Hudson Valley Parent

HVP April 2016

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28 Hudson Valley Parent n April 2016 Delaware County. She had cuts on her face, bent feathers, and her liver and kidneys were failing and due to unexplained zinc poisoning. Runyan began chelation therapy to remove the excess mineral from Felicia's body and within a few days, the bird was able to see again. Runyan and a team of wildlife center volunteers also gently straightened Felicia's bent feathers using steam, treated her wounds, and monitored her recovery. Three weeks later, Felicia had fully healed and Runyan and Buck- ley released her from the same back- yard where she'd been found. According to the American Bald Eagle Foundation, courting rituals begin in early April (eaglets hatch usually between late May and early June) and since Bald Eagles mate for life, the hope was that Felicia would find her mate soon after her release. Everyone involved with Felicia's rehabilitation knew exactly what to do help her heal and be ready for a return to the wild. Help avoid further harm to the protected species if you find an injured one by calling the DEC's Environmental Conserva- tion Officer Dispatch Line (1-844- 332-3267). They can then send out rehabilitators specially trained to deal with eagles. Wishing you safe travels, Felicia... Felicia the writer is the editor of Hudson Valley Parent. By FELICIA HODGES I n early January, 3-year-old Ste- ven Rozzi told his mom, Cherie Bissinger, that something big was fluttering around in their Middle- town backyard. After Cherie and her husband, Steven, found a Bald Eagle tangled in some brush, they contacted the NYS Department of Conservation. When DEC Environmental Con- servation Officer Mike Buckley and wildlife rehabilitator Barbara "Missy" Runyan of The Friends of the Feath- ered and Furry Wildlife arrived, they discovered a band on the leg of the blind female that identified her as 13-year-old Felicia, originally from Return to the wild: The rescue, rehab and release of Felicia the Eagle For more information • Located in Hunter, the Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife is all about helping injured and or- phaned wildlife. Find out more at f f • Learn more about the animal, plant and aquatic life programs of fered by the Department of Environmental Conservation at • April 22 marks the 50th anniversa- ry of the celebration of Earth Day. Find out more about the movement and register for events happening nearby at • Dedicated to the preservation of America's national symbol, the American Bald Eagle Foundation is part natural history museum, part live raptor center. Log onto for details. After ying a few feet, Cherie Bissinger says Felicia the Eagle paused to take look back at her helper humans before taking of f again. Stephen Rozzi, 3, with wildlife rehabilitator Barbara "Missy" Runyan, Felicia, and DEC Environmental Conservation Of f icer Mike Buckley shortly after the eagle was rescued in January. Stephen was a Hudson Valley Parent Cover Kid when he was 6-months-old. Photos by Jen Vanover

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