Monday, November 19, 2018

Riggs Update; He's Growing Fast

Riggs is growing so fast. He's now 7 weeks old but we wanted to share photos from 2 days old. Riggs is a barn owl that hatched at Wings Rescue Center. Shortly after, he was transferred to the ARK in Port Aransas as WRC is not yet licensed and permitted for raptors. We are so proud of him and thankful for the care he is getting at the ARK. He is getting all his feathers and losing his baby fuzz.

Riggs at 7 weeks old

2 days old!

Monday, November 5, 2018

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Meet Riggs Gute!

Meet Riggs! He (or she) is a barn owl. On September 6, 2018 a refinery fire crew called us about five barn owl eggs they found. Because we had been successful in incubating killdeer eggs, we agreed to take the eggs. Only two were viable, and sadly one chick died almost immediately after hatching. But...Riggs survived! He's named for two of the firefighters who brought him to us.

Riggs emerging from the egg
Barn owl eggs take about 30 days to hatch but we didn't really know how fresh these eggs were. Volunteer momma, Verba, kept careful watch and when signs indicated the first egg was likely to hatch, she spent the night at the Center. Riggs was born at 5:00 a.m. on September 29. A second egg hatched a few days later but the chick was not strong enough to survive. Because WRC is not permitted for raptors, we had to receive special permission form US Fish and Wildlife Service to keep the eggs. As agreed, a week after Riggs was hatched, he was taken to the ARK in Port Aransas to be raised.

Newly born
Why couldn't we raise Riggs in Rockport? Since our start in April 2016, Wings Rescue Center has rescued 31 raptors. Because we lack the permit to keep them here, they have been transferred out of Aransas County to Port Aransas or North Padre Island. Why can't we get a permit to raise and rehab raptors here? We don't have the appropriate flight cage needed for the raptor permit. A raptor flight cage needs to be big enough to accommodate physical therapy for recovering birds, allowing them to fly to strengthen their wings. It also has to have room for prey-testing, ensuring that the birds can capture live prey to feed themselves in the wild. Our cage will need to be about 12' by 32' and about 14 feet high. It also has to be constructed of wood slats with no material that raptors can get their claws into. While Wings Rescue Center has other flight cages, they are not suited for raptors.

Example of a raptor cage
It's estimated that the appropriate flight cage will cost about $5,000 including $2,000 for materials. While we are seeking grants, donations to fund this project are also needed.  Donations can be mailed to WRC, Box 1912, Rockport, TX 78381 or through the DONATE link on the right side of this page. All donations are tax-deductible as Wings is a 501 (c)3 organization.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Kid Birders Help Build Bird Houses

Students in Martha McLeod's award-winning birding team at Fulton Learning Center  are decorating bird houses for Wings Rescue Center (WRC). The houses, made from PVC to hold up to Rockport's humidity, are also easy to clean. They are perfect for titmice and other small birds endemic to the Coastal Bend.

The bird houses are a fundraiser to support Wings Rescue Center and will be sold at Sea Fair, October 11-14, 2018. Doug Adams, a volunteer with WRC, made the bird houses for the students to finish. Stop by Sea Fair (we'll be sharing a booth with Sue Bonnar) to purchase one of these fabulous bird houses and many other handcrafted items.

(Photos courtesy of Martha McLeod)

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Come See Us at the 30th Annual HummerBird Celebration!

UPDATE: Wings Rescue Center's booth has been moved into the Middle School Mall. Booth 22 A&B. Don't let the weather stop you from coming.

Get ready for the 30th HummerBird Celebration in Rockport, September 13-16, 2018. Wings Rescue Center is a stop of the tour of "hummer homes." This is an opportunity to visit our center and enjoy a lot of hummingbirds. The hospital is not open to the public but you will be able to sit on the porch and enjoy the luscious landscaping that attracts a lot of birds. We have extra hummingbird feeders out! 

We will also have a booth with lots of neat things to sell at the Celebration's Mall. We will be in the outdoor area between the two schools off Enterprise Dr. in Rockport. Proceeds support our work with abandoned and injured birds in the Coastal Bend. Some of the items we are selling include birdhouses, hummingbird feeders, bird strike window decals, and holiday ornaments. 

Lots of free events plus exciting tours and programs for a small fee. All the info you need is online at

Friday, May 11, 2018

Don't Toss that Fish: Wings Rescue Center Needs Donations

Wings Rescue Center would love to have your unwanted bait fish. Pelicans eat a LOT and we are currently feeding several. We can also use fish that has been frozen but is no longer needed.We have freezers and can freeze extras.

Wings volunteers will be on hand at Babes on the Bay tournament (May 19, 2018) to collect unwanted bait and at other tournaments and events when possible.  If you have bait or frozen fish at other times, call 361-205-0892 to arrange drop off or pick up.

Nigel (left) can never be released but
Princess (right) was released after rehabilitation
and joined her friends to fly north for the summer.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Harvey Couldn't Stop Us!

Hurricane Harvey hit Wings Rescue Center on August 25, 2017, along with the rest of Rockport and the Coastal Bend. Most of the birds in the hospital were evacuated and all were fine. Fortunately our damage was not severe although we had to make a lot of repairs and clean up a lot of debris from the trees. The big flight cage was erected and the small cage was repaired. Volunteers helped clean up and replant so that now the center is beautifully landscaped.

We are not quite back up and running as many of our volunteers are still elsewhere or working on repairing their homes. A few, like our onsite caretaker,  have moved. Housing in the area is severely limited. However we are still rescuing! To date we have rescued over 300 birds in 2017.

If you are interested in volunteering, please call our dispatcher at 361-205-0892. We have a lot of debris to be cleaned off the back half of the property before we can develop it to use. Harvey meant that we lost several fundraising opportunities, including the HummerBird Celebration. We have been selling items and collecting donations at events like Sea Fair and Market Days and will be at Tropical Christmas on December 2. Donations are needed to get the center fully operational again and continue our work. Please help if you can.

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Image may contain: one or more people, tree, sky, outdoor and nature