Letter from the director
Victoria Hall
Dr. Victoria Hall poses with a bird perched in hand

As the year comes to a close, we have more to be thankful for than ever before. It has been an incredibly challenging year with an unprecedented outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) hitting our wild birds harder than we have ever seen. During the spring of 2022, we were admitting three to four times our usual number of birds. Some days, almost every bird was positive for this virus that is extremely fatal to raptors. It challenged our staff, volunteers, and our entire community, and was both emotionally and physically draining as we worked tirelessly to keep helping every bird that came into our care.

In the midst of emergency events, you see the true value of a team and I could not be more proud of ours. Our staff members worked hours upon hours in Tyvek suits and respirators admitting new birds into our rapidly designated triage building. Our volunteers adapted to new biosecurity protocols and transported critically ill birds suffering from the end stages of the virus. Our supporters helped spread the word about what was happening to wildlife, with many giving generously to our emergency fundraising efforts so we could keep our doors open during such trying times. This incomparable community is the gold standard of what it can look like when caring people come together to make a difference.

The Raptor Center stood as a leader in the middle of a crisis across the United States and was able to not only continue helping birds in need but also serve as a global resource to others as the outbreak continues.

I find myself feeling an incredible sense of gratitude for the community around The Raptor Center and in awe at the force for good that it is in the world. The support we have received for almost 50 years has enabled us to treat our 30,000th patient this fall. To think of the 30,000 lives that we have been able to impact and the number of people associated with each of those birds, all trying to make the world a little bit better, gives me incredible hope for the future. I know that no matter what disease, health condition, or challenge our environment faces next, The Raptor Center will be there in full force to help protect the world that we all share. In this issue of Raptor Release, we hope to delve deeper into the actions taken throughout our departments to provide aid during this HPAI crisis and to highlight and celebrate the selfless efforts of each sector. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being part of our team this year and we look forward to soaring even higher in the year to come.

Dr. Hall signature

 

 

Victoria Hall, DVM, MS, DACVPM
Executive Director and Redig Endowed Chair
in Raptor and Ecosystem Health