife Foundation Inc., All rights reserved.


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