Imagine trying to catch a swan. That’s what Jennifer Gordon had to do, except she had to catch nine of them. Jennifer is the founder of Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, so when she got the call that an adult male swan had damaged his wing and was in danger, she felt called to save him. “They had six babies of their own and the other. And swans mate for life and get so depressed when they’re split up.”
Right now, there are about 500 birds at the Waterfowl Rescue. Jennifer says “We have crows, we have green herons and turkeys and pigeons, and doves.” She says it’s important to have this place as a service not only to the animals, but for humans too. Sick birds spread disease. “Everybody thinks ‘oh the humane society or somebody’, until you find out those places don’t do birds or ducks. They take dogs and cats.”
But what about the Carolina Raptor Center then? Jennifer says “They only take raptors, which is hawks, owls, and eagles.”
Most birds at the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue are injured, and the purpose is to get them back rehabilitated and back into the wild. They are either rescued by Jennifer and her staff or delivered by the public.
Some birds there are not injured. Right now Jennifer has over 100 white ducks from Easter. She says people buy baby ducks as gifts and then get rid of them because they don’t realize how much work it takes to own them. Which follows that they also have many doves that people release for weddings. She says “People don’t realize that doves can’t find food in certain environments and can starve to death.”
“ I’d have to say about 95% of the people do more damage than help when they find a bird and try to do it themselves.” Jennifer Gordon.
The Waterfowl Rescue is funded and supported through private donations and volunteers. And that is not without obstacles. Last year the property was flooded, they also moved into a new location and had to build structures for certain delicate birds. They’ve had poisonous feedbags and so many more challenges, but Jennifer says it’s only through the support of the community and volunteers that she is able to keep the place going.
Jennifer says they are desperate for volunteers and financial donors. Volunteers can do anything from construction, electrical work, to providing building materials and joining rescues to hands on care with the birds. Eventually the goal is to get the new facility in shape to open up for tours and educational programs for the community.
For more information visit: www.carolinawaterfowlrescue.com