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This place is for the birds

Utah Caring Stories

(ABC4 NEWS – WEST VALLEY CITY, UT) Meet Mr. T – A Royal Palm Turkey. We met at Avian Sanctuary and Protection in West Valley, Utah. Mr. T introduced me to Richard Nowak.

As Mr. T tell out a hearty “gobble”, Richard explained what the place he founded does; “We take in birds that are injured, rescued, abandoned. We also work with our county animal control to take in birds that have been confiscated, neglected or abused.”

I got the chance to get the tour and was amazed by the variety of birds that Richard’s group had taken in. As we walked he pointed on different guests and said; “We have chickens, ducks, geese, peacocks, turkeys, pheasants, swans, a collection of parrots and pigeons.”

Avian Sanctuary is a great place that people can come and volunteer and can also learn about birds. They put me to work feeding the swans lettuce. Richard introduced me to a duck that had part of his bill missing because of an encounter with

Avian Sanctuary and Protection not only provides rehabilitation and adoption serves, they also do educations programs with birds like Pete the Peacock.

Richard gives me a bunch of grapes to feed Pete as he tells me; “We take these birds into senior centers, libraries, or schools. Have the students or patrons help feed the birds. He allows people to contact him. It is very rare. They usually keep their distance from humans.”

Knuckle the white pigeon is another part of the teaching experience.

Richard had me hold out my arm and he then filled by hand with seeds as he demonstrated the flight and feeding of Knuckle; “I’ve shown Knuckle the seed there. I’m going to let her go. There you go Knuckle. Go find it” Knuckle had obviously done this before and flew right for me, perched on my hand and enjoyed the “hand out meal.” (I couldn’t resist the Dad joke!)

Richard’s group is making a difference. Last year they attended 1248 birds. That is a lot of birds.

These stories deserve to be told. These are Utah Caring Stories. I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.


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