Charity Focus: Southwest Wildlife Foundation
Oh hi! I just spent last Saturday with a giant golden eagle named Scout, a smaller and more skittish prairie falcon, and a lovely Harris's hawk. I was meeting with the founders of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation, Martin and Susan Tyner, to discuss joining the foundation as a volunteer fundraising events coordinator. Martin is known as "The Eagle Man" and is often seen with Scout in tow, as he is a master falconer and trained to hunt with eagles. Scout is very much a wild eagle, and flies freely, but has a special and mutually beneficial bond with Martin. In Martin's own words, "I flush out rabbits from the brush and Scout dives after them from high in the air; basically he's the hunter and I'm his dog, and I'm a good dog so he keeps me."
Martin's stories can be heard as he travels around Utah and other western states showing off his birds as part of educational programs for children and adults alike. He has been through many an experience with the birds, and claims that getting injured is a daily occurence when working with animals that have a 6-foot wingspan! He has been dive-bombed at 140 miles per hour by a loving Scout, causing his shoulder to dislocate and his back to be injured. His stories have been collected in a new book titled, Healer of Angels, written by him and his wife. You can find more information about the book and how to order by following this link to the SWF website:
You can find out more about the Southwest Wildife Foundation by visiting their website at http://www.gowildlife.org.
Martin and Susan are currently raising funds to build a Nature Park on a large bit of land donated to them by Rocky Mountain Power near Cedar City. This park will be open to visitors, will provide housing and rehabilitation space for the birds and other wildlife rescued by SWF, and will serve as an education center. If you would like to make a donation in any amount to SWF, you can visit their website for more information.
SWF offers nature excursions in the gorgeous Southern Utah terrain for photograph opportunities and to see the falcons diving freely, along with dinosaur footprints and Native American petroglyphs. By calling 435-586-4693 or 435-590-1618 you can schedule group tours with them.
It's becoming more and more difficult to practice wildlife rescue and rehab in Utah because of state and federal laws, so please consider donating to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation, one of the few rescue centers in the state, so they can continue their wonderful work with some of the most sacred and threatened animal species in Utah.
The eagle is considered by Native Americans to be a messenger of God, and it is said that each eagle feather is capable of sending up a prayer to heaven.