Call of the Wild
March 2012 Issue
March 2012 Digest
A photographer captures the energy of Columbus; Glen Helen Raptor Center rehabilitates birds of prey.
Betty Ross is used to the accolades: Following most of the talks she gives on Ohio’s birds of prey, someone will approach her and the magnificent hawk perched on her arm and say, “I wish I had your job.”
“And afterward,” Ross muses with a smile, “I always think to myself, ‘You didn’t see me this morning chopping mice for the birds to eat.’”
But the director of the Glen Helen Raptor Center in Yellow Springs considers a little unpleasantness a small price to pay for the opportunity to spend the past 25 years caring for injured and ill owls, ospreys and falcons.
Last year alone, 167 birds were brought to the center, which is affiliated with Antioch College. Following rehabilitation, about half of them were released back into the wild. The center also serves as a permanent home to 30 raptors, including Solo, a 37-year-old bald eagle that has been a resident since 1980.
“This is not an easy field and there is a lot of death,” says Ross, a founding member of the Ohio Wildlife Rehabilitators Association. “But we remind ourselves that if you can’t help an animal by making it well again, you can alleviate its suffering.”
In spring, it isn’t unusual for many of us to happen upon young birds that have fallen out of the nest. Ross suggests calling a wildlife rehabilitator for assistance (visit owra.org
to find one).
If, explains Ross, the bird is “a little fuzzy thing, it must be put back into the nest with its parents in order to survive. But, she adds, “if a young bird has most of its feathers and is hopping around the yard, leave it alone, because it probably doesn’t need your help.”
Ross also advises wearing gloves when handling any wild bird because there is a chance of contracting disease or parasites. Humans can also infect birds through touch. — Jill Sell
The Raptor Center, located at 1075 St. Rte. 343, is open to the public and features an intensive-care area and outdoor flight cage. For more information, call 937/767-7648 or visit glenhelen.org
Focus on Columbus
Although he’s lived in Columbus for 35 years, photographer Randall Lee Schieber never fails to be enthralled by the city that’s clearly his favorite.
“Columbus is a place of neighborhoods that are constantly evolving,” Schieber says. “There’s always something going on — from art exhibits to concerts to parades and outdoor fests.
“There’s a vibe,” he adds, “that resonates from every corner.”
So, for his new book of capital city images, Columbus Impressions, Schieber set about capturing that energy — from the kaleidoscopic panoply made by the skirts of Festival Latino dancers to the riotous explosion of fireworks that streaks across the night sky during the annual Independence Day celebration.
“I love letting people know what a great city we have,” he says. “And, since Columbus is celebrating its bicentennial this year, now’s the ideal time to visit.”
— Linda Feagler
Here are just a few of the events taking place as part of Columbus' bicentennial celebration:
May 5: The daylong celebration of the opening of the Columbus Bicentennial Pavilion features family activities and music. 614/545-4700, columbuscommons.org
Through May 27: The Columbus Museum of Art exhibition, “Columbus Views,” gathers works by such artists as George Bellows, Emerson Burkhart, Edmund Kuehn and Robert Chadeayne, who translated the city’s charms onto canvas. 614/221-4848, columbusmuseum.org
July 3: A Columbus tradition, Red, White & Boom! features food, live music and plenty of fireworks. 614/421-BOOM, redwhiteandboom.org
For more information about these and other events, visit