Roving Reporter | "Rescue, Raise, Release: Local Boy Saves Baby Bird" | Article and Photos by Jeanette Larson

A baby grackle and a baby swift under current care at Wings Rescue Center

Several weeks ago Rockport resident Sean Haufler was riding his hoverboard down the street when he heard some birds chirping. Looking at a pile of leaves the 19-year-old, saw a couple of dead baby birds. But then he saw one moving. Being very careful Sean picked up the baby using gloves and placed it on a blanket in a box.

Getting ready! (Sean Haufler, left; Kay Adams, right)

Knowing that the bird needed help he couldn't provide, he asked his aunt to call "the bird people." She called the Humane Society and Adoption Center of Rockport-Fulton, and they gave her the number for Wings Rescue Center (361-205-0892). Kay Adams, Wings President, raised the baby, who was lucky to have escaped its siblings' fate--fire ants--until it was ready to go out into the world on its own. Baby birds are fed every hour or so during the day so require a lot of volunteer effort.

Although he did not know what kind of bird he had found, when he was told that most people don't care for grackles and probably wouldn't have stopped to help, Sean replied, "A bird is a bird." One of the goals for Wings Rescue Center has been to involve the rescuers in the future of the rescued bird by allowing that person to actually conduct the release.

This is an awesome experience as the rehabilitated bird is usually anxious for freedom. Often as they leave the cage the birds will circle back, almost as if they are saying "thank you" and "goodbye."  Friday, May 19 was the day for a little grackle to find freedom and Sean met Wings volunteers at the Rescue Center to release his baby bird.

Since its inception in April 2016 Wings Rescue Center volunteers and community members have rescued over 450 birds in Aransas County.

Set to release

Opening the door to freedom

And away he (or she) goes


Jeanette Larson is a retired librarian and author. She and her husband, retired architect and artist Jim Larson, moved to Rockport several years ago for the birds, the beach, and the coastal community.

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