By Julissa

Words from Pat Latas DVM – IWRC’s newest board member!

Please share an early/childhood experience that was pivotal to your personal relationship with wildlife.  

I’m not sure that there was one experience, I was involved with the natural world from my first memories and before--there is a family photo of me in diapers bent over watching some ants...I suppose the moment I was old enough to recognize another being, looking at and evaluating me as an equal, was when a one-footed crow came to visit our backyard over several years. Who knows how it came about, but my family called him Jack, and he came to recognize his name and often brought friends to visit. As a child, I did not know he was “just a crow”.

How did you initially become involved with IWRC and why did you choose to become involved on a board level?  

In the late 80s and early 90s, only a few years out of vet school, I had the fortune to drop into a position that allowed me to serve as a wildlife veterinarian at an active and progressive wildlife rehabilitation organization. As a field biologist by training, prior to vet school, it was a hole in my professional life that was filled. At the time, I was very concerned about reptile and amphibian standards of care, welfare and rehabilitation methods. IWRC shared the same concerns and was responsive to ideas and suggestions. I was very impressed, and still am. My goal is to participate at board-level in advancing the course and mission of IWRC, to bring my skills and experience to be utilized for the intelligent and scientific advancement of the health, welfare, and well-being of all wildlife in human care.

Describe a specific area of interest or a particular passion within the scope of IWRC's mission.

Rescue, rehabilitation and release of wild psittacines and passerines, are of intense interest to me. However, the consequences of anthropogenic damage to habitats, entire ecosystems; the impact of animal trafficking on population status, health, welfare and well-being on individuals, flocks, and of all wildlife and flora requires urgent attention from all of us, regardless of specific interest. Wildlife rehabilitators act as first-responders in this global crisis, and I am dedicated to helping foster data collection, progressive and modern techniques, bridging gaps with other disciplines.

Describe a skill that you have that has been surprisingly useful to your work as a wildlife rehabilitator? (or as an IWRC board member?)

MacGyvering skills (both physical and intellectual) have been of great value, when added to professional and technical training.

Describe a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.

Bringing awareness of cruelty to wildlife and avians to the professional animal cruelty community.

If you could choose, who would you have as a mentor?  

So many people to choose from, and I submit two: Dr. Sylvia Earle and my 3rd-grade teacher, Miss Clothier.

If you were to do something else professionally, what would it be?

I would study terrestrial crabs.

If you could be a wild animal, which would you be?

I would probably be a wild Rosy-faced Lovebird, screaming in the desert. Bossy, matriarchal, loud, obnoxious, stubborn and passionate in defense of friends, family, and conceptual philosophy. I aspire to be other beings but that is likely the truthful representation. I would like to be a sweet, lovely kakapo; but….

What is the thing for which you have waited in line the longest?

I waited more than 5 years to be selected as a nest-minding volunteer for the Kakapo Recovery Team in New Zealand.

What excites you so much that it keeps you awake the night before?

Working with wild psittacine issues of any sort. Planning about how to ameliorate the lack of interest and public knowledge of cruelty to urban wildlife. Thinking about the impact of natural and anthropogenic disasters on rehabbers, rehabilitation facilities, animal and plant populations and ecosystems, and what my personal role can be to greatest effect.

Describe any companion animals that you share your home and life with.

An intense, serious, older wild-caught Timneh African Grey Parrot, about whose life I wonder and I shudder to think of his experiences from a captured and abused chick, through his adulthood in captivity, and various owners. He now is released from slavery and owns himself.

A middle-aged Congo African Grey Parrot, beautiful and sweet. He knows nothing of the wild except what is in his genes.

A middle-aged Lineolated Parakeet, whose grandparents were illegally trafficked into the USA, inbred, and sold as objects.
An intelligent, demanding and personable Blue-crowned Conure.

All of them, and the many birds that have shared my home were the result of confiscation, re-homing, abandonment, relinquishment due to poor health resulting from captivity, adopted from poor conditions, poverty, lack of veterinary funds, ignorance. I wish that each and everyone one of them had been allowed to flourish as the member of a wild flock and unmolested for their natural lifespan. I am dedicated to seeing that this dream will come true for all wildlife.

Case study: methods and observations of overwintering Eptesicus fuscus with White-Nose Syndrome in Ohio, USA

Molly C Simonis 1,2 Rebecca A Crow,2 and Megan A Rúa1

1 Department of Biological Sciences, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, USA

2 Brukner Nature Center Troy, Ohio, USA

ABSTRACT: Temperate, cave-dwelling bat populations in eastern North America are facing drastic declines due to the emergent disease called White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). In Ohio, USA, wildlife rehabilitators may accept native bats during the winter months when bats are typically hibernating. During the winter months, this deadly fungal infection is the most damaging to individual hibernating, temperate bats’ physical and physiological condition, because the bats are more vulnerable to disease while their immune response is low during hibernation. Here, we provide observations and methods for successful care and release of overwintering bats with WNS. In the winter of 2016, we administered simple topical treatments and visually investigated patterns during the care of nine Eptesicus fuscus, assumed to be infected with Pseudogymnoascus destructans through visual confirmation of orange-yellow fluorescence under ultraviolet light and fungal culture. We developed systematic methods for infected-bat husbandry that led to the successful release of seven of the nine big brown bats treated.

KEYWORDS: bats, Eptesicus fuscus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, WhiteNose Syndrome, wildlife disease, wildlife rehabilitation

Weigh in on the Proposed Revision to the List of Protected Migratory Bird Species, 50 CFR Part 10.13

Good day Rehab Partners,

Just wanted to be sure you were aware of the proposed revision to 50 CFR Part 10.13 The List of Migratory Birds currently appearing in the Federal Register:

This rule would update the current list of migratory birds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), based on scientific changes to bird taxonomy (i.e., common names, scientific names, families, etc.) and increase the number of MBTA protected birds to 1085 species.  The list is formulated by the scientific community, specifically the American Ornithologists’ Society’s Checklist of North American Birds (AOU 1998), for species that occur in North America. This list enables the public to know which species are protected and which species are not, thereby preventing confusion and potential conservation and enforcement issues.

Comment period closes on January 28, 2019.

Thank you!


Resee Collins

USFWS Liaison to IWRC and NWRA
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Migratory Bird Program

2018 USFWS Year End Reports Announcement

It’s that time of year again… Annual Reports of activity for Federal Rehabilitation, Special Purpose Possession and Eagle Exhibition permit are due to your Regional U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Permit Issuing Office postmarked on/by Thursday, January 31, 2019.  If your permit expires March 31, 2019, you may receive an annual report form and renewal letter via regular mail from now through the end of December.

Annual Report Forms are fillable online but still require an original signature and to be submitted via mail to your migratory bird permit issuing office unless your region allows electronic submission through email. Here’s what Regions accept information via email:

  • Regions 1 (Pacific) and 8 (Pacific Southwest) accept emailed Annual Reports, Renewals and Applications
  • Regions 2 (Southwest),  3 (Midwest) and 5 (Northeast) accept emailed Annual Reports
  • Regions 4 (Southeast), 6 (Mountain-Prairie) and 7 (Alaska) do not accept emailed versions of annual reports, renewals or applications

Information for Renewals and about Live Bird Possession.

Any permits that authorize possession of live migratory birds and eagles are renewed based on your facilities for specific numbers and specific species only, and you are not authorized to possess any live birds for educational or other activities other than those listed on your permit.


Updated photographs/diagrams of enclosures for housing migratory birds and eagles for display and for rehabilitation purposes, as well as updated information about the individual responsible for the daily care of these migratory birds/eagles, is also required as part of your permit renewal procedure, unless you have submitted this facility information within the past 3-5 years (3 years for Possession/Eagle Exhibition permits; 5 years for Rehabilitation permits).


Transfer Form Information.

Instructions for adding/deleting a live bird for Possession or Eagle Exhibition permits are listed on the chart on page 2 on the Migratory Bird Special Purpose Possession (Education) Permit Acquisition & Transfer Request Form 3-202-12, found directly at  Please remember that rehabilitators are required to complete this form if they are requesting to transfer a non-releasable migratory bird to an exempt facility or to a Special Purpose Possession permittee for educational purposes, but this form is not required if the bird is being transferred to another federally permitted rehabilitator for continued rehabilitation.


Transfer Form and Annual Report Copies.

If you need an extra annual report form copy or if your report form arrives damaged, please look for annual report forms listed under their respective federal permit names in the “REPORT FORMS” section at

The most common Annual Report types include:

Rehabilitation Form 3-202-4

Special Purpose Possession Live/Dead Form 3-202-5

Eagle Exhibition Form 3-202-13

Additional Annual Report forms for other federal permits including Scientific CollectingSpecial Purpose Salvage, etc. are also included on this website.


Permit Questions.

Do you have permit questions or need an address or email for mailing your report?  To contact any Regional Migratory Bird Permit Issuing Office, visit

Miscellaneous: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Permit Applications and Website Revised!

Most links listed here will work through Google, Firefox or other browsers, but may not be accessible through Windows Explorer at this time.


Thank you for everything you do to conserve America's wildlife and wild lands!


Resee Collins
USFWS Liaison to IWRC and NWRA
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Migratory Bird Program

Case study: the use of falconry techniques in raptor rehabilitation

Kristin Madden  1,2 and Matthew Mitchell1

1U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southwest Region, Migratory Birds Program, Albuquerque, NM, USA.

2Wildlife Rescue Inc. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA


We predicted that certain falconry techniques would decrease stress and the time required to pre-condition raptors for release. Between 2008 and 2014, we alternated use of traditional rehabilitation procedures with falconry techniques on 45 raptors. Twenty-seven birds were alternately restrained using either a towel or a falconry hood. Results from t-tests showed significant decreases in stress with the use of falconry hoods vs. towels. Twenty-six accipiters and falcons were either held in pet carriers or hooded and perched on falconry blocks. All 14 tethered birds retained excellent feather and cere condition. Of the 12 birds kept in pet carriers, none were in excellent condition and eight showed more than one category of damage. Twentyeight birds were either provided with the traditional cage flight conditioning, flown on a creance, or conditioned through specialized strength building exercises called “Jump-Ups.” An additional three birds were conditioned using a combination of Jump-Ups and creance flight. Cage flight alone required considerably, though not statistically significant, more conditioning time before release in most cases. Creance flight and Jump-Ups were similar in time required for conditioning when used alone. However, a combination of creance and Jump-Ups for three birds required far more time than either method alone.

KEYWORDS: conditioning, creance, falconry, raptors, rehabilitation, wildlife rehabilitation

Tulelake National Wildlife Refuge: Avian botulism outbreak

Bird Ally X is managing an Avian Botulism outbreak on site at the Tulelake National Wildlife Refuge in Northern California and has an immediate need for volunteers to help care for impacted wildlife. Avian botulism is a strain of botulism that affects wild bird populations, most notably waterfowl and is not contagious. This is an opportunity to learn the foundational skills of wildlife rehabilitation and help care for local wildlife by providing supportive care.

Volunteers duties will include rescue transport, handling patients for exam, preparing food, cleaning & preparing enclosures, washing dishes, laundry, and cage construction.

Volunteer requirements:

• Be sensitive to reducing captive wildlife stress

• Be 18 years of age or older • Be in good health.  People who are immune compromised should not work  directly with animals but are welcome to help with transport. 

• Be able to lift 50 lbs.  

• Must wear closed-toe shoes

• Ability to work as part of a team, be positive, fun & have good work ethic

The working conditions are outside and may involve hard physical labor.  Please bring a water bottle and wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty.

If you’re interested in helping some amazing birds. please email John Fitzroy, USF&W Klamath Basin NWRC Visitor Services Manager, or January Bill, Wildlife Rehabilitator, Bird Ally X @

Tidbits from board member – Brooke Durham

Please share an early/childhood experience that was pivotal to your personal relationship to wildlife.  

I grew up in Eastern Kentucky. When I was about 10 years old my grandfather found a pair of (almost) fledgling Eastern Screech Owl chicks at the family lake house in the spring, when he arrived to get things in order for the upcoming summer. He brought them to me and instructed me to feed them for a few days until they were strong enough to fly into in the forest that surrounded my childhood home. I’ll never forget the sound they made when I opened the box to peek in; that screech seemed to terrify everyone - except me. In a few days’ time, they were off on their own and I was hooked, or “taloned”?


How did you initially become involved with IWRC and why did you choose to become involved on a board level?  

Early in my wildlife rehab volunteer days I joined IWRC so that I could access the reduced fee on their online classes for Pain Management, Wound Management, Fluid Therapy as well as published materials and eventually the Basic Wildlife Rehab Course. IWRC has always exemplified the profession of wildlife rehabilitation to me, and I’m honored to help serve the membership as a board member so that they can access the same resources for the benefit of the animals we serve.


Describe a specific area of interest or a particular passion within the scope of IWRC's mission.

There are certainly members of the board and membership that have more in-depth knowledge of the medical and biological aspects of wildlife rehab than I do. There was a time when I believed those would be my strongest assets in this field, but when the opportunity-task of setting up and administering my own organization presented itself, I set about learning all I could to ensure its success. That determination led me to pursue a comprehensive Nonprofit Management Certificate through the University of San Diego. I’ve learned so very much about the governance of a nonprofit through that program, and combined with my experience as a wildlife rehab volunteer and involvement with unrelated professional organizations as a committee member - I think I come with strong, broad foundation of knowledge to work from.

As for a particular passion; I have experienced so many periods in my wildlife rehab career where I felt isolated and alone, where I saw the obvious effects of inter-agency and even inter-personal failures to communicate and cooperate that left the wildlife patients on the losing end. This, in turn leads to a high rate of rehabber burn-out. I really feel it is my purpose to foster better communication, understanding and cooperation between all involved. It’s all about collaboration!


Describe a skill that you have that has been surprisingly useful to your work as a wildlife rehabilitator? (or as an IWRC board member?)

My background in art has come in handy when I’m explaining a new enclosure design to my husband. He works in construction so we make a good team.


If you could choose, who would you have as a mentor?  

A difficult choice between sweet, calm but utterly relentless Jane Goodall and charming, wild and equally determined Steve Irwin. Either way – it would be a “wildlife warrior”.


If you could be a wild animal, which would you be?

Flamingo – the strutting, dancing and the fabulous plumage make this an easy choice for me.


What is the thing for which you have waited in line the longest?

1987 University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Midnight Madness when I was about 11 years old. I was a gymnast/cheerleader at the time and while our moms held our place in line a group of my friends and I found a patch of grass to tumble and stunt to occupy the hours of time in line. While tumbling I (just slightly) dislocated my elbow, but when I felt it and grabbed my arm, I popped it right back into place. Nonetheless - we went to ER got an x-ray, ice pack and a sling and got back in line in time to enter and enjoy the night. A close 2nd would be standing 1st in line for Janet Jackson concert tickets.


What excites you so much that it keeps you awake the night before?

Any wildlife “release day”, though it’s usually an even mix of anxiety and excitement.


Describe any companion animals that you share your home and life with.

English Bulldog – Krystal

French Bulldog – Romeo

A blind French Bulldog/Boston Terrier (puppy mill rescue) – Poppy

2 Goats – Luke & Sombra + an assortment of chickens & domestic ducks

California Desert Tortoise – Jean-Louis Agassiz

About 50 Koi + 10 Red-eared Slider turtles

Umbrella Cockatoo who has refused all names we’ve offered except for “Cockatoo”

European Starling – Clarice Starling (Silence of the Lambs)

Yellow-naped Amazon (parrot) – Slider

Lilac-crowned Amazon (parrot) – Hilo

Green-cheeked Amazon (parrot) – Cali

2 Red-masked Conure (parakeets) – Nene & Conner

2 Blind Green-cheeked Amazon (parrots) – Justice & Stevie (because: Justice is blind, and Stevie Wonder)


Also, our rehab facility is on my home property so at any given time there could be just about any kind of animal - in any kind of crate - in any room or area of the house. Neonate baby birds in portable brooders go on the nightstand beside my bed so that I can monitor them during the night and administer their first hydration in the early morning. I literally live in a zoo.


Tidbits from board member – Suzanne Pugh

Please share an early/childhood experience that was pivotal to your personal relationship to wildlife.  

As a child there were so many stories and story books my mom shared with me, Tarka the Otter, Watership Down, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, not to mention the bedtime stories my mother made up! However, there was a brilliant service hosted by the British Post Office, that cemented my love of animals. It was a weekly children's bedtime story read by Johnny Morris, a television and radio presenter for the BBC and a great story teller. Morris narrated many animal related stories including Tales of the Riverbank – about an assorted collection of animal friends and each week a different animal story could only be heard by telephone. I loved sitting with my mom, dad and sister each Sunday night waiting for the time to dial “150” and listening to these exciting tales.


Suzanne and Darren at Mauna Kea Observatory, Hawaii, 2017.

How did you initially become involved with IWRC and why did you choose to become involved on a board level?  

Back in 2004 I was volunteering on a committee to investigate the potential for a wildlife rehabilitation centre in Kelowna, BC. I became aware of IWRC through this network and subsequently attended a Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation course. Since then I have remained an IWRC member since that time and in the following years attended conferences and completed additional training workshops through IWRC.  I went on to lead the BC SPCA Kelowna animal shelter for 5 years, where wildlife intake rose year on year and aware of the limited resources available for wildlife, I was driven to join the board of directors to further the cause.


Describe a specific area of interest or a particular passion within the scope of IWRC's mission.

Avian – So few resources are available for the care, rehabilitation and release of wild birds and public education and awareness is key particularly to support the issues faced during baby bird season. More skilled professionals are required who are proficient in identifying species to provide triage and treatment to injured birds, who are candidates for rehab and release.


Describe a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.

During my time as Branch Manager, BC SPCA Kelowna, I was responsible for the health and welfare of almost 8000 animals – farm, domestic and wildlife. I remain immensely proud of this work.


If you could choose, who would you have as a mentor?  

So many –Sir David Attenborough leaps to mind but if I had to choose just one it would be The Dalai Lama. He once said something that rings true for me for all sentient beings - “Our prime purpose in life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”


If you were to do something else professionally, what would it be?   

Without a doubt it would be animal related. I enjoy working closely with people and animals and would like to help bridge gaps to improve welfare for working animals around the globe, particularly donkeys, to support efforts to help communities who rely on these animals as a mode of transport and to provide resources to raise donkey welfare standards, in turn supporting the owner’s livelihood. Alternatively, I would like to support communities who rely on livestock within wildlife habitats, to collaborate on solutions to reducing wildlife conflict and finding ways to co-exist.


If you could be a wild animal, which would you be?

An Orangutan


Describe any companion animals that you share your home and life with.

Daisy and Ted

My husband and I are guardians to 2 Labrador dogs. Both are adopted and are both on their 3rd and permanent home with us. Daisy, a black lab, is now 15+ years and Ted our chocolate lab is 10yrs, going on 2! Daisy has been with us since she was 18 months and has hiked, biked and camped across North America. She has always amazed us, whenever we reached the top of a mountain during a hike she would appear to sit at the top and gaze intently out across the vista. Daisy is now relaxing in her senior years. However, for Ted, every day he wakes - life is one big party! He brings lots of fun to our household, we have many “Ted-ventures” and we wouldn’t change either of them for the world.

Feathers, Native Culture, and Rehabilitation


By Katie McInnis DVM

As wildlife rehabilitators we all know the value of feathers to birds. Thermoregulation, communication, and mobility are just a few ways birds utilize their feathers. But what about when a bird no longer needs those feathers? What purpose can they serve? For some, imping is an excellent use of feathers, as is utilizing them for research or educational purposes. While these options have great merit, most feathers that end up being saved are eagle feathers, in the US the majority of which end up at the National Eagle Repository.

Variegated eagle feather

The National Eagle Repository is a government sanctioned collection site for both bald and golden eagle carcasses and feathers. With the inception of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and other wildlife protection laws, US Native Americans lost the right to possess and utilize feathers that they required for important cultural and religious purposes. For decades USFWS tried to come up with solutions, but even with the establishment of the National Eagle Repository the process of just getting a single feather was slow and laborious. In 1990 the Pueblo of Zuni made a bold but sensible proposition. Wildlife rehabilitators were often faced with the challenge of what to do with non-releasable eagles. The Zuni proposed the creation of a long term care facility where the birds could live out their lives, well cared for, while providing molted feathers to native people. With the institution of the Native American Eagle Aviary Permit, native communities were able to benefit not only from molted feathers, but from the pride and satisfaction of caring for eagles that still have a good quality of life despite having disabilities that make them unreleasable.

In Perkins, Oklahoma Megan Judkins spends many hours working with eagles and their feathers. Megan works at the Grey Snow Eagle House, a rehabilitation and long term care facility for eagles that is run by the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma. While their primary focus is caring for their eagle population, they also rehabilitate eagles from Oklahoma, provide educational programs, and are working in collaboration with Oklahoma State on genomic research of bald and golden eagles. Although these things keep them busy, their main focus is the health and well being of the eagles. Eagles are screened carefully before being allowed to enter long term care, and once in the program they are given bi-annual veterinary exams, multiple forms of enrichment and are carefully monitored to ensure they have the best quality of life possible.

Megan says that while many people think Grey Snow Eagle House (GSEH) opened specifically to provide feathers for the Iowa Nation this is actually a misconception. “The GSEH opened because while eagles play pivotal roles in all Native cultures, for the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma the eagle is viewed as the only living creature that has seen the face of the creator. The eagle also assists the tribal members by carrying their prayers to the creator. So, by rehabilitating injured eagles and releasing them back into the wild, the tribe believes that these birds will continue to help their tribal members by carrying their prayers. In addition, by providing high quality homes to the eagles that cannot be released back to the wild, the tribe is saying thank you to the species for helping the tribe through the generations. Finally, by participating in research collaborations, we are ensuring bald and golden eagles persist through future generations.”

To learn more about the Grey Snow Eagle House you can visit their website here: But why visit online when you can visit in person! Grey Snow Eagle House will be hosting the IWRC Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation Class December 1-2, 2017. There are still a few spots available so sign up today!

Tidbits from board member Brenda Harms

Please share an early/childhood experience that was pivotal to your personal relationship to wildlife.  

My mother always tried to save the birds our cat caught (this was back in the stone age).  She’d feed them white bread soaked in milk and keep them in a shoebox (well, at least she got the shoebox right!).  Not a single one ever survived and she cried every time one would die.  I learned from her that humans are responsible for the creatures in our midst, and we need to try our hardest to do right by them.  My mother would have become a wildlife rehabber if the opportunity had been available and then, perhaps, some of those birds would have survived.   

How did you initially become involved with IWRC and why did you choose to become involved on a board level?  

I’ve always been involved with the nonprofits in the town I live in.  Once my children got older, I became interested in learning more about nonprofit governance and fundraising and even took some fundraising classes.  When my teenage daughter saw a Dawn commercial that featured Tri State Bird Rescue, I found myself traveling to Delaware with her to take Tri State’s oiled bird course.  It was there that I first met people who were wildlife rehabbers.  An internet search led me to IWRC’s Virginia Beach Symposium in 2009.  At a symposium roundtable, I shared my desire to combine my law degree and interests in nonprofits with my love for wildlife, and before I could say “Jack Rabbit,” I was on the board.  I became Secretary of the board the following year.  My seven years on the board have been immensely fulfilling.

Describe a skill that you have that has been surprisingly useful to your work as a wildlife rehabilitator? (or as an IWRC board member?)

Volunteering at our local rehabilitation hospital, I’ve discovered that very few people know how to defrost a refrigerator/freezer quickly and thoroughly.

If you could choose, who would you have as a mentor?  

I’d love to be mentored by Dr. Jane Goodall for the sole purpose of learning how to be so brave.   Her leap from vision to execution and on to perseverance fills me with awe.  

If you were to do something else professionally, what would it be?   

I’m the only board member who isn’t a wildlife rehabber (I’m a lawyer), so I hope that one day I’ll actually become one.  

If you could be a wild animal, which would you be?

Oh, I’d have to be an Osprey.  Watching them and wanting to protect them was the reason I became involved with wildlife preservation in the first place. I’d summer in New England and winter in Rio!