Fundraiser for seabird clinic July 22

Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2012 in Features

Fundraiser for seabird clinic July 22

On the Rush of Wings, a wildlife-rehabilitation center for seabirds, is planning a fundraiser with live music, a silent auction and food.

The first annual “Happy Feet” benefit will be held at the Thomaston Café, on Main Street in Thomaston, from 4-7 p.m. Sunday, July 22. For more information see www.ontherushofwings.org.

On the Rush of Wings, located on Martin’s Point in Friendship, is the creation of Cindy Mackie and Beth Settlemyer. The clinic is equipped with a heated therapy pool for seabirds' preliminary waterproof evaluation before they are taken to the aviary for final release monitoring. A second therapy tub is located in the aviary, as well as a brood cage for hatchlings. The clinic includes an egg incubator, cushioned and private cages for birds, and a laboratory. Both clinic and aviary were carefully designed and equipped for the sensitive and sometimes fragile birds, to protect them from disturbance and reduce their stress.

The center opened last summer, and since then has treated gulls, shearwaters, a cormorant, common eiders and northern gannets. The first patient, a common eider downy, was found on the rocky shore, alone. After the chick regained some strength, Settlemyer and Mackie saw a brood of eiders offshore at dawn. They released the chick, and watched as it joined and was accepted by the flock.

On The Rush of Wings relies entirely on the generosity of those who believe the work that is done there is important and deserves their tax-deductible support. “We don’t get a penny for our services. It’s all donations,” Settlemyer explained.

Visitors are welcome to visit the center, but are asked to call first. The telephone is (207) 832-5044.

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