Perhaps, you are a person concerned about the growing global tragedies and challenges, from fresh water availability to economic depressions to human over-population. As such a person, perhaps you might even wonder how, given these immense modern problems, could we choose to support birds, instead of say, orphans... It is a fair and logical question. The truth is, that we DO support orphanages (strongly and financially). But this is not the real answer. The real answer is that we are not economists, so we cannot fix global finance. We are not irrigation experts, nor have any contacts to aid specifically in this field, beyond generality.
So, for us, the answer is that we must help the world in the best way we can: within our skill set. We must do WHAT we can... believing that if EVERYONE does what they can, therein lies the answer to the problems of the world. This is the reason we welcome the new conservationist. This is the reason we tirelessly take in as many as we can of the injured, abused, neglected or victims of circumstance. It is the story of the starfish... you cannot save them all when they roll upon the beach in a great tide, but you can save the ones at your feet, throwing them back to the safety of the waters. And for those few, it makes all the difference in the world.
We must face the horrific truth together, advanced ornithologist and novice alike: that the only reason these birds are on threatened, endangered, critically endangered or extinct in the wild lists, is down to we ourselves--we humans, behaving inhumanely. Our blatant disregard for their lives, livelihoods, environments, ecosystems, natural ranges, an food accessibility, has delivered the disastrous condition in which they find themselves today. We can help. So we will. So we must. It is not out of a sense of superiority... quite the contrary. It is as an humble apology to those magnificent creatures for the damage our species has inflicted upon them. This is what we can do. So we choose to do it. Please do what you can. If everyone does what they can, change, apparent miracles, in fact, can happen. Just look at the White-tailed Sea Eagle... recently extinct in the wild in Scotland and UK, now, modestly, slowly, regaining a tenuous foothold. Only because a few dedicated persons decided to take up their cause.
Sometimes we are asked, "OK, but why birds? Why not cats and dogs?" Well, first of all, while we LOVE all animals, our knowledge base is avian. Secondly, there are copious amounts of dedicated, hard-working shelters and homes for cats and dogs. Most of them well-funded and supported. Third of all, these birds, unlike cats and dogs, represent a vital niche in the global ecosystems. Companion animals such as cats and dogs, while life-enriching, are not ecological imperatives. As for birds of prey, without them, we are ALL damaged. We have far too many cats and dogs, and whole programmes have successfully launched to help raise awareness of spaying and neutering. These birds, conversely, are in precisely the opposite situation. We desperately need to protect them and help them to thrive so that dangerous, disease-carrying rodents will be kept under control, and the ecosystems can regain their natural, healthy balance. Not to mention that it would be nice for them to be able to be observed by our grandchildren!
While our focus is primarily upon threatened raptors and pheasants, we have re-housed, rehabilitated, and rescued a variety of species from Great Argus to hummingbirds. We even have our own book of recipes for various songbirds and other fauna which come to us as hatchlings or fledglings each spring. We have supported up to 48 species of birds simultaneously, including Snowy Owls endangered Hyacinthine Macaws and Toco Toucans.
Our acreage provides sanctuary for rescues and a healthy atmosphere for captive breeding and training of threatened raptors. It also provides a permanent environment for vulnerable pheasant species. Again, our concentration primarily centres upon rehabilitation, research, rescue and education/raising public awareness. This is to ensure that these magnificent birds never suffer the fate of so many other species which are lost to us forever. It is an inarguable fact, that quality captive breeding programmes are the answer to securing the future existence of these peerless wonders.
The Broscova-Righetti Family
& Entire Blue Highlands Team